I’m browsing my mail and going back a few days to see if I get something interesting. I find the press release of a colleague who talks about the kite festival. I do not remember having ever had one. Actually because no one had ever taught me to do it or even explained to me why it is nice to do it. Yet for 37 years, thousands of people gather on the beach of Pinarella di Cervia (the place where I went to the sea as a little girl) to stay with their nose up and get lost in the free flight of tens of bizarre kites.
The International Kite Festival in Cervia
Creatures that take shape from a design: an idea, a sketch made on a sheet of paper. Ironic, funny, sometimes with a social message but always colorful, like tattoos on the blue sky on the line of the horizon that separates it from the beach.
I wonder what drives a person to spend hours and hours building a kite. One thing that lives only when it flies and then is folded and rested until the next show. This is not an amateur hobby that very often leads to a mere applause of what is being done and put on show (in the living room rather than in other places). Rather, it is a form of art, a unique and unrepeatable expression of one’s vision of life and things.
Tatiana, the press office manager, tells me that this edition is much richer than the previous ones. Over 200 kits maker from 30 countries on five continents. There are so many unknown names to me that are actually celebrities in this world, where everyone lives in peace, and they bring this atmosphere wherever they go. And also some novelties that open to various arts such as dance and circus.
Iqbal: the kite maker
A kite is not a simple kite. At least four types. They all fly but change in materials, accessories, realization techniques and the dream of those who realize them.
They call it “wind art”, in fact it’s a lot more. And I understand it meeting Caterina, daughter of the festival’s creator, who is a kite player and illustrator. A magic hat covers her long black and blue hair. She and Tatiana accompany me to discover the wind artists.
Iqbal is one of them. He comes from Pakistan but comes every year to Italy to attend the festival. And with the years, he learned to speak Italian. Entering into his fantastic world means understanding the thinking of the kite makers.
It starts as children age, or at least this is the experience of Iqbal but also the one of Catherine. And as is often the case, they have a special place in our memory, they are a safe place to express themselves, even when you become adult.
If you become a kite maker you will stay alive, as if you were to become what you design and create, as if to take shape to follow the ascension streams of the wind, to stay there, at least for a while, before you get off.
Iqbal is a wonderful kite builder. His largest creature is 750 meters long and was used to virtually connect two banks, in a sign of peace. In fact Iqbal sees life in an ironic way. That’s why many of his projects are about animals. As if the human world had lost its poetry and it was not worth it to be told.
Kites shape the dreams of those who create them, Iqbal says. And when they can fly, they are no longer yours. They live their own lives. You can direct them to prevent them from falling to the ground, but when they are in the air they are free. Just as we are children!
You can find more info at https://www.festivalinternazionaleaquilone.com, the official site. And more on their social media. Stay tund for 2018 edition.