Children and mobile phones: “We adults are dependent on them without having solidity”

One of the events during the Legend festival

Author Antonio Ferrara participated in the Legend Festival and leads to the least difficult themes such as war


Antonio Ferrara, is at home at the literature and listening festival in Empoli. In fact, he was a guest at all editions of the event. And given that traditions must be respected, this is again on “Legend”, scheduled for today. There have been many deals that have seen we want to see Ferrara as the main character. Like being interviewed by the boys (today at 10 a.m. in Piazza Farina degli Uberti). “It’s very pleasant,” the writer confides, “the boys’ questions are atypical. They dare, as when they ask about the time it took me to write a book, or how much one earns as a writer. Questions that an adult hardly asks, and these are the most beautiful questions. “Yesterday at the Cenacolo degli Agostiniani, Ferrara and Marianna Cappelli, Lodovica Cima and Filippo Mittino held the round table” Taking care of stories “. Ferrara Marianna Cappelli also gave a two-part reading on “Telling the war.” I realized that I have at least eight who directly or indirectly touched on the subject. Marianna and I have selected some pieces and we have read them ». Then Ferrara focuses on the conflict in Ukraine. And he explains that children do not have to show everything the news shows about pain. But he also says children need to be told about everything, even the fear of war, as well as about the pandemic. “Children’s literature always comes to the aid of these difficult questions – he explains – Gianni Rodari used to say that children can and should talk about everything, it’s just a matter of tone. For a writer, especially for children, tone is everything. In books, style is important. If we read a war story to a child, he may ask you why the little boy in the book happens, but he asks about himself hidden behind a character. So a book is perfect because it is a neutral field. But it’s fiction that saves us, even if it’s talking about real themes. The author also presented his latest book (written with Filippo Mittino) “Scherzare col fuoco. In school and education without being burned”.

Why joke with fire? “We came up with the metaphor of the myth of Prometheus, who stole the sacred fire of culture, knowledge from the gods and paid dearly for the experience – says Antonio Ferrara – He was sentenced to be chained to a cliff, where every day he was joined by a eagle that ate his liver, which grew back during the night. To play with fire, to be an educator without being burned, it literally requires courage. Among other things, the Greeks may already know one thing, and doctors confirm it today: the only organ in the human body that grows back, if partially cut, is the liver, so it seems as if we were already inside the metaphor of the future, that is, dealing with the culture and dealing with the children to whom it is transferred requires teaching presupposes the ignition of desire, of curiosity. ” things.At the end of each h story starts a comment from the developmental psychologist Filippo Mittino which draws some experience from the metaphorical story. The idea is to educate by telling ». Ferrara, who comes face to face with the kids every day, notices how they have changed after Covid. He mentions the two years lost in middle school, “Years – he says – irreparable in terms of relationships. Everyone builds themselves on comparison, and for two years that comparison has been lacking. A developmental psychologist Franco Fornari he said that every time an adult meets a child in need, he has a duty to try to reorganize the hope in that child. I think we child writers are now just as valuable as teachers. Maybe more because we meet the kids in areas like here at the festival in a context that is not scholastic ». Finally, we at Ferrara ask about the relationship that children have to cell phones. Ferrara wrote a short story for children “Tonight no cell phone”. “But it’s the child who scolds his father,” the writer emphasizes, “because we are adults who cannot do without a mobile phone.” The boys? We must expect them not to use it in certain contexts like when we talk together, for dinner, in class. We adults do not have the authority to control ourselves and are therefore solid models.


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