Summer School of Humanities and Philosophy festival - Reports and mediation

Summer School of Humanities and Philosophy festival - Reports and mediation

The voice of the nature usually begin to be heard in September. That place had been invaded the month before, the type which disturbed all the locals, but - according to them – was necessary.
What was really necessary? asked little Hans He had been brought to this place as a result of issues related to his parents’ employment to found himself in a different situation: people who spoke a different language, different roads, faces and habits.


Even the sun was different. It was stronger, aggressive and the sea clearest than the ocean. The only time that made him not feel the difference, was when he bought a kilo of bread in those little shops hidden in the village alleyways. His father always gave him two Euros and Hans felt at ease, because he recognized the coin, the same that was used in Germany.

“How many differences exist in this world? Sometimes there are too many and who knows why the money does not change?”. Hans asked his father, who was always surprised by that observation made by a little man of only eight.

Jochen was a single father and had lived in Germany for 35 years. His mother was Italian, Rossana, a strong woman who had left their homeland in ‘67 to find fortune in a foreign land. Jochen had a German name but did not feel German. He had worked and studied in Germany. Had graduated in business administration and certainly did not lack work. The reason for his expatriation was sentimental, idealistic.

“My son - he repeated to his friends and his ex-wife - will grow up in Italy.” He was convinced about that, and one day he did so. He left his home town and went to the hidden part of southern Italy, with many human and, in his heart, even professional expectations. In Germany he had worked in a “Firma” (as called by the Germans), a leader in the field of marketing. He had saved a small amount of money in all those years of hard work and this allowed him to accept a position in one of the small local companies in his new homeland, working in the advertising field. Yes, right in the south of Italy as he so much wanted.

After about three months of work he was sacked. He was unable to understand the dynamics of local labour, accustomed as he was to fast-paced rhythms, but not so long lasting, long-range projects which facilitated the success and achievement of objectives. In that small town it was not feasible to think of working 6 hours and 40 minutes per day and then having the weekend off for himself and his son. The chief repeated: “Here you work for only four months a year at full tilt. The remaining should be interpreted as a long holiday. You’ll apply for the unemployment subsidy, which will keep you going all winter long! What else do you want? Here we are not in Germany! And then I do not understand why you came to the south of a disrupted country, we enjoy it, but it works differently here.”
Jochen did not want to explain his personal reasons, he didn’t think it necessary. He was a German in Italy. In Germany, however, he was an Italian.

He could not perfectly understand this! He did not know if his anthropological position was an advantage or a disadvantage. He was familiar with both cultures and adapted to both. He even knew how to adapt to changes better than his computer which, whenever he wrote in Italian, the text underlined in red. And he had bought it in Italy. It was Hans, the little genius, digital native, who one day pointed out the fact that he had programmed the Italian pc from the German one. Data migration! Incredible, it was a problematic migration and the PC may not accept the diversity in his “bios.”

Jochen Caiolo lost his job after a few months and, from necessity, began to work in the tourism sector, six months a year, with prospects of economical improvement. Earning 1000 Euros net and working 10 hours a day, from March to September. He was the local rep for German tourists in all the hotels of the island and was very well-liked, but was always ask by his half compatriots, “Why do you live here? I imagine that the pay is not so rewarding? Furthermore things do not work so well?”.

Jochen never answered and changed thesubject, talking about the beauty of the place that he had never denied. This was a technique he had learned from a fellow native, southern born, as he jokingly said. “Every time a discussion turns to something personal, change the subject and talk about the beauty of the island - said Mario – my mother always does this. Sometimes, if it’s winter, she talks about the cold and complains; if it’s summer she talks about the heat, quickly changing the subject. Then, when we find ourselves in a place that from a naturalistic point of view does not offer much to admire, or in the spring with a perfect temperature, she says she has excruciating pain, interrupting the speech with the same mastery. An excellent technique.”

Jochen used it with tourists and it really worked. That technique had become his currency, with which exchanged the silence hiding their feelings, through clichés. When he became older and Hans had was 37 years, Jochen was no more tired. He was happy with the way his son had grown. Hans was a respected person, and knew how to mediate the most of his supposed difference, what perhaps Jochen had only done in silence.
One winter evening at about 7pm, after they had returned from a business trip, Jochen asked Hans to go and buy some bread.

Hans said, “You know Dad, I’m glad you decided to live here. I am convinced that the human being can always have the freedom of choice, even in the most difficult situations. This is what I’ve always made clear following your way of doing things! You have always been the meeting point between two different nations claiming the right through the body, the possession of that body. I keep this teaching with pride.

We human beings share the same sky, the same land and the same sea, but we never give up diversities, indeed at times this seems a point of union, rather than discord.

Is it historical situations which make us intelligent and thoughtful, but also .... ““ That’s right - interrupted the father – it is up to us to see each other as equals yet different at the same time, we determine the time and value of equality and diversity! Now take 5 euros and buy half a kilo of bread.”

Festival Information, second edition:
Theme: Relations-Mediations
September 26th to September 29th :
Summer School of Humanities for members
September 29th to October 2nd Festival
of Philosophy: Philosophy, the Castle and
the Tower - Ischia International Festival of
Philosophy 2016.
Over 60 philosophers from around the
world: Canada; Germany; Sweden; Spain;
France; Georgia etc.
60 reports and debates open to the public
admission free.
Dealing with diversity, racial, cultural,
The Festival foresees the campaign “Live
in common”: the road leading from the
port of Ischia to the Aragonese Castle will
be lined with an exhibition of 25 panels
showing quotes written by the students of
the middle schools of Ischia, the Institute
E. Mattei and the Liceo Statale Ischia. A
unique consideration regarding public
spaces, sharing thoughts through the
concept of diversity.




di Raffaele Mirelli



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