The Italian National Festival of Cultures

The National Festival of Cultures: a complex Italian project mainly conceived to foster communication among people belonging to different cultures and religions.  .
The Festival is structured into about 30 events such as conferences, seminars, training courses, performances, concerts, radio forums, video productions, gastronomic events, and tournaments. This festival was born as a response to the profound cultural changes that impose on Italy more and more as the migratory phenomenon unfolds with it’s several influxes from North Africa, East Europe, and from the so called “emergent” countries. Significant demographic changes and modifications of the collective thoughts and opinions are invading the nation as it confronts the destiny of its roots and its own cultural identity. The path is often difficult with some unavoidable stumbling blocks and reversals of direction.
The answer to this confrontation is not homogenous and often manifests itself in aloof behavior, instability, and protection of one’s own securities.  This may result in intolerance, indifference, rejection, insecurity, and xenophobia. It is therefore necessary to build a climate of listening which leads to respect and provides support for educators, administrators, and citizens in general. The Festival pursues this aim and, being a “forum super-partes”, is a physical and ideal place in which to start an open, honest, positive discussion without hypocrisy. In this way it is possible to include the “apocalyptics” in a constructive way by providing challenging meeting and dialogue opportunities which avoid marginality and forms of indirect exclusion.