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“If a better future can not be for everyone,
then it is not a better future.”

In Ethiopia, 7 is the average age in which a child begins to work because the schools, largely private, are not accessible to those who live in poverty.
For this reason, it is important to commit to a completely free school that promotes child literacy.

Perpetua the pencil supports Strawberry Fields Onlus which, in Addis Ababa, is committed to building and running a free school.

Because it is through education that you can create a better future.

For everyone.

perpetua la matita in mano ad una bambina

A magic room will appear, starting April 19 until April 22, in the ancient Svevo Castle that towers above Cosenza… because to see the future sometimes we have to go back to the basics.

Four days of fables, theatre and labs for boys and girls, starring the one and only: the pencil. Starting from the one of Michele D’Ignazio, author of the successful book “Storia di una matita”, to Perpetua, which will bring its baggage of innovation and sustainability to a place tied to Perpetua with a special bond: the Calabria region, where the only Italian graphite mine is, dating back to the Roman Empire. Graphite will be the star of the lab being taught by Susanna Martucci, CEO of Alisea.

Perpetua goes back to its roots to talk about green economy in an interactive way and to imagine a future together with those who it belongs to: our children.

Storia di una matita a Scuola

While they were traveling in Sri Lanka, Alvise and Alice emailed us. They had their Perpetua on them. The magic atmosphere, its hospitality, its purity led to a special encounter in the heart of the ‘shining island’.

Alvise’s email to the Perpetua team reads like this:

“Alice and I went walking in the countryside around our hotel.

A man said hello from his garden and, curious, he asked us where we were from. He then invited us in his garden and proudly showed us his collection of parrots.

His grandson was walking around the garden. We gave him a Perpetua to show our gratitude for their hospitality.

It obviously became his favorite object ever – he very proudly put it in the basket of his bicycle!

Perpetua has now become our way to say thanks to those extremely nice people that remind us that there is still hope for men, even here in the heart of Sri Lanka.”

Perpetua, the pencil in the southernmost point of Sri Lanka.

Photos and text by Alvise Bortolato


Stamsund is a small fishing village in the Lofoten archipelago in northern Norway. Just before summertime, due to its geographical position, this area never gets dark and experiences an astronomical phenomenon called midnight sun.
Nature is powerful over there and it affects the mood.

Despite being a small and faraway village, Stamsund plays host to a very prestigious festival of theater and performing arts, Stamsund Teaterfestival.

I was invited to contribute a project addressing schools and an asylum reception center in the area.
Because of the area’s very low population density and long distances, the aim of the project is to promote meetings and interaction between people.
For this reason, the final step of the project is a collective exhibit, called LEAVE YOUR MARK, at a gallery in the heart of Stamsund.

Sometime before leaving, I told Susanna Martucci what my new future project would be about: working with children from countries involved in some form of conflict and that we hear of on a daily basis, children that had set out on exhausting, arduous, dangerous journeys and only speak their native language (Afghan, Arabic, Persian). And then, working again with European children, but from such a northern area that it’s almost at the Pole… Well, I was feeling enthusiastic and curious.
Susanna, with her typical visionary drive, launched a new challenge: ‘I want Perpetua to tag along with you – I want those children to have a Perpetua as a gift, and I want that Perpetua to be personalized with your project.’. LEAVE-YOUR-MARK Perpetua.
I must confess I didn’t understand immediately.
Then Susanna explained it to me: ‘You can enter a new market in many ways. Perpetua is not on the Scandinavian market yet and I want to enter it through the door of art. After all, you know what Perpy is like, (and I quote) it goes alone.’

I drew a specific layout for this version of Perpetua. The image I picked is a drawing made by Luca, a boy with disabilities that had taken part in the first edition of this project more than ten years back. That was my metaphorical way to say thank you to all the humanity I have met over the years and that has contributed to my art. Alisea staff did the rest: they made an effective edition where the mark printed on paper and graphite leaves the pictorial gesture untouched.
A small mark is on the pencil and when you remove it from the packaging you think it bears a trace, a mark indeed.
Well, we’re ready to get started.

Here’s a photo-reportage of a week of 24-hour sunlight. All around.

The clear sea mirrors the night sky, and zero-carbon timber houses are warm and cozy. Perpetua is part of this awesome global environmental movement. Welcome to Stamsund!


Handing out Perpetua pencils to children at the asylum reception center.: The children didn’t believe it was a gift for them. I said it over and over, considering translations: from English into Norwegian, into Afghan… Well, it almost was an epic moment!
Here they’re holding Perpetua in their hands. Their faces are not revealed for privacy reasons. But you can well imagine their joy…

The girls are translating the title of the exhibition LEAVE YOUR MARK into their native language: Afghan, Arabic, Persian.Exciting, mysterious linguistic details liven up the discussion. che le appassionano molto. They’re proudly showing their Perpetua and then launch themselves into multi-ethnic dancing.

Norwegian children of the Montessori school in Stamsund showing the die they have made and their Perpetua – a display of Nordic laughter.

LEAVE YOUR MARK consists of three marks: one vertical, one horizontal, and one curved.

The gallery walls display all the steps of the project, from the first shaky pencil mark to the solid acrylic mold.

The children have made a die with these marks.

 And then stamped them freely. This is how the marks by the children and the mark on Perpetua cardboard packaging perfectly combine. Italian style plays its part.

Setting up the exhibit – each wall is for a different group of kids.

This wall displays also Perpetua.

And this is the last surprise: a workshop on MAIL ART for all visitors. Every one of the hundreds of drawings made may be used to create a letter or a postcard to send to near and far lands.

The midnight sun shines from behind the mountains. Perpetua, placed on a cliff, leaves its mark while respecting our precious planet.
Farewell, Stamsund Teaterfestival. Thank you for your warm welcome and the friendship we have struck up. Tusen Takk!

Write to reportage@perpetua.it and share your story about Perpetua, your idea about reuse, recycling, sustainable economy, creativity, innovation… Anna will get back to you to put together a new reportage to publish.

Mission accomplished!