FORUM – Somewhere Over The Rainbow

The Associazione Arcobaleno is a Turin-based nonprofit organization which works for the social rehabilitation of its members, all former drug addicts and people suffering from mental handicaps (‘Arcobaleno’ means rainbow in Italian, and the name seeks to conjure up the idea of hope for the future). Every year the association publishes a calendar to raise funds. This year it has done so in collaboration with Slow Food. The new calendar is entitledFuori di Zucca 2003 * and portrays the relationship between food and ‘folly’. Here our friends at the Association describe the ideas and emotions they wanted to convey.

*’Fuori di zucca’, literally ‘out of your pumpkin’ is an Italian slang expression that means ‘off your head’, ‘crazy’.

This calendar recounts the fine borderline between food and folly. It’s packed with familiar aromas, the bright colors of seasonal produce and the pleasure of people who enjoy cooking. It offers the taste of happiness and the joy of sitting at the table with friends. But it also has the flavor of a place that’s always open. Smoking pans, chopping boards, forks and ladles. Table cloths and dirty dishes. Quips and laughter. And the stories of the people in the kitchen, at the tables, at the cash desk, all busy doing their best to make everything go right, even if a screw’s missing.

As you’ll have gathered we’re speaking about the mentally handicapped, arguably less ‘mad’ than the ‘sane’. Here they cook and talk and laugh. The friends of the Associazione Arcobaleno in Turin. Their motto is ‘no one is normal seen close up’. Almost by chance they’ve produced this original fun calendar. Something to savor day by day. Something to sit back and enjoy.
It’ s a calendar to make the mouth water. Irresistible. Buy a copy for yourself and give it to friends at Christmas. You’ll leave them standing open-mothed but not empty-handeded.
To support Arcobaleno is to set out on a long journey in search of an unexplored island. First you have to procure the ways and means and knowhow (ships, maps, compasses). Plus you’ve got to find the right traveling companions. Then you’re ready to sail an ocean of uncertainty, always on the look-out for the surprise occurrence.
It is not easy to travel and run the risk of error and illusion. Sometimes you’re joined by others who take advantage of your voyage to make their own, to look for the same things as you or different things from you. Some stay withyou until the end of the journey, sharing dreams, projects and sentiments. This togetherness makes you feel part of a wonderfully concrete project.
When that happens we feel less alone, as an Arcobaleno member says, ‘Our identity is like a mosaic ,it fits together’.
Being part of Arcobaleno makes us stay together to reconstuct buts by ourselves, positive identities without renouncing ourselves , our folly, our dreams.
Every dat we suffering people, volunteers and friends try to develop courses, possibilities of choice options, or spaces of freedom reconquered from emarginationand isolation.
Every day we stage our ghosts, byt alos the commitment to and hope of healing, of being loved, of having a welcoming home, a job or as Morin says ‘hope seen not as expectation but an action to build the future’.
Fuori di zucca is for all this and to meet new friends, like you, for example.

A taste?
To graps the link between food and folly and dicover the magic tables plates of Dragos Georgescu and friends members and supporters of Arcobaleno who have put it together, and buy copies of the calendar, visit

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