The Brinquedos and Brincadeiras

The Cape Green Islands children's toys and owns world or "Everything with nothing": a Marzio Marzot's collection of objects and pictures, with Maria Lourdes Jesus collaboration.

Around 2002, I known Marzio through the pictures and stories showed in his book ("Giocattoli di là dal mare"), editing by Unicef Italia. Three months later, I met him in Rome, having a simple, smiley conversation in the Unicef Italian centre. In that context, both me and him were happy to find another person with the same passion and inner vitally: the taste for cultural differences, expressed through toys of children's folklore and participation. In fact, the main subject of Marzio’s and Maria’s exhibition is the Children's World of Cape Green Archipelago (Africa), expressed by their home-made toys.
But also through pictures showing them in their daily life, which is a world where Nature, Creativity and poorest Condition of life are the main ingredients to build playthings so capable to catch the sense of magic. Stopping in front of these creations astonishing tourists, all seeing a different childhood, reminding them of their childhood memories or maybe questioning better time for children of today. The displayed toys are "real tools" to invite people at play with fantasy and simplicity, as untouched own culture of children in their peculiar environment of life, with their benefits and limits. But their survival depend also on the help of people that are aware of the importance of culture preservation and the culture of sharing difference to build a better future. Cape Green children playing activity

Working for educational purposes
This is also the way to understand why "Everything with nothing" is the better tittle to describe the Marzio's collection, and open a curios imagery on toys. A imagery so capable to stimulate today children at open mind over the market colonisation of their childhood.
The value of this assortment of handmade toys is to be used into educational contexts. Marzio and Maria have also a charismatic teachers’ capability, travelling with their “Suitcase full of… African toys and pictures” passing class by class, meeting children and telling them stories from overseas countries.
Inviting the young generation at play with these playthings made by makers of their age, and through those, discovers how deeply and fertile could be the creative field of kids. Certainly, through comparative and good educational inputs and activities, children can learn that “simple and un-fashionable is beauty” and “everything can be obtained through nothing” only if the “fantasy’s wings” were not cut by conformism.
As describe the “Giocattoli di là dal mare” book introduction, these toys have a fragile beauty, others are expressing the incredible African's people inventively, as triumph of recycling Art, joyful and spellbound glance at adult's world, poverty that become creativity and eloquent South world answer at North world questions, that is too often full of desert desolation of emotions anCape Green toysd fantasy.
As mentioned above, many pictures of the book are connected with toys as way to give warmth at plaything, otherwise un-animated objects. Pictures are describing the country, the geographic aspect, its habitants, and their main activities. Particular references are taken for the family, the woman and children role. And naturally, toys and games with their makers and players.
Others pictures are describing tools, materials and making process of some popular toys, adopted by children. Through the re-use of wasted materials, all the major mass products brand are represented - one's again - on these toy: the greatest corporations are transformed into toys. As miracle, old stocks and remnants or scraps “generously” lavished to the developing countries, are transformed by children into masterpieces of post-modern Art. Children that find in this activity ways to work and find rare parenthesis of pleasure, in a context that too many times do not recognise childhood needs and rights.

Where toys and the toy-making activity are connected with the whole children and adults owns world, in their environment of life (natural as well as cultural). As the authors tell us: " Essentially, toys (brinquedos) that we have taken into consideration are those made by children, made for them selves or for the younger and less able too.
From the whole, we have chosen and take pictures on dolls, clay statues (animals, little houses, cooking room tools), the hoops, the spinning tops, little boats, small aeroplane and car, made with cans and wood, also musical tools as the racordai, and the busio, and many others.

To learn more about other handmade toys of Marzio's collection visit the second part of the article