Nuove Strade

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Lavazza Qualità Rossa Celebrates its 50th birthday with short series

Words by Kristal Trotter


Through Ambra Angiolini’s commentary and the interviews by writer Antonio Dikele Distefano and radio host Ylenia Baccaro, the Italian coffee company traveled to five cities to talk about how Italy has changed in the last 50 years.

Five people alone can’t represent the growing diversity of Italy’s societal landscape in it’s entirety, but the great roster of talent that Lavazza chose to highlight for the 50th birthday of Qualità Rossa is a great start. In this short series called Nuove Strade (new roads), Sara Gama, Fumettibrutti, Madame, Phaim Bhuiyan and Samuel give us the tools we need to embrace the next generation of Italians, all while sipping on espresso.

Writer Antonio Dikele Distefano and radio host Ylenia Baccaro kicked off the road trip with an interview with Josephine Yole Signorelli, a.k.a. Fumettibrutti, in Catania. Signorelli is a cartoonist who reveals aspects of herself through her graphic novels; she came out as a trans woman in her graphic novel P. La mia adolescenza trans and she came out as bisexual in her third and latest graphic novel Anestesia. Signorelli explains how Instagram helped her pave a way for people to learn about topics they would otherwise be oblivious of, acknowledging that ignorance can simply come from not knowing in which direction to go to find certain information.

This is our favorite episode of Nuove Strade because it emphasizes the importance of learning key terminologies that speak to the realities of many Italians today; Signorelli explained the meaning of the words dysphoria, queer, scevà and pansexual, positive that once we start assigning the correct terms, society will start taking down labels.

The rest of the episodes of this short series are certainly worth 10 minutes of your time.

While in Rome, Phaim Bhuiyan talked about how he uses comedy and irony to teach about integration, identity and religion. Born in Rome to Bengali parents, at just 22 years old Bhuiyan wrote, directed and starred in Bangla, a coming of age love story between a white Italian girl and a second generation Italian boy.

In Bologna, 18 year old rapper Madame talked about being a female artist in the music industry and her love for Dante, Pier Paolo Pasolini and Fabrizio De André.

In Trieste, Sara Gama, captain of the Women’s Italian soccer team as well as of Juventus Women, talked about the importance of empowering those who are willing to do the work and create something positive. To end the series, Lavazza chose Torino and singer/songwriter Samuel, leader of the iconic electronic band Subsonica, to represent Italy’s past, present and future. Samuel spoke about the meaning of being an artist and the importance of knowing our roots.

It’s as if Lavazza Qualità Rossa made us a gift on its 50th birthday.

Take a look at the interview with Fumettibrutti below and checkout the rest of the series here.

On another note – The theme song for this series was pieced together by five artists who collaborated remotely due to a lockdown caused by the spread of Covid-19. The song Nuove Strade was immediately a hit, with 2 million streams on Spotify in just a few days after its release.

Check out the music video below.

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