Giorgio Molinari

Our dear friend and brother, Italian Giorgio Molinari, peacefully left his body at 3.10pm in the afternoon of Monday 10 August at the age of 83 in his Arka apartment, succumbing to the heart problems that have been plaguing him for years.

Born in Milano, Giorgio was involved in photography from early age onwards while also developing interest in oriental philosophy. As a young man during the military service he functioned as ground assistant for aerial photography, after which he wholeheartedly entered the world of advertisement agencies, freelancing for record companies, theatre productions, architectural designs, often working with big names in the field. In 1980 he made an architectural photo study of Chandigarh, from where he visited Auroville, Matrimandir and the first true contact was made.
Then came the ‘Auroville 35 years’ festivity in UNESCO’s Paris centre in 2003, during which he learned more about Auroville and met several Aurovilians. His decision was made. Even though he was stricken with cerebral hemorrhage and right-side paralysis during the very preparations to come here, he managed to fly in October 2004 to Auroville where he could convalesce in Arka. In December 2006 he became Aurovilian.

From the very onset Giorgio was generously involved in the upgrading of Arka’s infra structure and lived there as well. From there he did extensive photo studies of Savitri Bhavan, Matrimandir, and we saw him time and again during our meetings, at special events, in schools and at village occasions, cautiously but persistently negotiating the spaces and making photos wherever he could, always freely giving them to Auroville. He would merrily make marriage photos of friends in the village, providing them with CDs of the footage, and the Eluciole Circus would not be the same without him. In his studio, Giorgio trained various students, and endeavoured to make AVians familiar with his Chronotype© technique.

Several years ago, Giorgio’s beloved sister Graziella, who often came over from Italy and stayed with him in Arka, passed away, and since then Giorgio wasn’t the same anymore. His health withered, and so did his humour and zest of life. He recently offered all his material and equipment to Auroville to constitute ‘Studio Giorgio’, currently temporarily housed in Citadines. The collection will now move to his Arka studio from where ‘Studio Giorgio’ can operate under guidance of his closest collaborator, Piero Cefaloni.

Thank you for having been with us, dear Giorgio, we will remember you through your many exquisite photos and touching images, and for your warm hearted generosity and endearingly grinning smile.

OM~



Giorgio on: Kronotipia©   Chronotype©

Whereas photography’s common characteristic is to fix on film an instant of space-time continuum, most often reproducing on the two-dimensional surface of the final support an image that one thinks to be close to reality and that deeply stimulates those unconscious processes of reconstruction by similitude, constituting the base itself of human visual perception, – Chronotypes© fixes on the film a duration of sizeable importance. The duration is appreciable given a handful of seconds along with a space that is trapped within the two dimensions, through which the subject loses that perspective reference that is usually implicit in what is intended for photography. The reduction of a tri-dimensional subject on a plane that crosses it in a perceivable time, though remaining apparently still, is, I believe, the most adherent representation of that unknowable reality of which we are an inseparable part.  Although it may seem surprising, the result maintains a compliance with reality outside of any subsequent interpretative intervention.

Paolo Tommasi

This is to inform the community that our dear friend and brother Paolo Tommasi passed away in JIPMER on 16 July at around 11.15am due to complications of the Covid19 virus. He had just become 92 years old.

Paolo, born in Ancona, Italy, and recognised in the fifties as a leading figure and point of reference in the world of art and performance in Europe and further abroad, was an architect gifted with a true passion for architectural interiors, design, theatre, scenography (such as in Milan’s La Scala Theatre) and painting; his exhibitions travelled worldwide.

Always a searcher, he was in his thirties called to India, where he met Mother at the age of 38 and felt he had found what he had been seeking. This was just before Auroville’s inauguration in ’68, and a few years before the concept of Matrimandir would emerge. In this very process Paolo would, in his reserved and reflective manner, play an unobtrusive but significant role. He later would also propose elaborate designs for the twelve gardens around Matrimandir.

