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I met Edoardo Brioschi in 1980 at the Cultural Center of the Deaf in Milan, where preparation courses for interpreters for the Deaf and cultural activities were held. In my big gray city, the rainbow suddenly appeared. Edoardo was a lively, talented and insightful young man, he organized recreational and cultural activities and did his upmost to spread the culture of using “Sign Language” now called LIS among the new generations of schools in Milan and the hinterland. He played the role of teacher at courses for the training of interpreters for the Deaf. This is how I remember Edoardo, as one of my first teachers in the teaching of Sign Language , in a historical period in which in Italy in the education of Deaf children in method schools, the “gesture” was considered for children as an obstacle to learning the spoken language. Speech therapists, educators, teachers discouraged families from using the gesture in communication with their Deaf children.
Edoardo took on and had the burden of spreading and supporting the importance of the codified gesture in communication between the Deaf and hearing community, for a culture of integration. Edoardo, so stubborn, but at the same time intuitive, made it possible to initiate a process of cultural and social change in the educational / pedagogical approach in the education of Deaf children in Italian schools (integrated method). Edoardo was and is a free and combative spirit, against all taboos and prejudices, he went beyond his own cultural and social boundaries in the world. I remember him like this, a young man idealistic, nonconformist, determined, multifaceted without limits: like the highest wave in the ocean, like lightning and thunder, like wind and storm, like the eagle on the high peaks …. but then you could hold and cradle it in the palm of your hand like a little sparrow.
Edoardo: A Body of Art
Then the limelight, his talent as a mime, magician, actor, comedian, poet. The art of his body as a painting, a sculpture, a poem, eros and pathos, in a body that spoke beyond words, despite the words … poetry and silence, poetry and amazement, poetry and skin, bones, muscles, nose, eyes, mouth and breath, a body that took the breath away, that at times broke into a thunderous laugh, a tearless body emptied and full, curious and mad without why, childish, fragile, wounded. A body language, a body of art on stage.
What to say: one summer Edoardo gave me some of his tools of the trade: a disappearance cage, he gave me a white dove, Cinzia, who lived with me for 12 years, and then he gave me “Pathos”, dexterity, and the poetry of his whole body on stage. An act of deep communication and infinite love for his audience, nothing casual about his body and his movements on stage, Edoardo was able, during the show, to “give himself” totally, without inhibitions, to all of us audience, we could feed on his knowledge, we audience could feed on the body of Edoardo who at every show whispered: “Here I am for you!”. His was the poetry of a primordial body of art, instinctive without fences and barriers, a free body, a hand-to-hand with the public, a pulsating and original body, a body of art. Edoardo was my teacher in the art of sleight of hand, he introduced me to the poetry of the theater. I want to thank Edoardo for teaching me LIS, when it was not recognized in Italy yet. I want to say thank you to Edoardo for making me meet special and wonderful people.
Consuelo of Milan