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Umberto Tiboni
Umberto Tiboni

Umberto Tiboni. The impeccable management of The Cave, the heart of the Mondo Beat Movement.

Introduction to the issue "Mondo Beat No. 2".

As can be understood, there were developments after the Rally to Contestate the Establishment, mainly due to the huge media coverage. New youths, who had no connection to the Beats, arrived at The Cave. First they frequented The Cave with some suspicion, but soon they would have understood that they wouldn't have been asked to integrate in a given program, but the way they wanted to participate would have been part of the Mondo Beat Movement reality. And so, young people from different social classes and cultural backgrounds have fraternized in The Cave, due the historical atmosphere they breathed there. This kind of youths were discrete, not intrusive at all, on the contrary, they were careful not to be so, while they sincerely wanted to participate in the Movement and did it generously. Fortunately, there were many of them and among them there was also a genius, Giò Tavaglione, who would quickly become the designer of Mondo Beat and the most intimate collaborator of Melchiorre Gerbino.
Here a close-up of Giò Tavaglione in The Cave.

But in the meantime, unfortunately, other types have come to The Cave, people for the purpose of publishing their writings in Mondo Beat magazine. Unfortunately I say, because they were mediocre people, who believed they could achieve literary success thanks to the magazine Mondo Beat, while they didn't understand what in reality was going on with the Contestation. Among them, there were some who were even more pathetic, those who believed they had understood, since they had read Fernanda Pivano, the CIA agent. These people were intrusive, and some of them took the breath away of Melchiorre Gerbino, for the insistence with which they wanted their writings to be published. I have published some of their writings, to get rid of the most insistent among them. These unfortunate people were classified as external contributors to Mondo Beat magazine. I will not comment on their writings, since neither I have fully read them at that time, nor, so far, I have had the patience to do it.
Now, you may wonder about the behavior of Melchiorre Gerbino, that is, if it was reasonable that he made concessions to people who bothered him, so far that he published their stupidities to get rid of them. Let's say then that Melchiorre Gerbino was an anarchist who understood well that Mondo Beat situation was precarious and its season short. But he also knew that people move en masse only for short seasons and that are those short seasons, when people move en masse, which produce the great changes in history, the steps of no return. One of these steps of no return would have been the mass contestation, if it happened, and to this goal Mondo Beat was devoted. Or, let's say it in a more explicit way: Mondo Beat was a kamikaze movement intended to trigger mass contestation. And in reality, Mondo Beat was in a kind of race against the clock, to trigger mass contestation before the inevitable exhaustion of the Movement. And, at the this point, it is worth mentioning that the Dutch Provo Movement, which was almost exhausted, and the Free Speech Movement, which was in decline, hadn't been able to mobilize the masses, they had motivated the categories of youths and intellectuals, but not the masses. As Melchiorre Gerbino thought, it was possible that, due to historical cycles, the mass would mobilize again starting from Milan, from the same places from where Fascism had started, also in mind of the fact that the Contestation was the antidote to Fascism.
So, would Melchiorre Gerbino let himself be hampered in his race against the clock, because people like Livio Cafici, Giuseppe Franzosi, Claudio Pitschen... wanted to publish their writings in the Magazine!? Melchiorre Gerbino did not have the status to order them to leave the premises of Mondo Beat. Then he published their writings on condition that they did not physically remain in The Cave.
Consider furthermore, and I want to repeat it, that Mondo Beat magazine had very little leverage to trigger the mass contestation, when instead the windows of The Cave were of a very great importance. The issues published by Mondo Beat were read only by a few thousand people, almost all from northern Italy, while the posters displayed in the windows were photographed and reproduced on newspapers and magazines and seen by hundreds of thousands of people throughout Italy. In those windows Melchiorre Gerbino rode the tiger of the Contestation in real time. Therefore, while he published articles of external contributors, he did not allow any of them to approach the windows of The Cave, nor did any of them try to do it, since all of them had the obsession to publish in the Magazine. In fact, all posters shown in the windows of The Cave were conceived and prepared only by Melchiorre Gerbino and then by Melchiorre Gerbino and Giò Tavaglione in collaboration.

