In Italy, the relationship with the “other,” with someone different, is still contaminated and determined by prejudices, experiences of fear and intolerance.
Every time that we push away the issue of diversity, we confirm our fear of differences, which is really the fear of that which is different in each of us, and from which every day, in our environments (work, home, etc.) we strenuously defend ourselves against to maintain our secure identity (or what we define as such). This is a definition that interests us because, after neutralizing the insane through the medicalization that reduced insanity to a disease, with this stratagem we have certainly not neutralized diversity. And here I think about what is defined as “diverse” from homosexuals, immigrants, foreigners, to all those affiliations, cultures and characteristics which seem “strange” to locals.
Foucault wrote that every society can be judged from the way in which it organizes and handles its relationship with “others.” As if we can’t have an identity without using some mechanism of identification by excluding those different from us. So the role of the development and capacity for intercultural relationships and dialogue is fundamental, not only to educate about diversity but also in overcoming eventual conflicts. This is a difficult journey, especially if you realize that it has to be done within ourselves as well as within societies where conflict, competition, communities in strife and closed cultures all risk leaving individuals alone: ??atoms wandering lost in the crowd.
The Crowd/La Folla – A demonstration of bodies in sculpture.
Men and women in polycarbonate that make up the installation are the “different presences” generated by a society that refuses to or isn’t able to create a dialogue with that which it doesn’t understand and isn’t able to assimilate. They are perhaps the relics of a life that didn’t exist or the inanimate casts of a non-life in the making. Reduced to transparent mannequins, they allude to kouroi and korai transfigured by an empty timeless gait, where past and present mingle with the future.
A crowd of empty shells, yet ready to become chrysalis for a body in metamorphosis if welcomed and nurtured by a society open to dialogue with the individual.
The destiny of today’s humanity is tied to a hope for peace and social evolution which can happen by welcoming and valuing the “other” (as well as meeting them on a level of sincere cognitive exchange) and highlighting the positivity they are able to “express”, defeating prejudices about diversity.
Maybe this crowd is a group of migrants – a people in search of a place in spirit, mind and space, in which to recognize their own belonging to be able to become that which they deeply known they are.