“The time of kidness”, when literature meets the world of volunteering
The Red Cross in stories from seven different voices: the book dedicated to the voluntary service organisation will be released on 9th September, between “tales and testimonies, the story of small and big events, about people who every day, in silence, work for us”. The publication gathers seven contributions by as many authors, including Michelangelo Pistoletto.

Who is the Red Cross? And how is it perceived today? The narration of The Time of Kindness, a new book published by Chiarelettere, develops from these and other questions. One hundred and fifty years after its birth, after having gone unscathed through wars and conflicts of all kinds, the Red Cross continues its work of assistance and aid, guaranteeing its presence in every part of the world, in compliance with the principles on which it was founded – Humanity, Impartiality, Neutrality, Independence, Voluntariness, Unity, Universality – the same ones that govern civil and community life. The volume celebrates the organisation by giving voice to seven different personalities: Monica Pais, Luca Beatrice, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Franco Arminio, Walter Veltroni, Chiara Rapaccini, Lucio Cavazzoni, who were asked for a contribution on the basis of their own sensitivity and style of writing. The book (€16) will be released on 9th September and will be officially presented on Friday 15th October.

Here’s how the publisher has introduced the authors of the book: “Monica Pais, veterinary on the front line, extraordinary ‘fixer’ of abused and abandoned strays (click here to view our previous interview), remembers her visit to Amatrice, among the ruins of an earthquake that incredibly reconciled animals and humans. Luca Beatrice, art critic, affirms Impartiality by denying it for himself and recognising it in the extraordinary work of the Red Cross. Michelangelo Pistoletto, the artist of mirror paintings, founder of Cittadellarte, the place where art is practised in order to change society, narrates the strength of the symbol, that cross that he has broken down and reassembled in the sign of the Third Paradise that illustrates the cover. Franco Arminio is a poet, and with words that rise to a metaphor he addresses the principle of Independence, adapting it to himself. Walter Veltroni, political writer, talks about Voluntariness through a long, poignant interview with a volunteer. Chiara Rapaccini writes about the principle of Unity through the story of her grandmother, a Red Cross volunteer who might have had Gabriele D’Annunzio among the sick she treated in time of war. Lucio Cavazzoni, who is concerned about the land and has never stopped defending the rights of those who work it, focuses on Universality through short, intense frescoes of everyday life and stories of men and women who embody it”. And that’s not all: “Seven voices plus one, the original: the voice of Jean Henry Dunant and his book A Memory of Solferino, the man who established the Italian Red Cross, the Great House without doors that supports and welcomes humanity, regardless of skin colour, religious belief or social status. Because “We are all brothers”, the cry that rose from the bloody battlefield in Solferino in 1859, may not be a utopia”.

Due out soon, the book can be pre-booked on online stores.