Posters displayed from the windows of The Cave
The windows of The Cave

By this, I do not want to affirm that Mondo Beat magazine had no leverage at all in triggering the mass contestation, such a statement would not be true, since the Magazine motivated the Milanese students and the first mass contestation took place in their schools. But ordinary people in Italy, who had not read a single line of the issues of the Magazine, would have contestated everywhere because the posters on display in the windows of The Cave had prepared them to mobilize.

Mondo Beat N. 2 (Issue 4) - March 15, 1967 - Edition: 7,000 copies.

All photo cliches, with which Melchiorre Gerbino structured this issue, were kindly offered to Mondo Beat by the newspaper L'Unità, who had already printed them and didn't need anymore. There is an exception, as one of the cliches of the collage of the cover, that of a priest who keeps one hand on his hat, was drawn by Giò Tavaglione at the request of Melchiorre Gerbino, and this was the first time, in his career, that Giò Tavaglione published one of his works.

The fourth issue of Mondo Beat magazine - Edition 7,000 copies - Milan, March 15, 1967

The fourth issue of Mondo Beat magazine - Edition 7,000 copies - Milan, March 15, 1967   The fourth issue of Mondo Beat magazine - Edition 7,000 copies - Milan, March 15, 1967   The fourth issue of Mondo Beat magazine - Edition 7,000 copies - Milan, March 15, 1967   The fourth issue of Mondo Beat magazine - Edition 7,000 copies - Milan, March 15, 1967  

The fourth issue of Mondo Beat magazine - Edition 7,000 copies - Milan, March 15, 1967   The fourth issue of Mondo Beat magazine - Edition 7,000 copies - Milan, March 15, 1967   The fourth issue of Mondo Beat magazine - Edition 7,000 copies - Milan, March 15, 1967   The fourth issue of Mondo Beat magazine - Edition 7,000 copies - Milan, March 15, 1967   The fourth issue of Mondo Beat magazine - Edition 7,000 copies - Milan, March 15, 1967

Contributors and comments on the articles:

pages 1 and 12 -
With this collage of photos, Melchiorre Gerbino contestated the anachronistic Italian Establishment. On the cover reads "The Italy of our parents is going away. Farewell, Italy!" (L’Italia dei nostri padri se ne va. Italia addio!).
The saying "Italia Addio!" was inspired by "Africa Addio"(Farewell Africa), an Italian documentary, world famous, which showed events that occurred in Black Africa after the end of the colonial era.

page 2 -
"La squola" by Renzo Freschi. The first part of this article was published in the previous issue of the Magazine. I have mentioned how, due to this article, the previous issue was seized and Renzo Freschi and Melchiorre Gerbino were incriminated by prosecutor Antonio Scopelliti.
Among the many writings published by Renzo Freschi in the Mondo Beat magazine (too many), this article on the Italian school is the only one really appreciable. Because of the text of this article, which violently contestated the Italian school system, the deliberately incorrect spelling "squola" (instead of the correct "scuola") has been recorded in Italian literature and it often reappears in jokes on the Italian school system.

page 3 -
"Gli odiosamati" is an article by an external contributor to the magazine Mondo Beat.
I still remember this external contributor, because when I showed signs of annoyance, due to his insistence on wanting to publish this article, he moved me telling of his German mother, who killed the dog-wolf with a lethal injection, because the beast was old and lost hair in the apartment.

pages 4 and 5 -
In this double page, photos of the events of the Mondo Beat Movement and the article "Il Corriere e i Beats" (Corriere and Beats) by Enrico have been reproduced. As I mentioned before, Enrico was a mysterious middle-aged character, most likely a journalist working at Corriere della Sera, who wrote against his newspaper from the pages of Mondo Beat. In this article, Enrico criticized the unjust press campaign waged by the Corriere della Sera against the Mondo Beat Movement.
On the same double page
On the right, the last column, there is another article by the same external contributor whose mother killed the dog-wolf. (See how his tormented situation moved me! So much that I published two of his articles in this issue!).

