Someone Else’s Diary (Il Diario degli altri) is an ongoing research process using the diaries from Italy’s National Archive of Diaries.
It is a personal project undertaken solely by Samuel Webster, and open to private investment only. For information on investment, contact Samuel here.
The project will take the form of an autobiographical piece of writing in response to the winners of the annual Pieve Prize, and is a continuation of my ideas on the use of truth as creative impetus (following on from my short films, Cosa Volevo Dirmi and Solo un’ombra.) The final publication of the piece is yet to be decided, but at the current stage is designed to be read as a standalone book with academic citation of both diaries and necessary related literature.
In the past three years of frequenting the archive, I have noted multiple researchers who use the texts in a traditional sense, as references to the ongoing recount of national and international history. Although it pleases me to see people straying from the path of only quoting historians in their studies, it has amazed me that this archive hasn’t become used more frequently as a resource for people seeking to express truth in other forms. That is, I believe that these texts can be read as literature (by detaching them from their authorship) and act as the inspiration for new works of art.
I am interested in what happens when an artist frees himself from the ‘patrimony’ and view the diaries as standalone texts, full of ideas which come from reality.
As such, Someone Else’s Diary is an autobiographical text which recounts the life of the author, structured and inspired by his wide reading of the winners of the National Archive’s Pieve Prize. The process moves in reverse chronological order through the time periods mentioned in the diaries, while simultaneously seeing the author regress through his own thirty years, stimulated in thought by the contents of other people’s diaries.
The authors in question are: Antonella Federici, Emilia, Sergio Lenci, Raul Rossetti, Liberale Medici, Natalia Berla, Tommasso Bordonaro, Egidio Mileo, Claudio Foschini, Giuseppe Ferri, Antonio De Piero, Fancesco Marchio, Luisa T., Giovanna Cavallo, Vanda Ormanto, Margherita Ianelli, Mario Tagliacozzo, Francesco Stefanile, Maddalena M., Vincenzo Rabito, Armando Zanchi, Concetta Ada Gravante, Adrea Moretti, Daniele Granatelli, Antonina Azoti, Raffaele Favero, Antonio Sbirziola, Sisto Monti Buzzetti, Leo Ferlan, Sabrina Perla, Magda Ceccarelli De Grada, Ettore Finzi, Adelina Foa’, Castrenze Chimento, Franco Leo, Anna Maria Marucelli and Gaddo Flego.