The 2016 festival

As we watch the news coverage of terrorist attacks unfolding on our screens, we grow ever more fearful, for these attacks strike at the heart of our secular world, targeting its most symbolic places, the nerve centres of contemporary cosmopolitanism, where people, cultures, ideas, and goods converge.

We look on with dismay at the scandal and tragedy of the migration crisis sweeping across Europe, a Europe in such disarray, so divided and so lacking in popular support that it is incapable of implementing a humanitarian response and living up to its democratic ethos.

The institutions we have established to guarantee our coexistence appear fragile and inadequate. The financial equilibrium of the global economy, orchestrated by interests that transcend us, is fragile, our geopolitical framework ever more fragmented, ever more confused, and our territories increasingly vulnerable.

It is clear to us all that beneath the ‘truths’ peddled to us by our state institutions, lies a more sinister and rotten truth, and yet, in the words of Pier Paolo Pasolini, we just “don’t have the proof”.

In a world undergoing such profound changes, we have become disoriented. We feel vulnerable, be we women, unemployed youth, unemployed adults, anchorless adolescents, poor or impoverished, elderly, disabled, alone, or simply “different”.

Vulnerability has become the zeitgeist of our time.

Being aware of what is happening in the world – our world – offers us the means to face its challenges, rather than give into fear and allow it to dominate our thoughts; it equips us to tackle the problems that we believe are ours and face us all, collectively. Being aware is a means of overcoming our crisis of confidence in the future, while continuing to nurture doubts and pose questions.


Translation by Amanda Hunter