There are eighty, more women than men, young people from all the Tuscan provinces (but someone also flew to Pisa from abroad, where they work). And they are all charged, excited and with a great desire to do, ready to share their experiences. They are the eighty boys, between 18 and 40 years more or less equally, who from this morning at the villa del Gombo of the San Rossore estate in Pisa will confront each other all day and then collect their ideas in a concrete project on cultural policies to be submitted to the Region, which organized this initiative, in the ten years of the Giovanisì project, to make young people protagonists. Eight hours of work for a project that could have legs, on a sun-kissed autumn day.
I arrived early this morning. At eight, many were already at the parking lot of the park’s hippodrome, then accompanied by shuttles to the former presidential residence in the woods, which had come back to life after the recent restoration. In 1998, among the last, the British Prime Minister Tony Blair was a guest. At nine they were in front of the villa, getting to know each other and talking about each other: an orange badge around their neck, the name written above the topic they will face, in the ten tables where they will be distributed
Tessa is a young mother of a disabled daughter and will bring her point of view to the tables. Tania comes from Massa. He is nearly forty years old and is involved in participation. He would like listening to young people to become the rule: a question of method, even more than of merit. Matteo is a genetics researcher from Sant’Anna di Pisa, Milan. He studies plants and is convinced that the future will risk passing from a synthesis between new technologies and traditions. This is also culture.
“Young people have the skills, maybe they don’t know it” underlines Emma from Siena, in the life of the library that deals with cataloging. Organize for knowledge to pass on and share. “Digitization – he says – is the tool that will allow us to connect libraries and archives to each other and make young people richer in culture and aware”. Valerio di Colle Val d’Elsa speaks of connections in a broader sense: “We have to connect institutions and individuals – he says -: you can’t go anywhere alone”. “We are used – he adds – to all reasoning in the short term and instead we need to think about 2030 and what Tuscany should be then. A new experiment for us too: this is the way “.
Young people loaded those this morning in San Rossore: with the fire inside, but also excited. “We are finally placed at the center of attention – they say -. We hope that events like these are less and less isolated ”. “Young people are not the future – echoes Gianmaria da Prato – we must be the future”. An invitation to take responsibility: the example of Greta Tumberg echoes several times. “Because if there is a hope of changing something – adds Gianmaria – that passes through here and through us”. It is time for the future to be built In 230 they had come forward to be at the villa del Gombo.
And among the eighty selected, some even started from very far away. Like Matteo dell’Acqua, engineer of Sant’Anna who works in Mozambique. Like the artist Ravindu Diwanka Perera Ranatunga. Like Chantal Balestri, Italian-Swiss from Massa Carrara, music teacher and concert performer in the city of the big apple, one of the youngest teachers of the New York Academy. “There is a different approach abroad than in Italy – he stigmatizes – In the United States, anyone with good ideas is offered the opportunity to step forward: no matter the age”. “I hope – he says – that for the future of Tuscany there will be more children able to dream big and adults who can realize their aspirations”.
“I hope – he adds – more collaborations between those who produce culture and promotion and more active participation by the population”. However, there are signs that something is changing, according to him. Four years ago Chantal gave birth in her Lunigiana, together with other friends, to the International Music Festival and the response of cultural tourism is there, unexpected and not only local.
Meanwhile, the works inside the villa del Gombo are about to begin. President Giani’s advisor for innovation and youth policies, Bernard Dika, addresses the young people from the steps leading into the building. “It is never easy – he says – to innovate internal processes. But it also depends on us ”. He remembers, with a shiver in his back, the racial laws that Vittorio Emanuele III signed in the woods of San Rossore in 1938, here where today Tuscany meets young people to plan together the “public cultural policies of the near future, citizens who offer their contribution for community growth “.
It’s ten in the morning. To make a group and reduce the ‘herd’ effect, theatrical techniques of harmony are also used. A few more minutes and then everyone inside.