This short machinima relies on the work of Meilo Minotaur & CapCat Ragu on Antonio Gramsci’s quote “The old world is dying, and the new world struggles to be born: now is the time of monsters”.

This quote dated of 1930 from the one-time leader of the Communist Party of Italy who was imprisoned by Benito Mussolini, resonates with the current actuality. A bit everywhere people are giving more credit to populists, dream makers, monsters lurking in the twilight attacking our humanity values. Fear became the new milestone of Art of politics, making people believing that only shelter remaining is to raise walls, increase hate. As we may feel it as “The End Of The World As We Know It” I still have faith we will be strong enough to fight against. Though is time to enter actively into resistance.

Into this metaphor the forest symbolizes the old world dying, caterpillars avid into the shades, the beast is growing into his chrysalis, her beauty is attracting people stuck into old idea of pasts. A tree decided to stand in resistance, others are following, resistance is on the way.



“The old world is dying, and the new world struggles to be born: now is the time of monsters.” This is, usually, the quote we most see attributed to Antonio Gramsci, the Italian theorist, politician, and freedom fighter.

However, this is not the true quote. In Italian, what Gramsci wrote in Quaderni del carcere (Prison Notebooks page 556) was: “La crisi consiste appunto nel fatto che il vecchio muore e il nuovo non può nascere: in questo interregno si verificano i fenomeni morbosi piú svariati.”. This would more accurately translate to: “Crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born, in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear.”

But Prison Notebooks suffered several translation mutations, such as: “Le vieux monde se meurt, le nouveau monde tarde à apparaître et dans ce clair-obscur surgissent les monstres.” This mutation was carried over to portuguese translation: “O velho mundo agoniza; o novo mundo tarda a nascer, e, nesse claro-escuro, irrompem os monstros”. Back to English, this would translate to “The old world is dying, the new world is slow to appear and in this chiaroscuro the monsters arise.”

The word “penumbra” exists both in English and Portuguese. It means partial illumination, a chiaroscuro, the dusk. Going back to the original quote, this penumbra, this forest, is the interregno, mutated by the flux of words in translation, adding poetic resonance to Gramsci’s pragmatism.

Beware of the “morbid symptoms” you might embody!


“Hospital” by Max Richter

Filmed in Second Life

Berg by Nordan Art
Build and design by Meilo Minotaur & CapCat Ragu