The exhibits at the Meeting

Press Meeting

“A path from the suburbs of time to those of space, from the suburbs of Christianity to those of poverty, which we desire to meet and help”, Alessandra Vitez, supervisor of the Exhibits Office, describes the 7 lead exhibitions of the Meeting 2014. A travel, from Syria to Ethiopia, going through the most poor situations of Brasil, Kenya and Ecuador, or to discover universe or literature and history, at the meeting with Peguy, Tolstoj, St. John Bosco, and the East Church. The common heart of all is men’s destiny and their desire of knowing, meeting and chatting.
Seven exhibitions to which the exhibit “The society of joy. The oratory of St. John Bosco: This is my home!” is added (Children’s Village, pavilion C3), four exhibits of “Experiences and paths” of reality which come from Rimini to be known through a small exhibition and two exhibits of “Men at work”: experiences and reality which narrate their own situations.

Below a short presentation of the seven exhibitions:

Generating beauty: new beginnings at the ends of Earth (pavilion C1)
By John Waters and AVSI Foundation
Between the edges of the world of Pope Francis, there are also the most poor places on Earth, where misery, war and hunger risk to suffocate people’s dignity. Is faith so influencing reality that it is offering answers to these big challenges? Which factors creates development? Is the real work of third sector such as AVIS efficient or is it only charitable “distribution of crumbs”? The exhibit path goes through three different realities: a group of schools in Kenya, a recovery center and a nutritional education at San Paolo, an intervention of childhood education and informal in suburbs of Quito. “One discovery we’ve made” said the Irish journalist John Waters, “is that a cure to poverty could be beauty: we have to make people conscious of their beauty. Once they are conscious of that, they can defeat the sensation of being a casualty, an incident”.

Explorers (pavilion A1)
By Euresis Association. In collaboration with Ceur Foundation
Searching what is unknown is a distinctive trait of human nature. The exhibit will make the visitors real explorers, throwing them to the edges of our solar system, on board of the orbiter Voyager, in an interplanetary trip which will allow them, at their return, to see the Earth with new eyes: small, astonishing and hospitable. Just like T.S. Eliot wrote: “I will not stop exploring. And at the end of all our proceed, we will turn back to the starting point to know it for the first time”.

From the depths of time: the origins of communication and community in ancient Syria (pavilion C1)
By Marilyn Kelly-Buccellati. In collaboration with Giorgio Buccellati and Federico Buccellati.
With the advice of David Lordkipanidze, Tamas Gamkrelidze, Maamoun Abdulkarim.

The exhibit narrates, between many discoveries in the excavations of Dmanisi (today Georgia) and of Urkesh (today Syria), of one of five hominid skulls (one million eight hundred thousands years ago) and of some artifacts, explaining their meaning. The last one discovered, perfectly intact, belonged to a man with a long face, wide teeth and a small cranium. Another one belonged to a man without teeth who, despite his condition, survived for many years before dying. From the study of these evidences an important point emerges: the highest life expectancy is supported by others’ help and this represents the first act of kindness or charity.

Story of a carnal soul. 100 years after the death of Charles Peguy (pavilion C5)
By Piero Cappelli, Pigi Colognesi, Flora Crescini, Massimo Morelli

During the centenary of his death, the Meeting dedicates an exhibit to the great French writer. “What interests us the most”, said Pigi Colognesi, one of the organizers, “is to make this man known, in particular for his idea of happening. You can’t lock things in plans: they happen or they don’t, thinking about them isn’t enough”. Panels are written in the same typing character he used and inside there will be alive moments of chat organized by true actors, like they could happen today. The exhibit is also enriched by the video of an innovative Alain Finkielkraut’s interview.

PARABLES FROM THE EAST. Christianity and the challenge of the new millennium (pavilion A5)
Promoted by Armenian Republic Embassy at the Holy See. Zona’s general organization.
By Renata Ferri.
A photographic exhibition on Middle East christian communities with the monographic work of Michele Borzoni and a selection of news agencies’ photos. Lyrics by Andrea Milluzzi.

The condition of Christians in the East is recently returning under media and international politic reflectors, with Pope Francis’s appeals which underline its dramatic nature. The consequence of the war that contaminates the territory is the East Syrian Christian exodus, that further reduces the small christian presence in the area of his historical diffusion. There are numerous churches in the big area from Caucasus to Egypt, from Iran to Cyprus. The double goal of the exhibit is, on one side, to show the current situation of Eastern Christianity, opening a reflection on the future of this community and on their role in the Middle Eastern society of XXI century, and on the other side to lead back the attention of the international community on the safeguard of the rich architectural and artistic property which from centuries constitutes a huge part of the Christian culture. The exhibit will be itinerant. A part from the Meeting – first stage of the exhibit – it will be taken to Rome, Brussels, Paris and other European capital cities.

Tolstoj. A cry and its answers (pavilion A5)
By Giovanna Parravicini, Adriano and Marta Dell’Asta, Francesco Braschi, Olga Sedakova, Fekla Tolstaja and students from Italian universities and from the school of High Economy in Moscow. In collaboration with Tolstoj National Museum in Moscow; Russian Literature Institute (Puškinskij Dom) of Science Accademy, in St Petersburg.

In his troubled human itinerary, in his great literary masterpieces such as in his publicist works, in the extended educational and social activity, in the religious research through Christianity and other religions, Tolstoj proposes again the great themes of life and death, of truth and «good», human life. His research is a research of a “cultured European of our days”, who went through the crisis of modern conscience, ideas of Enlightenment and Rationalism, who continuously suffers the temptation of ideological closure, of the reduction of Christianity to moral doctrine, till the denial of Christ’s divine humanity; but, at the same time, he can’t suffocate to the bitter end the presentiment of mystery. In the reason of Tolstoj’s drama lye some crucial options: an idea of reason which admit mystery, or a reason judge of reality; a Christianity like an event or a series of rules which must be followed; a laicism, often insolent and manufactured, that contradicts the need of «laity», actually a christian experience which includes reasons of faith’s solidity.

From the edges of Christianity. Ethiopia will raise its hands to God. Images of an ancient tradition (pavilion C5)
By Giuseppe Barbieri

A precious exhibit, which includes also eighty chosen pieces of a private collection like bronze and copper crosses, wooden tables, manuscripts, icons and wovens. There’s also a video on Ethiopian liturgical and social life. The organization of such an exhibit, made by icons, manuscripts, Ethiopian crosses, could make stand out the double function that these objects have in society: God’s glorification, so the liturgical and devotional aspect, and the support to human dignity apart from limited circumstances where you can find it, so the social aspect. The exposition in Rimini will be the fourth step of this exhibit. Previous exhibits had been in Venice, Pordenone and Vicenza.

For those who are interested it is already possible to book guided visits to the exhibits on the Meeting website: