XVI International Forum of Aquileia Euroregion European heritage of the patriarchate of Aquileia the past that does not pass

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Udine - 1st October, 2021

The unpredictability of the period we are living in has profoundly affected not only the cultural life of each of us, but also the way we make and experience culture, whatever form it takes as it accompanies us on our daily path. We had to take this into account while preparing a cultural project so deeply conditioned by it. The methodological architecture cannot and should not deviate from a cultural proposal aiming at bringing the multicultural model of Friuli Venezia Giulia Region fully in Europe. Cultural Diplomacy requires continuous contacts and relations that are difficult to maintain only through the web. This is an obstacle with consequences that are difficult to predict today. Not by chance, one of the issues that has attracted the most attention during the 2020 Forum was the “Independence and Interdependence” panel, an analysis that highlighted the international role played by the Aquileia Patriarchate from the beginning of the second millennium in the European context. It is precisely this role to suffer today.

However, the viral pandemic that has hit the planet is only the most recent of the upheavals that have characterized the last fifty years. It all started with internet, which represented the beginning of globalization of information; the collapse of ideological walls followed and determined the globalization of markets. Finally, covid 19 has shown us overnight that “one is not worth one“, but one can infect all of humanity, therefore we are all interdependent.

Every initiative of ours has to take into account this social and cultural “tsunami”. The initial disorientation has been won by the conviction that culture has the responsibility to support us in overcoming this difficult planetary transition, today more than ever. Culture has a soothing role, almost like a salvific vaccine after so many contaminations that mark the history of these border lands. This represents an immeasurable commitment that no cultural actor can carry out alone, in conceited autonomy. Moreover, the link with Dante’s recall to the roots (semenza), to the virtue and to the desire of knowledge (canoscenza) is strikingly topical. This is the summary of a strong message that we wish to send – figuratively – from the millennial Aquileia’s bell tower to all the peoples that historically, culturally or religiously had their roots here: culture will save us.

Culture has always represented the cure for every form of human pain and degradation, even in the darkest and most difficult moments. Any public or private, governmental or civil society subject should feel the duty to spread this message today. Doing it together in a such difficult and delicate moment will have an incalculable value. Like an irreplaceable vaccine.

The 2021 Forum is characterized by a leitmotiv crossing and connecting all the panels: the role of culture as a “salvific vaccine” for mankind.

In the words of a great poet:

Consider ye the seed from which ye sprang;
Ye were not made to live like unto brutes,
But for pursuit of virtue and of knowledge.

(Dante Alighieri – Divine Comedy, Inferno – Canto XXVI, v. 119)

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