While continuing his artistic activities abroad, from 2010 onwards Paolo came to live in Pondicherry for increasingly longer periods as “In no other place do I feel my soul reawaken and do I achieve that inner work that gives meaning to my life: becoming more aware of myself and the mystery that surrounds us.” From time to time he would visit his friends in Auroville and Matrimandir.

In his Pondy house, he would continue painting his often strikingly expressive images,  which were published in the book ‘Immagini sull’Invisibile’ – ‘Images on the Invisible’ and exhibited in Savitri Bhavan in 2016. The biography  ‘Alla Ricerca dell’Armonia’ –  ‘In Search of Harmony’  follows him throughout his life.

At the end of June, Paolo was tested positive for the Coronavirus and has been treated for the same, remaining stable for the first weeks on mask ventilation. On 15 July intubation was needed as his condition rapidly deteriorated. In the morning of Friday 17 July his remains were cremated in JIPMER’s crematorium; due to Covid19 restrictions only 4 people were allowed, one of them was from Matrimandir, Auroville. May he be in peace.

We profoundly and lovingly thank Paolo for his creative vision and the support extended by him for the Soul of the City,

 Jay MA~

A 5-minute clip on Paolo, Piero and Gloria 
visiting the Matrimandir in 2009:

The interview that Francois Gautier made with Paolo, filmed by Olivier Barot, in which Paolo is speaking of his life, of building Matrimandir, the Mother, Satprem, the yoga and many other things of interest:

Gildo Pivetta

This is to inform the community that our friend and brother Gildo Maria Pivetta left his body on Friday, 5 April 2019, in Belgium, surrounded by his wife and children. Gildo (most people know him as Guido) had been quite unwell lately and left Auroville last month for Belgium where it was found that a terminal cancer had rapidly spread throughout the body. He was 74 years old.

Gildo who was originally Italian but lived in Belgium with his family before joining Auroville, started his newcomer process in December 2011 and became Aurovilian two years later. After some time in Luminosity, he lived the last two years in Swayam. Being fluent in French, he was individually tutoring pupils from various schools in that language and would, in the French Pavilion premises, tutor anyone else interested in the language as well.

He was an energetic, solitary man, very clean and orderly, not only in life but also in his approach to death. Nearing the welcomed end, he was very calm and clear, being profoundly grateful for what he had received in life.

Our heartfelt sympathies go out to his family.

Francesca Ivanov

In the evening of 24 March 2019, our friend and sister, Aurovilian Francesca Ivanov, passed away yesterday evening, 24 March in a hospital near her native village, Edolo, in northern Italy. She was 48 years old.

Francesca first arrived in Auroville in 2007, and started her Newcomer process in 2009. She soon started working as receptionist at Kailash Clinic. She loved the job and many of us may remember her always busy and very involved and dedicated. In 2011, a year after officially joining Auroville, she had to return to Italy to look for a job that would provide her with resources to be able to live here. Unfortunately, things did not go well for her and at the end of 2015 it was discovered that she had lung cancer.

Francesca never lost hope of returning one day. Auroville was always in her thoughts and words and prayers. Her faith has supported her for all these years without ever making her falter in the certainty of return.

Praying that she now may have returned, our warmest condolences go out to her sisters who stood by her till the end.

Devayani Martizi

This is to inform the community of the demise of Aurovilian Devayani (Augusta) Martizi, Italian, who left her body in Italy in the early morning of Monday, 11 February 2019, at the age of 72.

Devayani came to Auroville from Findhorn in 2010 and became Aurovilian resident in August 2011. These last years she lived in Swayam, and while being involved in quite a few activities, her main work was for years in PTDC’s kitchen as well as at Matrimandir.

She had been somewhat unwell the last half year and left Auroville in December to have a check-up in Italy, where things must have accelerated.

Friends describe her as a joyful woman, a person full of light, who was extremely happy and grateful to know Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, whom she called her true parents. She often spent time at the Ashram.

Devayani left her body in the presence of her daughter and two sons, in the certainty that she was going to her true home.

With warmest condolences to her family and friends, we thank her for having shared with us her joyful enthusiasm and presence.