A centuries-old agropastoral economy has strongly marked the physical and socio-cultural environment of the territory of Buscemi, in the province of Syracuse. What happened in Buscemi is unlike what happened in other centers, in the low hill territory and in the coastal area, involved in the industrial development of the years following the second post-war period. The emigration exodus of the '60s and' 70s, evidenced by a notable demographic decline, caused a state of "crystallization" of the signs of the economy and of the settled culture in the territory.
A phenomenon, common to other small neighboring towns, of short duration, undermined by a parallel social and cultural ferment, which pushed towards a frenetic action of repudiation and cancellation of everything that was an expression of the past, identified in the peasant and popular world and in all its testimonies, a clear document of poverty and hardship.
A few years would have been enough, and certainly this unaware action would have also led Buscemi to the same effects recorded in other countries, if in 1988 and in the following years, with a targeted initiative, by a group men of good will for the place had not intervened, coordinated by Rosario Acquaviva, to block the thoughtlessness of what was happening.
The guiding ideas have been clear and well defined from the beginning: recovery of the documents of the popular world in a perspective also of recovery of the relationship between man and the environment, according to an ecological vision in the proper sense, etymological, of the term, conserving and valuing the same in the reality in which the relationships of production and structures have been deposited and stratified, in the environment, as the dwelling place of man, with its signs and forms of time.
Withdrawal-isolation of documents from their normal use-storage context, it was preferred, therefore, to focus, especially as regards the places of processing of agricultural products (millstones, crusher, mill) and craft shops, on recovery and re-proposed authentic work units, all in the same places. The documents of the work of the earth and of the daily family life, have been contextualized in deposits and traditional housing units that intelligibly describe the socio-economic structure of the farming world.
This museographic choice has resulted in the unfolding of an ethno-anthropological itinerary: the places of the Peasant Work, which involves the whole country, qualifying, at the same time, of landscape and monumental interest, giving Buscemi the singular definition of "country- museum ", considered a particular example in Europe. The insertion in 1997 of the water mill "Santa Lucia", territory of Palazzolo Acreide, gave the itinerary the inter-municipal dimension.
The ethnographic path has always been characterized by its spatial and ecological reference, for the interpretation and enhancement in situ, for the involvement of the local community, depth linked to the territory and to the social processes that take place or that took place in the past. These aspects belong to the "mission" of the ecomuseum. It is the first ecomuseum project in Sicily.
A contribution, certainly noteworthy for the purpose to which the museum of popular life must aim: "not so much and not only to objects but to contexts and levels of culture of which objects are elements" (A.M. Cirese, 1978).
More than the use of containers, very often, readapted to imitate, almost with photographic adherence, a life that no longer exists, we wanted to offer the cultural context of a community in its true relationship between man and nature, through the flow of time.
The past and the present in comparison, with the stone houses of yesterday and those of today, with the presence of the actors of this passage, with the layered and still legible evidence of the relationship between man and environment, characterized last, from a daily commuting, which then involved, as it is today, naturally with different means, the daily journey of tens of kilometers and then return home at night.
The country is a stronghold of affections, but also a place of conservation and transformation of agricultural products, witnessed by the presence of various millstones and crushers, which were destroyed except for those saved with the construction of the museum.
He has grasped the meaning of our work Salvatore Testa by writing that "... the historical heritage of the ancient rural culture of the high Iblei recognizes in Buscemi a sure garrison for its conservation and enhancement, according to the criteria defined by the exemplary work of Antonino Uccello . The constitution of the country-museum of the rural culture, which can already be defined as one of the happiest moments of the growth of cultural awareness of the Hyblaean territory, in reaffirming the principles that produced the Casa-museo of Palazzolo Acreide, has the merit, completely original , to have led these principles to an applicative model among the most effective, such as to directly and intensely involve the urban and rural environment of the territory, as well as the community of individuals who live there, realizing, for what it already is, but especially in the promising prospect of future developments, that precise and indispensable involvement of the local socio-economic structure in the conservation and enhancement of cultural heritage ".
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