In an era where the immediacy of social media and the superficiality of aesthetics absorbs many young lives, there are some noteworthy figures that stand out in the horizon, especially female. Aid workers, activists, tireless and dedicated workers that care for the planet and human rights. Carola Rackete, Silvia Romano, Greta Thunberg… young women who don’t look the other way but rather put their ideologies and lives at the service of humanity where it is most urgent to intervene.
This spirit can be found in the new book by Maria Eugenia Veneri, Sabbia nera e candide mani (Black Sand and White Hands). “In the current literary scene, we didn’t have a protagonist like this one and I’m happy that mine, so similar to them, has been given an opportunity,” says Veneri.
“Emma Fremont is a young UN humanitarian aid worker,” says the author. “She is in mission in an imaginary, but not implausible, African country, Nibadu. The narrative is political fiction that develops around a story that is more real than ever: coltan against which, finally, a campaign by Amnesty International has just begun. Behind every technology we have in hand, there’s a story of exploitation no less serious than Blood Diamonds.”
It is a story of courage, perseverance and adventure set during the infinite and scorching African summer. There is a story of aspirations and mirages in this novel that only the mystical and wild air of Africa can inspire. It’s a world in which you see more clearly, in which the stars are brighter, sharper and better defined, and yet it is under the same sky that the greatest injustices hide and the filth of exploitation and speculation accumulate.
Sabbia nera e candide mani is both a commitment to fight and a book based on the belief in fundamental human rights, dignity and equality. There is no real reason to devote our existence to help others to the point of risking our lives to defend their rights, except that what we do for the world doesn’t die with us but stays, and it is immortal.