Nevia (first feature)

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Nevia is seventeen: too old for where she lives and where she grew up before she was even a child. Tiny and naive, she is a stubborn adolescent, brought up by her grandmother Nanà, aunt Lucia and younger sister Ena, in a container park in Ponticelli.

Whilst adolescence is the most decisive period for the construction of an individual’s identity and personality, it is also the most controversial. The memories of my youth go back to the ten years I lived in a container on the outskirts of Naples, when the earthquake in the 1980s forced my family to live in an improvised camp, waiting for more suitable accommodation. The days become months, the months years, but the council house never appeared and so we learned to adapt to that dramatic situation, trying to re-establish the everyday life we had lost, and get used to living with the little we had with dignity. In the meanwhile, generations have come and gone, but the container parks are still there: they have been turned into a small bottom class real estate market, which often offers refugees with other misfortunes a roof. At the same time, I think it would be restrictive to seek the value of this story in my autobiography alone. Nevia is a tale of development, a description of the different vicissitudes and countless obstacles standing between a seventeen-year-old adolescent and the conquest of a free, mature awareness of oneself. The context is just the background of a tale that wants to take on a universal meaning. Nevia is a girl who, like many of her peers, fights against a destiny that seems to have already been decided, by the family or society: she is a modern Cinderella but without prince charming, doggedly trying to find her place in the world with resoluteness.