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A matter of identity

The neo-borbonico movement and the lies that led to the unification of Italy. Interview with Professor Gennaro De Crescenzo who is going to publish his new book .

The Borgo Marinaro is a place of particular importance for the history of Napoli. The Greeks landed there and founded our city. In the same place, on 7 September 1993, a group of Neapolitans counter-celebrated the invasion of Garibaldi on 7 September 1860. They founded a cultural association with even a national anthem, written by the writer Ricardo Pazzaglia on Giovanni Paisiello’s hymn of the Two Sicilies. In November of the same year the first headquarters of the group was inaugurated and a month later they organized an event to defend the prestige of the first opera theater in the world: the San Carlo theater, threatened and downgraded by an adverse government policy.

The neoborbonico movement is not a political party. It is a cultural association. It does not aim at the monarchy or at secession.

The name chosen for the movement is a provocation. What the neoborbonico movement has been doing for almost thirty years is to fight for the truth and for the spread of a greater historical awareness of Southern Italy in order to rediscover our real identity, an identity often clouded by cliches and from superficiality, an identity instead that we should be proud of.

History is always written by the winners. However, in the archived documents, in the writings of many intellectuals, in the newspapers of the time, in the works and infrastructures of all Southern Italy, there is evidence of the lies that they told us at that time and which today continue to spread even through the books of school.

Professor De Crescenzo historical researcher, journalist and writer, is the president of the neoborbonico movement, a movement through which, since 1993, he has been defending the historical reality of Southern Italy (former Kingdom of the Two Sicilies), spreading the evidence of historical lies. He is a nice person, a brilliant man who this year has received the “Lazzaro Verace Award 2021” from the I Lazzari Social Promotion Association, as a defender and promoter of Neapolitan history and Neapolitan culture. At Napulitanamente we tracked him down to tell us about the activities he carries out and the battles he wages against false histories, cliches, hypocrisy and racism towards Southern Italy. We also asked him what the “Lazzaro Verace 2021” award, that was awarded to him on July 13th at Palazzo Venezia, represents for him. He shared his emotion. The award was also very welcome for the shape and meaning of the words.

GDC – The Lazzaro Verace Prize for me represents a great gratification. In previous editions the award was given to many consuls so I feel like a Neapolitan consul in Napoli. This is not a joke. If you notice, defending Napoli in Napoli is not frequent. Few people are willing to constantly defend it. There are Neapolitans who love Napoli but there are also Neapolitans who do not love Napoli and who are therefore not willing to defend it as we do since about thirty years now, on the web, or through cultural events, spreading history and awareness –

The rediscovery of one’s historical identity also occurs through words. The word “lazzaro” as well as the word “neoborbonico”, or even the word “terrone”, thanks to the research and dissemination work by people like Professor De Crescenzo, like the author Pino Aprile, like the president of the association I Lazzari Davide Brandi and a few others, finally lose the derogatory meaning that has been attributed to them for years. Looking at the facts as they really happened, we see that the primates, the excellence, the grace, the beauty, the courage and pride of the Neapolitan people have been dusted since the unity of Italy. In fact, the aforementioned “Lazzari” elsewhere would have been honored on merit as patriots who defended a nation that already existed, and which had an established cultural and social identity.

GDC – The official culture, that of the clubs, has always had a derogatory attitude towards the Neapolitan people. We were the ‘Lazzari’, the same lazzari who, in 1799, were protagonists in the struggle for the defense of the city, for the defense of traditions, as well as of the King and of the Church. Those “Lazari” let themselves be massacred in order to defend their identity, their land. –

The neoborbonico movement. It is not a party. He is neither secessionist nor monarchist movement. The name given to the movement is a historical provocation.

