Home Page
English      Italiano      Español      Français

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 it is understandable, there were developments after the Rally to Contestate the Establishment, mainly due to the huge media coverage about it. New youths, who had not had relationship with 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 self-actualize would have been part of the program of the Mondo Beat Movement. And so young people of different social classes and cultural backgrounds have fraternized in The Cave, due to this historical atmosphere they breathed there. This kind of youths were discrete, not invasive 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.
But meantime, unfortunately, other types of persons were arriving at The Cave, people with the aim of publishing their writings in the magazine Mondo Beat. 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 the Contestation, because they had read the CIA agent, Fernanda Pivano, who wrote about Neal Cassidy's psychedelic bard. These people, who searched for literary success, were intrusive and some took away the breath of Melchiorre Gerbino, for the insistence they wanted their writings to be published in the magazine Mondo Beat. I have published some of their writings, to get rid of the most insistent among them, on condition that they did not frequent The Cave. 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 one may wonder about the behavior of Melchiorre Gerbino, who made concessions to the people who bothered him, and consequently some of their writings were published in the magazine Mondo Beat. So, consider that, besides the fact that Mondo Beat was a movement open to all those who complied with its 3 obligations (no violence, no theft, no drugs) and no one could be sent away for other reasons, it is also important to realize that the Magazine had very little weight in triggering a mass contestation, because it was read only by a few thousand people, almost all of them in northern Italy. And Melchiorre Gerbino was aware of the limits of the Magazine. I now will return on the subject of the importance of the windows of The Cave as showcases to display posters and on the importance of the posters in triggering mass contestation, being mass contestation the goal to which Mondo Beat was intended and devoted. As I have already said and shown, the posters displayed in those windows were photographed and reproduced on newspapers and magazines and were seen by hundreds of thousands of people throughout Italy. In those windows Melchiorre Gerbino could ride the Tiger of the Contestation. Therefore, while he published some articles written by external contributors, he did not allow any of them to approach the windows of The Cave, nor did any of them try to do so, since all of them had the obsession to publish in the Magazine. The posters that were shown in the windows of The Cave were made only by Melchiorre Gerbino (and you can see how the posters were written with his poor calligraphy) and then by Melchiorre Gerbino and Giò Tavaglione in collaboration, after Tavaglione's arrival at Mondo Beat. (Here a link to see Giò Tavaglione at a Mondo Beat editorial session. Giò Tavaglione is the first standing, next to him Giorgio Contini).
To get an idea of what a shocking effect the posters displayed in the windows of The Cave would have had on ordinary people, remember that we were in the year 1967, a time when ordinary people blindly believed in what was written in newspapers and, specifically, they had of the Corriere della Sera the image as of a sacred institution, as it was the main Italian newspaper. Here are reproduced two posters against the Corriere della Sera, displayed in the windows of The Cave and seen by hundreds of thousands of ordinary people

Mondo Beat and Corriere della Sera at loggerheads
Two posters against the Corriere della Sera, prepared by Melchiorre Gerbino and Giò Tavaglione in collaboration

Nor could popular weeklies have ignored Mondo Beat and its windows, since thousands of boys and girls fled from their homes to join the Movement. The theme of the young runaways of the home was the main theme addressed by the common Italian families of those days. The proof that what I assert is not an exaggeration is given by the Corriere della Sera itself. Here is the subtitle of an article from the Corriere della Sera, describing the Mondo Beat campsite, where we read that the police arrested 1392 longhairs in ten months (and these, those longhairs arrested in Milan alone)

'zazzeruto' ( plural: zazzeruti) in Italian is a derogatory term to define someone who has long hair

"Arrested" (Fermati) was ironically written in quotes, since it was impossible to arrest those youths, in the sense that, subjected to a mandatory expulsion order or imprisoned for a month, they would still return to the Movement again.
The Corriere della Sera called the youths of the Mondo Beat Movement "zazzeruti" (singular "zazzeruto"), which in Italian is a derogatory term to define someone with long hair. Here the full article.

In conclusion, I do not want to say that the Mondo Beat magazine had no importance in triggering the 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 the common people in Italy, who had not read a single line of the magazine Mondo Beat, would have contestated everywhere because the posters displayed in the windows of The Cave had prepared them to mobilize.

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

All photographic cliches, with which Melchiorre Gerbino structured this issue, were kindly offered to Mondo Beat by the newspaper L’Unità. As I said earlier, all cliches offered to Mondo Beat had already been published by L’Unità and were no longer needed by that newspaper. There is an exception, and this is for one of the cliches published in the collage of the cover, that one of a priest who holds his hat with one hand, that was drawn by Giò Tavaglione at the request of Melchiorre Gerbino.