page 6 -
(1) "Da Berkeley a noi. Una proposta per il Movimento Studentesco e la riforma della scuola" - (From Berkeley to us. A proposal for the Student Movement and school reform) by Marco Maria Sigiani.
Marco Maria Sigiani, with this article, gave a valuable contribution to this issue of Mondo Beat, for the linear information he provided about the events at the University of Berkeley and for the punctuality with which he focused on the school situation in Italy. With this article, which dealt with the real youth uprising in the United States, Marco Maria Sigiani has blown the wind of counter-information among Milanese students, promoting student contestation in schools.

page 7 -
(2) "Da Berkeley a noi. La scuola come fabbrica di cervelli, destinata a preparare materiale umano per l'industria" - (From Berkeley to us. The school as a brain factory, programmed to prepare human material for the industry) by Marco Maria Sigiani.
In this article, Marco Maria Sigiani's evaluations of the Free Speech Movement, his quotes on Mario Savio's reflections, his personal reflections on the Italian school.
Marco Maria Sigiani was undoubtedly the most informed and original collaborator of Mondo Beat magazine.

page 8 -
The writings of two external contributors to the magazine Mondo Beat.

page 9 -
"Ma chi sono?" (But who are they?) by Cecilia, on the Beats.
On the same page
"La libertà sessuale" (Sexual freedom) by Carlo Masi. He was one of the first university students to join the Mondo Beat Movement, later he graduated as a psychoanalyst. He was a close friend of Vittorio Di Russo and Melchiorre Gerbino.

page 10 -
"Lettera aperta a Mondo Beat" (An open letter to Mondo Beat) by Monica Maimone, and a reply to it by Marco Maria Sigiani.
Monica Maimone was a young communist activist who criticized the Mondo Beat Movement for the methods and practices with which it faced power, which in her opinion were not efficient. And of course she appreciated the way communism shaped a new human dimension.
Marco Maria Sigiani replied to Monica Maimone. What Marco Maria Sigiani has ironically written is interesting to read, since it shows the intellectual independence the Mondo Beat Movement had from the communists, while in the meantime Mondo Beat confronted the Italian Establishment. Here the translation of some excerpts from the reply of Marco Maria Sigiani to Monica Maimone:
"Finally mankind's problems were eliminated.
Neo Marxism Complex reopens oxygenation channels of the will, nourishes, strengthens and reactivates the production process... A massage of Neo Marxism Complex on the morning
revitalizes men
feeds them to the root
promotes their healthy growth and keeps them integrated throughout the day.
Neo Marxism Complex
eliminates discontent
stops the deficit
makes men grow more healthy and more dense..."

page 11 -
"Cronaca politica" (Political chronicle) by Etra Occhialini. It was an ironic political chronicle, which gave rise to a line of political satire of the same style, both in literature and in theater.
On the same page
"Di privato non abbiamo più che il gabinetto, la memoria, l'onanismo e la morte" (We no longer have anything private except toilet, memory, masturbation and death) by Agor Pilati (Antonio Pilati).
With this article, Antonio Pilati intended to pay tribute to the models of the Provocation, according to the approach of the Provo Movement. Without denying Antonio Pilati's superb writing style, it must however be pointed out that this article was conceived after the terminology of the Contestation had already been formulated and the Contestation had had its baptism of fire with the Rally to Contestate the Establishment. But Antonio Pilati was not aware of what had happened. A high school student preparing to take the exam, he was nailed to a chair and a table and did not participate in events that opened new scenarios. With this article he still praised the models of the Provocation when they were already obsolete, as nothing happened in Amsterdam, where the Provo Movement was exhausted. Antonio Pilati didn't realize that History was passing through Milan under his window.

History of Mondo Beat - Chapter 10