GDC – We must pay attention to the words, which for 160 years have had a negative meaning, and turn their meaning upside down. We have to reverse the meaning of these words and be proud of being southerners. This happens when you rediscover your own identity and the identity can be rediscovered through the knowledge of real history, of the real events. Cultural revolutions also pass through the words and in recent years we have moved so that our history is known. –

Thanks to the constant and determined work of De Crescenzo and the neoborbonico movement, today, in Southern Italy there is a greater awareness, compared to twenty years ago, even among young people. Professor De Crescenzo is also a history and Italian teacher at a high school in Scampia. He shares his thoughts about the “Gomorrah” site.

GDC – In Scampia they are forced to have three “labels”. That of Southerners first, that of Neapolitans, and then there is that of Gomorrah (the TV series). I’ve been teaching in Scampia for 25 years but I’ve never seen a dead man on the street. It is not that people in Scampia kill themselves in the street as they want to believe. Certainly it happens but to the same extent as it happens in all metropolises. –

From Los Angeles we confirm with a list of shootings with consequent “Starsky & Hutch” chases in many areas of the Californian city. The Professor takes up the reality of Scampia and tells us about his students. In the high school where he teaches there are many talented students who are also a reality of the territory. They must be supported and helped to emerge. According to professor, these young people are part of a Napoli that will overcome difficulties. And it is to them, to his students, that he will dedicate his upcoming book. A book about all the lies that have been told about the Risorgimento. It will be published by Marotta & Cafiero, young publishers from Scampia who print all the books from all over the world!

GDC – In this period there is the bad habit to destroy the Bourbon primates by saying that often the Bourbons told lies. In my book there is the proof of many historical lies we have been told and that have been spread. These lies have been used to make us a colony. –

The dismantling of the truths of the Risorgimento, like those of any historical period, must be disseminated. In this case, so that the Neapolitans themselves, all the Neapolitans, rediscover their dignity as a people with a strong identity and a strong culture and then to clarify once and for all that the union of Italy was made on the deception and to the detriment of the people of the whole Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, today’s Southern Italy. Before 1861, in fact, the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies did not know emigration.

How many people left in disarray, without money, without information, knowing nothing about the country of destination, neither languagemovimento neoborbonico nor laws. How many of them have landed at Ellis Island without knowing what their fate would have been from then on. In Italy in the history books there is no chapter or even a page about our history of emigration. A historical fact so important and so decisive for our history for everyone’s history, is completely omitted. In addition, Napoli lacks a museum of emigration. Something for which the neoborbonico movement continues to fight.

GDC – I have great respect for emigrants. Thanks to them, and their work abroad, others have had the opportunity to stay. Unfortunately for 160 years we can only say to our children “Leave!” The fact is that everyone must have the right to leave but not the duty to leave. Many of my students at the end of the courses go abroad to find a job. This doesn’t have to be an obligation! We should thank those who left and explain them what really happened. –

After the emigration let’s talk about immigration. We are in 2021 and there is still some people fearing that contamination with immigrants could lead to the loss of cultural identity. We asked the Professor for his opinion on the matter.

GDC – In Napoli we are always welcoming and, we have always been welcomed. We already had a port in the center of the Mediterranean and we have always had many continuous cultural exchanges. Such as the way of life, as well as that of eating, of praying … The different layers on which Napoli has been repeatedly rebuilt are also cultural layers. Since some thousands years now you find Napoli in the world and the world in Napoli. In Napoli there is a strong identity, therefore contamination is a mutual enrichment, a constructive exchange. Our culture is ancient. You can notice that often the Italian symbols are Neapolitan. This happened due to our strong identity and you also notice it in music … –

Professor De Crescenzo has recently concluded a cycle of lessons on the history of Napoli with a final walk in our city. A project that involved him together with 120 teachers with their students and which, as with the other projects, aims at getting to know the historical reality and rediscovering one’s pride in identity. He was very enthusiastic about the interest on the project and the good response of both teachers and students.

GDC – There is a desire for truth. There is a desire for our history, and pride. If we have so many excellence for the world it is evident that we are not so ugly, dirty and bad!


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