Tuesday, December 22, 2009

GiBì & DoppiaW: Italian creativity to boost social empathy


A contagious star, the star of peace

It was one of those afternoons devoted to writing and with no planned outings. When I got tired of staring at my computer screen, I went for a refreshing stroll.

I was dawdling about my little town with my camera, as usual, looking for nothing in particular. Christmas time, possible season decorations to capture. Although the simple festive ornament in Ghilarza is prerogative of the sole main street, I was drawn away from the town centre by a quirky green sign leading toward Piazza Torre Aragonese, named after a big Aragonese tower that dominates the little square.

On my left, just behind the tower, something caught my attention: the entrance to a comics. It took me a minute to understand I had ended up at an interactive exhibition for children.

Kids were meant to go during their morning classes, so in the afternoon the venue was empty and I had all curators around me willing to explain the meaning of their art.

Yes, because Gibì & DoppiaW need at least an introduction. Their author, Walter Kostner, was born in Ortisei, picturesque town surrounded by the overwhelming landscape of the Dolomites. Since 1978, he has been travelling all around the globe to meet children belonging to any ethnicity, religion and culture, with the goal to boost their creativity.

Facing problems together makes them less demanding


"Because the main problem of our times is that we've lost togetherness!" Told me Duccio, one of the curators.


Tell me about it.


Technology is a great thing, but modern society is driving people to live increasingly alone, less needy of each other and therefore less keen to establish relationships.


Paradoxically, now that I live in London, I feel weird when I come back home and I see what's like the life in small villages. Locals barely close their frontdoors, always wave at each other, when they shop if they don't have the change they'll pay some time later on, they know they'll find their car if they forget it open, and so on and so forth.


Of course in cities like London this is not possible (please don't leave your frontdoor open!), but socializing is generally more difficult, unless you're drunk.


So, Walter Kostner and his young team hit the road and work on boosting creative thinking through these comics strips that suggest an easier way to face reality.

A new religion?


The goal of this travelling exhibition, titled "Tesori Tra Noi" (Treasures among us) is to introduce an innovative learning method that gives paramount importance to personal creativity in order to reinvent the way people interact with each other.


The strips themselves, although aimed at children, are by not means easy and require a guide, who normally wears a colourful bow tie. I don't watch TV, so I've particularly appreciated the strip titled "A new religion", that implicitly suggests to go out and enjoy real life experiences.

A team of experts in the learning and artistic fields journeys throughout Europe to meet as many people as they can, in the hope to help children to relate and establish new ways of communication. I truly wish them the best of the achievements.



All strips are courtesy of interactive exhibition "Tesori Tra Noi".

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