Marina Cafè Noir – Festival di Letterature Applicate, the first literary Festival in Sardinia – in terms of time, began in Cagliari back in 2003, in the historical neighbourhood called Marina, by initiative of a group of readers and cultural activists, who, at a later time, set up the cultural association called Chourmo.
MCN comes from the will to organize a Festival meant as a popular festival of shared knowledges, using stories as its first ingredient, to be tailored and brought back to the streets, squares, cafés, shops, workshops and, more in general, to the people.
It is a Festival more focused on stories and authors rather than on literary phenomena or bestsellers, always with its own special formula, a mixture of artistic languages starting from literature: the Festival framework is made of original, brand new performances and readings, bringing on stage selected books and stories.
To complete its thematic framework, MCN is also made of debates, meetings, screenings, concerts, shows, workshops, exhibits, art installations and outdoor cooking, in a happy atmosphere for people of any age and place of origin, where culture and a local festival come together.
It is a committed, street, popular and free festival, aiming to show how culture and literature are not distant from daily life and that a festival can and has to be part of them.
Every year Marina Cafè Noir is designed on the basis of a title and a main theme, eventually formulated and developed into a dense programme, culminating in the awaited main event in late June: a long weekend festival, with many other events taking place throughout the year.
The topics addressed range from anthropology to history, politics, social matters, geography and art: the main core of the Festival always consists of migration issues, human and civil rights, countercultures and counter-economics, labour, prisons, crime and anti-crime movements, environmental sustainability, underground cultures and opposing cultures.
The programme is therefore developed through actions and events related to music, theatre, cinema and visual arts, places, food, conviviality. MCN is a project claiming that, in hard times, literature and its sharing can be the place where there is still room for a critical and utopian thought. As Paco Ignacio Taibo II reminds us, “the world has become more complex, and literature can describe it; we do believe it. As we do believe that we can hold a book in a hand and a beer in the other, and that the taste of the beer thus improves, and so does the taste of the book”.
Our guests list ranges from Wu Ming to Erri De Luca, from Michela Murgia to Dominique Manotti, from Serge Latouche to Roberto Saviano, from Paco Ignacio Taibo to Nanni Balestrini, from Alan Pauls to Zerocalcare, from Björn Larsson Bjorn to Marc Augè; it also features Thierry Fabre, Francesco Abate, Marcello Fois, Giulio Angioni, Karim Franceschi, Ezel Alcu, Renè Fregni, Pietro Grossi, Antonella Lattanzi, Loriano Macchiavelli, Giancarlo De Cataldo, Maurizio De Giovanni, Francesco Piccolo, Rita Indiana, Herve Le Corre, Marco Missiroli, Andres Neuman, Antonin Varenne, Enrico Brizzi, Massimo Carlotto, Leonardo Padura Fuentes, Loredana Lipperini, Michel Le Bris, Stefano Tassinari, Silvano Agosti, Gellert Tamas, Sonya Orfalian, Serge Quadruppani. The list of writers, poets, essayists, scholars who have come to Cagliari to take part to the several MCN editions is a really endless one, not to mention musicians, actors, directors, photographers, artists: Gianmaria Testa, Roy Paci, Max Casacci, Louis Sclavis, Paolo Fresu, Massimo Zamboni, Egle Sommacal, the Camillas, Fabrizio Poggi, Pinuccio Sciola, Marco Baliani, Iaia Forte, Sergio Staino, Ivo Milazzo, Tito Topin, Emanuele Crialese, Lorenza Mazzetti, Sebastien Izzo, Pablo Volta, Mimmo Calopresti, Igort, Angelo Monne, Otto Gabos, Paco Roca, Mario Dondero, Uliano Lucas, Kid Millions and many more. This is because, even more than “noir fiction” – the literary genre beloved by the Festival, MCN is focused above all on stories, on women and men able to help us to interpret life.