The sounds of the earth – The farm

The sounds of the earth – The farm

The sounds of the earth – The farm

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On Elisa Manig’s small dairy farm, there is always traffic. And all products, often ordered by loyal customers, sell out the same day. Elisa manages the farm with her father, chaining, at the same gentle rhythm, the daily ritual activities: working in the stable, milking, taking the cows out to graze, making cheese and selling to the public. A refrain from the life of a young peasant girl gifted and passionate about her profession.

After studying in the United States, which destined her to become a radiologist, Elisa Manig, 27, he ultimately made a completely different decision. In 2019, back in the valleys where he grew up, he created, with the help of his father, Manig Agricultural Company, where he raises sixteen cows and six calves to produce milk, cheese, including mozzarella, and also yogurt. Everything is sold directly on the farm. By favoring the local sale of quality products, and by combining word of mouth with savvy communication on social media, Elisa has been able to establish the (good) reputation of her dairy farm.

In the past, around here, everyone was a peasant. Today, it is a rare profession, which arouses curiosity and fascination, especially when it is practiced by a young woman and by choice. But I have the feeling that more and more people understand the beauty of agriculture and also aspire to eat well, for their health and the pleasure of taste… It is hard work, but it is also very satisfying and rewarding. Every day, I look forward to waking up to find my cows and start the activities…

Manig agricultural farm © Luca Rullo

Series : “Sounds of the Earth”

Through the daily life of four women farmers, this series covers the peasant culture of the Natisone valleys and the past of one of its towns: Topolò. Reluctant to industrialize agriculture by their very nature, the Natisone valleys in Friuli, on the border between Italy and Slovenia, have also been marked by massive emigration. In this desert territory, where forests cover land that was once cultivated, four women, from different generations, have chosen to stay or return, to practice environmentally-friendly agriculture. Raising goats or cows, viticulture, gathering wild herbs and preparing traditional recipes. The series “The sounds of the earth” accompanies them from dawn to night.

Workshop "draw the sounds" - 27th Stazione di Topolò / Postaja Topolove International Art Festival, Italy, 2020
Workshop “Drawing sounds” – 27th international art festival Stazione di Topolò /Postaja Topolove, Italy, 2020 © Antonio Federico Lasalvia

“Sounds of the Earth”a series produced and presented during the 27th edition of the Stazione di Topolò/Postaja Topolove festival, gave rise to listening sessions and collective visual creations with residents and festival goers.

All the recordings in this series have been the subject of listening sessions, workshops and public presentations within the framework of the 27th Stazione di Topolò / Postaja Topolove International Art Festival. Based on the everyday sounds of peasant women, compiled and edited by Monica Fantini and Luca Rullo, the artists Elena Rucli and Laura Savina, members of the Robida collective, produced visual creations and held painting workshops with festival attendees. A collective work restored through mosaics, which today illustrate the episodes.

Elena Rucli and Laura Savina - Workshop "draw the sounds" - 27th Stazione di Topolò / Postaja Topolove International Art Festival, Italy, 2020
Elena Rucli and Laura Savina – Workshop “Drawing sounds” – 27th international art festival Stazione di Topolò /Postaja Topolove, Italy, 2020 © Antonio Federico Lasalvia

The festival Topolo Station/Postaja Topolove

Meetings, concerts, dance, sound installations, listening, readings, conferences, exhibitions… Founded in 1994 by a group of inhabitants who still live there, the international art festival Topolo Station/Postaja Topolove every summer in July this deserted mid-mountain town, on the border between Italy and Slovenia, is transfigured. Hosted in residence, hundreds of artists from around the world are invited to occupy the facilities to debate, create and perform. The artistic proposals of the festival always resonate with the territory and its symbolism, linked to the border, the foreigner, absence, the omnipresence of wood and rebirth.

The Robida Collective

Since 2014, young artists residing in Topolò and gathered in the Robida collective have joined the festival. Combining their attachment to this land with their art, they publish art reviews and poetry -in Italian and Slovenian-, create installations and organize screenings and walks through the secret forest paths around the village.

The farm – sound postcard - Listening to the world - Elena Rucli and Laura Savina
The farm – sound postcard – Listening to the world – Elena Rucli and Laura Savina © Listen to the world

Listening to the world: a participatory platform to send sound postcards

Escuchar el mundo is a miniature radio program, reheard here as a podcast, but also a participatory sound platform dedicated to listening and sound creation. It archives and gives free access to more than 200 sound recordings submitted from all over the world, and also offers sound postcards. Each episode of this series is thus declined in a sound and digital postcard, composed of a sound and an image, which inspired the artists Laura Savino and Elena Rucli in the sound fragments of daily life in the Natisone valleys. Cards to send from your computer or smartphone, with a personalized message.

Discover the sound postcard linked to this episode here

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Logo Listen to the World DR

Production team – Creation unit – RFI

Design and production: Monica Fantini

Sound recording: Monica Fantini and Luca Rullo

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The content of this publication reflects solely the position of the author and is his sole responsibility. The European Commission assumes no responsibility for any use that may be made of the information it contains.

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