The lion and the lamb

The art between identity and inclusion
Claudia Piccinno

Claudia Piccinno

"And the lion and the lamb will rest together, and every man can sit in the shade of his vineyard and his fig tree, and no one will be afraid. I still have faith, that We will win! "

Thus spoke Martin Luther King on December 10, 1964, when he received the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo.

And it is with his message of hope, inherent in my ideals, that I have seen the works that have come for this manifestation, asking more often who was that Us, who was the lion, who was the lamb.

We embrace them both, each of us knows how to make himself a lion and turn out to be a lamb.

We ... this imperfect humanity, hostage of prejudice, of fear, of selfishness.
We who must defeat hatred and intolerance to rediscover beauty and hope, so that truth becomes beauty and beauty becomes truth.

So the moon in the well is not a utopia.

The reflection of the moon in a well has always been a metaphor of imprisoned beauty, the moment of happiness captured by chance and that we will hardly relive in the same way and with the same intensity. Well, the beauty of a shot, your shots, all that reminds us of the magical process of the lens gives us back the power to believe in a possible utopia: the peaceful coexistence of the plurality of identities.

The theme of the territory that has been immortalized with its natural and architectural beauties is the aspect of an identity that becomes an inclusion device.

Only by safeguarding our roots, celebrating the beauty of our land, the colors, the horizons, the foreshortenings, the buildings we recognize as belonging to a community, bearer of traditions, folklore, history, art. Just think of the lady dressed in black, sitting on the door in the picture "Generations in comparison". Every region in Italy and every city in the same region is different from the other and has a precise identity. Several different identities co-exist in our country, with uses and idioms of Latin, rather than Greek, Celtic or Albanian. Yet this plurality of identities has not compromised National Unity. Well, let's contextualize everything in our days and we’ll realize the enormous inclusive power that beauty has.

A work of art that is pictorial, musical, photographic or poetic conveys the artist's life, but lends itself to multiple interpretations, it  is the meeting point between production and fruition, between different identities that recognize themselves in their similarities rather than in their differences. We must not deny the differences, but  we have to leave them a moment aside to celebrate things in common. The soul of a poet, like the gaze of a child or the light of a sunset, are seeds of beauty without nationality, they are heritage of the whole world.

The task of institutions and social workers is to fight for the purpose of maintaining the identity of every human being, without talking about categories (the madman, the migrant, the clandestine, the foreigner, the disabled person), but giving back to everybody his own name. We need to cross cultures and understand that there is not one that is better than the other. We need to overcome the old colonialist ideologies that supported the cultural supremacy of the West and we must strive for a transcultural Renaissance.

But what the citizens can do?

We all have responsibilities. Let us reappropriate, for example, of a vocabulary ethic. When we refer to others we have to use the right words.

We also go back to the etymology of the word welcome ... it derives from the Latin and means to read, in fact from the Latin accollĭgĕre, formed by ad- and collĭgĕre or "to gather, to collect" in turn to be composed of co-together and lègere collect.

Reception is an openness: what is collected or received is brought in - in a house, in a group, in itself. Acceptance means to get involved, and in this it expresses a further nuance compared to the supreme good custom of hospitality - which can indeed be just a good habit. The one who welcomes makes one participate in something of his own, offers himself, opens himself up to the other, becoming one with him. And even if the reception of an old Sicilian friend may seem alien to the reception of the Japanese acquaintance, the same phenomenon remains, different only because there are different people and cultures and their way of opening up, the way they enter . In order to overcome the stereotype of the migrant, the fear of the different man, we need first of all to promote events of aggregation and mutual knowledge, there can not be knowledge without a relationship. So let's fight indifference trying to understand that we too are different people for others, that TV has wanted in the last few decades to give us a unique identity and instead there are many possibilities to be.

Art allows us to express creative inspiration, but also the potential of the artist is not and it is also a form of witness, a way of remembering. Let's think about the talents that left traces in the Nazi concentration camps, where faith and reason were not enough to find a way out ... it was art that acted like the Ariadne's thread, alas only partially, because it had the merit to accompany the souls, only the souls, out of the labyrinth.

Photography is an iconic document as well as an expressive medium, it is a silent story that helps us to discover without judging, that gives voice to the invisible traces of a territory and becomes an art form, not so much for the techniques used, but for its valence of affirming an identity, emphasizing a detail, highlighting lights and shadows, without neglecting the complexity of the whole, is therefore an invitation not only to do contemplation but to do reflection. Precisely with regard to the need for reflection Hanna Arendt in her work The life of the mind analyzes human action and thought as the indispensable conditions of responsibility, only by reflecting on what we do, we can in fact not fall into prevaricating and irresponsible attitudes.

We must therefore question our certainties, open ourselves to a comparison on equal terms because only without prevarication and prejudice, the lion and the lamb can sit at the same table and I want to believe that it is not utopia to see them eat together instead of eat each other.

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