Tribute to Biaggio Proietti

Caro Biagio,

I haven't managed to say goodbye to you yet. Upon the announcement of your death in March, already many weeks ago, the normal reaction would have been to write a tribute to the W&DW ExCo member, until that congress in Venice and that joyful last night dinner with colleagues and friends when you decided to pass the mantle to your friend Andrea. I know you were a bit sad. The word " End" on the last page of a script is ok, but you didn't really like that word otherwise. Neither do I. As we have done on our joint trips for CISAC and W&DW over the years, the next day we walked for hours in Venice, had a drink, had lunch, and then walked again, discovering new places, views, and telling stories.

When I heard of your death, I couldn't write the tribute I had planned. Unable to say goodbye, to speak of condolences, since we were to meet again in Rome over a pasta cacio and pepe, your own and then also that of one of your favourite restaurants in the ghetto. I couldn't give that up. We would have walked, a little less maybe. One of your favourite jokes, like on the cobbled inclines of Lisbon, hands crossed behind your back, was that you were going to die on one of those endless walks. "You didn't manage to finish me off in Mexico, in Paris, in Washington, Rio, Beijing... so it won't happen this time either!"

But I had to come to terms with it. Some of my colleagues may not have heard the news as weeks went by, I know there won't be Rome, because this damn COVID has postponed, cancelled, and upset everything. There were still those little happy emails, a little less happy after the death of your wife Diana. Then more spaced out.

No end then, not just a simple farewell to the beloved member of the Executive Committee of Writers & Directors Worldwide, to the renowned author, to the activist, I say goodbye to a friend, his stories, his passions, his elephantine memory, his kindness and his ever-sparkling eyes.

Yves Nilly