Coronavirus, the Third Paradise symbol of the hope in Palazzolo sull’Oglio
The mayor of the city in Lombardy, which throughout the years has hosted many initiatives inspired and dedicated to Michelangelo Pistoletto’s sign-symbol, has publicly thanked teachers working remotely with a post on the Facebook page of the city of Palazzolo. The message is accompanied by a significant image: a Third Paradise work previously created by the children from the nursery school “P. Guarneri”, now complemented by the slogan “#iorestoacasa”(I stay at home).

Lombardy is on its knees. The Covid-19 emergency doesn’t seem to be ending, we keep being given contradicting news. Deaths, cases, recoveries. A wave of suffering feeding pessimism and social scare. But sometimes a simple message can raise hope and light the darkness of these surreal days. This is the case of Palazzolo sull’Oglio, a city of a bit over 20.000 inhabitants in the province of Brescia, where the Third Paradise grew roots a long time ago and has blossomed with numerous projects and activities involving mainly children. In our Journal, we have often told about initiatives which have had the city’s youngest as protagonists: we remember for example the elaboration of Matt Simons’s song We can do better, the educational game inspired to the trinamic symbol and the project with the flags of the Third Paradise. In the context of this latter initiative, the biggest of the works, created by the nursery school Guarneri, was donated to the city of Palazzolo sull’Oglio on the occasion of the Rebirth Day on 21st December 2017; the mayor Gabriele Zanni received the special flag, still on display at city hall.

After three years the flag has been even more publicly displayed by the mayor himself, who included it in a post on the Facebook page of the city of Palazzolo sull’Oglio, with which Zanni thanks teachers of all grades for elaborating remote didactic strategies in this period of emergency. As mentioned, the text is accompanied by a picture of the Third Paradise work created by the children. In this instance, the flag doesn’t only convey a message of social equality inviting to love difference, but acquires a new function: with the addition of the slogan #iorestoacasa, it concurs to raising social awareness recommending to follow the regulations in place to limit the spreading of Covid-19. “They are devising and experimenting with new necessary forms of schooling in order to make students feel their presence and not to interrupt their personal/emotional relationship with them, an essential element in every learning environment, even more critical in a remote one; – we read in an excerpt from the post, referring to teachers and head teachers – we believe in school, knowledge and education, but we are convinced that it’s people that make a difference in this challenging situation. That’s why we are grateful to all the teachers who have quickly activated new modalities of remote schooling and to all the head teachers coordinating personnel and activities”.

If in Palazzolo sull’Oglio the seeds of the Third Paradise have germinated, most credit goes to the Rebirth/Third Paradise ambassadress Grazia Omodei. “Every day the mayor sends a communication to the city – she explained to us – and on Friday 27th March we received a special message. The post thanking teachers was accompanied by an image of the Third Paradise created by the children from the nursery school P. Guarneri. A work conveying peace, serenity and joy. And not only that, it also donates the sense of hope we all need in this delicate moment”. The nursery school’s teachers are in fact among the most active in promoting didactic activities dedicated to the trinamic symbol and its principles. “The nursery school’s teachers – Grazia added – have turned the Third Paradise into a key concept on which a substantial part of their didactic activities is centred”.

The words of Camilla Secchi, head teacher of the first comprehensive institute in Palazzolo, echoed the ambassadress’s: “On such a dramatic occasion for Lombardy and our territory – she said – reproposing this work is a sign of optimism and vitality, but also an invitation to follow the regulations to contain the spreading of the Covid-19. Most credit for it goes to the teachers, who have worked with the children on the symbol of the Third Paradise since the Rebirth Day, focusing on the ‘I-you-we’ dimension. I believe it’s important, in this historic moment, to get our youngest to understand that the bond between people and the world and the environment can produce the solution to a problem. The teachers – she concluded – have offered a message of trust strengthening the sense of unity”.