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Authors: Lanza, Tiziana* 
D'Addezio, Giuliana* 
La Longa, Federica* 
Crescimbene, Massimo* 
Ciaccio, M.Grazia* 
Marsili, Antonella* 
Title: Once upon a time at Messina a fisherman…
Other Titles: Scientific Theatre at INGV
Issue Date: 9-Sep-2009
Keywords: Terremoto di Messina
miti, leggende, Colapesce
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.06. Seismology::04.06.11. Seismic risk 
Abstract: Following a study carried out in the framework of Myth and Geology (Lanza & Negrete 2007), we decided to commemorate the 1908 Messina Earthquake using a Sicilian popular tale in a project of scientific theatre. The aim is the transmission of scientific knowledge using the power of images and emotions while preserving scientific accuracy. The Sicilian “Colapesce” tale was rewritten and readapted to be performed in a school theatre by pupils of an elementary school (II and IV classes Scuola Primaria Federico Di Donato, Rome). In the script containing all the elements of a fairy-tale we inserted some important notions concerning modern seismology by using the device of introducing into scene a map of the Italian seismicity and a seismometer. This offered the occasion of making pupils acquainted with earthquakes and the way seismologists today study it. If the main characters of the fairy-tale were a King, a Princess and a fisherman, the main characters of the modern content of the performance were a group of very young seismologists (8 years old) who were acting in the scene dressed with the INGV T-shirt and carrying the seismometer in front of the King as a tool to monitoring and studying earthquakes. The tale was the way to explore earthquakes and the hint for outlining that preparedness is the best way to live with and mitigate natural hazards. After three months of preparation, the young seismologists were ready to go to scene to perform the play within the framework of the XIX Scientific Culture Week. It was a success due to the efficacious collaboration among different expertises, including not only the ones offered by INGV but also the teachers and even the parents of the pupils. At present surveys to collect parameters concerning the reliability of the performance as a good tool to disseminate geoscience are carried out.
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