In the twentieth century Hannah Arendt wrote “mass society, on the contrary, wants not culture but entertainment”..
Hard to blame her i would say. Leisure and entertainment are easy, they require little mental effort and are often passive and therefore easy activities. Culture, reading and learning, on the other hand, require active commitment.
A century has gone by, but little has changed …
So how do we break such mechanism? How can we bring everyone, not just the elite, closer to culture? Perhaps the only answer and the only solution (and therefore the goal of our times) is to gain culture through entertainment.
Museums are becoming more and more interactive, television programs are enriching their contents keeping them still easy to understand and accessible to everyone, not just the so-called insiders. All examples of how culture can influence leisure. Still not enough.
After years of seizing every opportunity to discover the world and travelling to find the answers to many questions I’ve been asking myself, I realize that the best link between the words “leisure” and “culture” lays in the journey itself. The journey itself as a path towards knowledge
acquisition and as the origin of curiosity.
The journey as conceived by Ulysses.
This simple answer prompted me to accept the invitation to participate in the Salone della Cultura in Milan in 2019. A place where i can express myself and be able to express this break with the idea that culture is boring and entertainment is fun.
It cannot and must not be like this for any reason. This thought must change course and make sure to find fun in the culture and vice versa. Choosing this path does not mean for me wanting to simplify or minimize the concept of culture, far from it. Rather, it means finding the meeting point between what is playful and culture understood as knowledge… And i personally found it in travels.
Traveling means discovering something new and not known or habitual to our eyes and mind. The slogan of North Face, a well-known brand dedicated to clothing and equipment for hikers is “never
stop exploring”, which translated means “never stop exploring”.
The world is full of surprises that few books are able to tell in the details of its beauty.. And it is a beauty that nobody teaches us but that we learn to enjoy it by ourselves. From nature, to
populations, to architectural and artistic works, everything is culture, and at the same time everything is entertainment. Leisure in the strictest sense of the word: traveling means escaping and somehow escaping.
Yet it is the only thing that at the same time keeps us so tied to knowledge.