lunedì 26 maggio 2008

The Conquest of Space

This title could be actually rather tricky: I do not want to discuss about astrophysics and space missions. The space I would like to speak about is the “public space” composed of squares and roads above all in our small rural centres. To do this, I would like to share a small and maybe (for many professional politicians) meaningless initiative which however, in my opinion, is worthier than many bla bla. On Friday may the 23rd 2008, the sporting association which I belong to, has organized an event dedicated to Athletics for children composed of 5 game areas for different sports and games, from launches and speed to tug of war. The games have been attended by a large number of children accompanied by their parents and families, within a contest among four villages which has been held in the small square and in the surrounding small roads and lanes of the oldest part of the village where I live. Even if ultimately only one team won the contest, all the children have been awarded with medals and gadgets and all the participants had the possibility to relax and have a break thanks to a delicious buffet offered by our association. The entire event had a cost of less than 200€ offered by the town council. From this event, many lesson can be taken. First of all, the inhabitants of a small rural village in central Italy had the opportunity to re-gain squares and roads, free from cars, and giving again to these spaces their original function and scope as public meeting space. In addition, the oldest part of the village seemed to have a new life and re-gain its centrality which tends to progressively loose for an increasingly shift towards new residential areas: just as an example, many old people living in the oldest part of the village, were excited by the presence of so many children in the squares and roads of the town centre, inciting the various athletes and being very happy to have the possibility to spend their time in a funny and pleasant way. I personally believe that the possibilities to built different cultural and development paths essentially pass through the involvement of children given then the opportunity, for example through little sport activities, to stimulate their intelligence, self-discipline, emotions, spirit of collaboration, capacity to be engaged and committed and their capacity to live together in a positive, constructive and non-antagonistic way. Educating and informing children may allow to reach their families (and so the adults): also with these little initiatives, it is possible to show the existence of different way of staying together (in opposition to the culture of outlets, televisions and videogames) contributing to build, step by step, a critical community which can consciously resist extremisms, violence, self-assertion at any cost, arrogance, mercification and monetization of any aspect of our life. I do believe that this policy of “many little things” is surely more important than mega-projects and bla bla of the experts if a real rural and local development and the promotion of our territories and local communities is really at stake. By the way, on June the 8th we will in this place again for a chess contest for children.

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