Author: Planum. The Journal of Urbanism
Giovanni Astengo. Urbanista militante
Direzione Leonardo Ciacci, Fotografia e montaggio Stefano Minuz, Editing Cristina Peraino, Interviste e ricerca d’archivio Alessandra Marin, DVD, colore, durata 80 min. Da un’idea di Bruno Dolcetta, Prodotto da Università Iuav di Venezia, Editore Marsilio, Venezia 2009
“Biografia sfiorata”, espressione di una interpretazione possibile
This work of video-documentation is dedicated to the intellectual and moral figure of Giovanni Astengo and to the role he had in the Italian post-war town planning.
Leonardo Ciacci, with his film – a kind of “only touched biography” – through Astengo, suggests a new necessity for a critical need for history, an historical renewed awareness of the objects of the discipline and the discipline itself. The film, that reconstructs the work, teaching, and the thought of Giovanni Astengo, lead to some crucial issues: the public-private relationship; the cognitive and pedagogic value of the plan; the method, continuously adjusting science and art through a continuous rethinking of the knowledge-action link considered as what can guarantee the legitimacy of urban planning and technical knowledge in a democratic government of changes.
This film invite the viewer to reconsider the Astengo foundational figure – particularly if narrated through the lens of his militancy – and to evaluate his relevance in the present days. Narrated in this way and removed any risk of close disciplinary identity, the scientific and cultural life of Giovanni Astengo reveal the need to problematize again, today, the relationship between disciplinary knowledge and society, politics, democracy, knowledge and common sense. This film chooses to address the issues of history in the light of the questions of the present. It is a challenge, even for those who strive to do historical disciplinary research, assuming a fixed point: that the city, as others have suggested, it is mainly again, now, a set of pockets of ignorance.
by G. Ernesti, ‘Movies’ Column, Planum. The Journal of Urbanism, www.planum.net