Melchiorre Gerbino contesting the anachronistic Italian establishment

An attack on the Italian school system (second part)   no comment   An article by Enrico on the unfair press campaign that Corriere della Sera headed against Mondo Beat   A lucid analysis on the events at University of Berkeley and a focus on the educational system in Italy  

Marco Maria Sigiani,a co-founder of Onda Verde,was the most knowledgeable and brilliant contributor of the magazine Mondo Beat   no comment   Sexual freedom,by Carlo Masi,a young psychoanalyst,an intimate friend of Vittorio Di Russo and Melchiorre Gerbino   Finally,mankind's problems have been eliminated, by Marco Maria Sigiani   Of private we have nothing more than toilet,memory,masturbation and death, by Antonio 'Agor' Pilati


pages 1 and 12 -
With this collage of photographs, Melchiorre Gerbino contested the anachronistic Italian Establishment. On the cover reads "Our parents' Italy is leaving. Farewell, Italy!" (MONDO BEAT 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 some of the events that occurred in Black Africa after the end of the colonial era.

page 2 - "The School The School The School" (LA SQUOLA LA SQUOLA LA SQUOLA) by Renzo Freschi. The first part of this article was published in the previous issue, here the second. I also mentioned how, due to this article, the previous issue of the Magazine was seized by order of the prosecutor Antonio Scopelliti of the Milan Court.
Among the many writings published by Renzo Freschi in the magazine Mondo Beat (too many), this article on the Italian school is the only truly appreciable one.

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

pages 4 and 5 -
In this double page, there were reproduced pictures of events of the Mondo Beat Movement and the article "Corriere and Beats" (IL CORRIERE E I BEATS) by Enrico. As I have already mentioned, Enrico was a mysterious middle-aged character, most probably a journalist working in the Corriere della Sera, who wrote against his newspaper from the pages of Mondo Beat. In this article, Enrico criticized the unfair press campaign that the Corriere della Sera headed against the Mondo Beat Movement.

To the right of the same double page, in the last column, another article by the same external contributor whose mother killed the dog-wolf (look how his tormented situation moved me, that I published two of his articles!)

page 6 -
(1) "From Berkeley to us (DA BERKELEY A NOI) - A proposal for the Student Movement and school reform (Una proposta per il Movimento Studentesco e la riforma della scuola)", 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 on the events in the University of Berkeley and for the punctuality with which he focused on the student situation in Italy. With this article, which dealt with the real youth revolt in the United States, Marco Maria Sigiani has blown the wind of counter-information among Milanese students, promoting the student contestation in the schools.

page 7 -
(2)"From Berkeley to us (DA BERKELEY A NOI) - The school as a brain factory, programmed to prepare human material for the industry" (La scuola come fabbrica di cervelli, destinata a preparare materiale umano per l’industria)", by Marco Maria Sigiani.
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 has undoubtedly been the best informed and most original contributor to Mondo Beat magazine.

page 8 -
"Cosa accade" and "Sentieri" are writings by two external contributors to the magazine Mondo Beat.

page 9 -
"But who are they?" (MA CHI SONO?) by Cecilia, on the Beats.

In the same page, "Sexual freedom" (LA LIBERTÀ SESSUALE) an article by Carlo Masi on sexual freedom. Carlo Masi was the first university student to join the Mondo Beat Movement. He was a close friend of Vittorio Di Russo and Melchiorre Gerbino.

page 10 -
"An open letter to Mondo Beat (LETTERA APERTA A MONDO BEAT)", by Monica Maimone.
Monica Maimone was a young communist activist who criticized the Mondo Beat Movement for the methods and practices with which it faced the power, which in her opinion were not effective. Instead, she appreciated how Communism shaped a new human dimension.
Marco Maria Sigiani has 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 confronted the Italian Establishment. Here the translation of some excerpts from the reply of Marco Maria Sigiani to Monica Maimone:
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 healthy growth... and keeps them integrated throughout the day.
eliminates discontent
stops the deficit
makes men grow more healthy and more dense..."

page 11 -
"Political chronicle" (CRONACA POLITICA)" 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.

In the same page, "We no longer have anything private except the toilet, memory, masturbation and death" (DI PRIVATO NON ABBIAMO PIÙ CHE IL GABINETTO, LA MEMORIA, L'ONANISMO E LA MORTE), by Agor Pilati (Antonio Pilati).
With this article, Antonio Pilati intended to pay tribute to the models of provocation, according to the approach of the Provo Movement. But this article was conceived while 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 provocation when they were already obsolete and nothing was happening in Amsterdam, the Provo Movement being exhausted. Antonio Pilati didn't realize that History was passing through Milan under his window.

History of Mondo Beat - Chapter 10