I met Michelangelo Pistoletto for the first time in 2012, while travelling in my camper. I had been on the road for only a few days when – fancying of being a new Forrest Gump – I found myself participating in the opening of SUSA, an itinerary linking Turin with the town in Val Susa, on the occasion of the first Rebirth Day on 21.12.2012. At the time I didn’t know what the Third Paradise was, and I couldn’t have imagined that after a few years I would start collaborating in various ways with the organization at the core of this extraordinary sign/symbol: Cittadellarte. I am now living a sort of positive ‘conflict of interests’: I am in fact the founder of Italia che Cambia but also the editor of Cittadellarte’s Journal. In the traditional world this would be impossible, but in the new worlds we talk about and encourage, cooperation wins against competition, and this act is the umpteenth confirmation.
Without going into the details of the activities carried out by the Biellese foundation the readers of our Journal are well aware of, I’m pleased to announce that Italia che Cambia is the first organization to officially adhere to the vision of the Third Paradise.
Why has Italia che Cambia decided to adhere?
In the course of these last seven years we have met hundreds, possibly thousands, of people actively involved in actually changing things. Entrepreneurs, activists, volunteers, farmers, IT specialists, downshifters, managers and facilitators, artists and writers, and many other.
I soon realized that most of these people were – often unconsciously – carrying forward the proposal and the vision represented by Michelangelo Pistoletto’s sign/symbol. For us, formally adhering to the Third Paradise has merely meant acknowledging a status quo. Our encounter with Cittadellarte has represented a concrete manifestation of the theoretical grounds on which we were already operating without being aware of it.
The comment of the director of Cittadellarte
Paolo Naldini, director of Cittadellarte, has commented on the bond Italia che Cambia has established with the Third Paradise with these words: “Something deep and immediate unites the artists studying and teaching at our school of art and change (UNIDEE- Third Paradise Academy) with the actors of change whose stories Italia che Cambia has been gathering and chronicling for years: the proof is in the fact that they both act on the basis of a personal drive, a motivation, a spontaneous and autonomous inspiration. Nobody can force an artivator (as we call our pupils and tutors) to create a coliving space in Nablus or Matera, like Beatrice Catanzaro and Andrea Paoletti did; the same way nobody could force any of the protagonists of the stories collected by Italia che Cambia to do what they are doing. But for both activators and actors of change the opposite is also true: nobody could stop them from doing it. This freedom which becomes responsibility is the most precious gift they could offer to themselves and to all of us”.
What happens now?
In a way nothing, since we will carry on sharing the stories of realities changing our country which will consciously or unconsciously continue to join or rejoin the course of this new paradigm. In a way a lot, since Italia che Cambia will invite the mapped realities to explore these concepts while Cittadellarte will promote the protagonists of the stories gathered by the newsroom of Italia che Cambia as representatives and actors of the changes it advocates and wishes for.
This is only the beginning. Many more collaborations are in the making, but we will talk about them some other time. Stay tuned.