Send in the Clowns

Without any particular reason, no round anniversary or that sort of thing, I would like us all to remember Pippa Bacca.

“Pippa who?”, I hear you say. Giuseppina Pasqualino di Marineo, a.k.a. Pippa Bacca, was an Italian conceptual and performance “artiste” born in 1974 who in 2008, had the bright idea to hitchhike her way from Milan to the Middle East in a wedding dress.

2008 was also the year Pippa died.

Guardian Council, Going Postal

Pippa was a member of the “Brides on Tour” who departed from Milan on March 8 of that year.

They were all “artistes” and had earlier decided, while enjoying a legal high of organic biscuits and cheap lemonade I’m sure, to travel across the Middle East in an effort to boost “peace and trust”, as the late Pippa’s sister put it ex post factum (that’s Latin for “after Pippa was cold and a bit long in the tooth by now”).

2008 was also the year that saw on-going deployments of military personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Until the time of her sad and of course totally avoidable death, Pippa and the “Brides on Tour” had travelled from Northern Italy through Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Bulgaria (the latter being one of the most recent additions to “Youroop” then).

Beyond the wedding dress she was wearing, Pippa probably had little luggage. “That’s the only dress we’ll carry along — with all stains accumulated during the journey”, she said.

She had plans to hitchhike all the way through Turkey, Syria and Lebanon and then via the so-called “Palestinian Territories” to Jerusalem. Maybe there were also plans for a stint in the Israel of some putrid “Apartheid Against Palestinians” imaginings but about this we cannot be certain and anyhow it wasn’t meant to be.

Pippa, you see, went missing in Turkey after March 31. Her decomposing body was found in the countryside near Tavsanli, some forty miles southeast of Istanbul. Murat Karatas led investigators to the crime scene and later reportedly confessed to raping and strangling Pippa on March 31, after picking her up at a service station in his Jeep. Of course this was all a bit of a pain in the neck for a Turkish government eager to portray themselves to the world as a beacon of civilisation and what not in order to be accepted into the EU.

Guardian Council, Going Postal

Forensics proved the late Ms Pasqualino di Marineo was raped by multiple people. Her remaining sister later told ANSA, the Italian news agency: “We weren’t particularly worried because she had been hitchhiking for a lot of time, and thus was capable of avoiding risky situations.” The notion that not all the world is quite like Milan may have escaped her relatives.

The late Ms Pasqualino di Marineo was 33 when she met her murderer/s. On one of the last remaining photographs she doesn’t look her age. And of course hers was a fate that simply screamed for a “documentary” reworking by Joel Curtz, the famous French “cineaste” most of us have probably never heard of.

So he turned Pippa’s misery into a movie. Mainly along the lines of: “when people talk about Bacca, they stress the importance of her goal and the way she went about achieving it.” Of course this sort of thing went down exceedingly well with the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam 2012.

Surely, we need many more idealistic young persons of any and all sexes to dress themselves up in funny costumes because they reckon it’ll keep them safe from harm as it were – as opposed to life how it’s supposed to be according to their woolly delusions, perhaps?

We don’t learn from official media reports exactly what happened to the rest of the “Brides on Tour”. But I think it is safe to assume that the band dissolved after their ideals proved irreconcilable with reality. Much to the chagrin of reality, of course.

Guardian Council ©