IIn the happy merger of entrepreneurs, intellectuals and art ists, Fondazione Aria celebrates its eleventh year of activity. In these hard times we are going through, amidst wars and pan demics, we want to state that enhancing knowledge and dia logue between nations represents, today more than ever, the essential tool for human progress. Stills of Peace and Everyday Life project, at its 9th edition, heads in this direction and after having strongly experienced the confrontation with Pakistan, Spain, France, China, Morocco, Iran, Japan and South Korea, draws this year its attention to Armenia.
Armenia boasts a millennial history of brightness and beauty and also dark times after which it was always tenaciously able to rise again. Our shared will to acknowledge and pursue the cultural partnership between Armenia and Italy, and with our Region in particular, meets its eloquent expression in Stills of Peace 2022 program held in Atri and Pescara: exhibitions, documentaries, movie screenings, talks with the curators and the Armenian and Italian artists involved. And indeed, we wanted to endorse the reprint of the volume Armenian folk songs (Carabba editions), presented as a preview of Stills on the last 15 March in Pescara, at the presence of the Ambas sador of the Republic of Armenia in Rome Tsovinar Hambard zumyan and boasting a new preface signed by Antonia Arslan, a century after its first publication curated by the Abruzzi intel lectual Domenico Ciampoli. And it's with the hundred years old but still modern verses written by the renown Armenian poet Daniel Varujan and translated by Professor Arslan that I would like to end this brief note: "At the Eastern part of the world/ let there be peace... / let sweat, not blood, flow / in the broad veins of the furrow / and at the toll of each hamlet's bell / let there rise hymns of exaltation".
President of Fondazione Aria
Armenia crowns my third year of cooperation with the Stills of Peace project as the President of Abruzzi Regional Council, af ter having previously featured Japan and South Korea. I haven't had the opportunity to visit any of these three countries yet, but nevertheless thanks to Stills of Peace I was able to explore their identity characteristics.
I have always been fascinated by the history of the Armenian fierce, noble people, whose tragic past is still denied by the international stage. Armenian have been persecuted, extermi nated and sent to a diaspora impossible to solve. It is always complicated to hold together the reasons of state and the jus tice of peoples, but what Armenians have undergone is in all respects a genocide, and it has to be called with the right name. The history of this nation is being given much thought, and important cultural initiatives will surely help people, and mostly young people, think about the necessary confronta tion between cultures that only appear different, but in reality share human and existential values.
I am proud to have supported such an important event able to animate unique places like the historic Acquaviva Palace, the Cardinal Cicada Palace in Atri and the Vittoria Colonna Museum of Modern Art which, thanks to Fondazione Aria and the Munici pality of Pescara has reopened to the public.
President of Consiglio Regionale d'Abruzzo
I am very happy for the opportunity to feature the exhibition Stills of Peace and Everyday Life: Italy and Armenia in Atri and Pescara. This year we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the ps. tablishment of diplomatic relations between Armenia and Italy and such event fits perfectly into the celebration of an impor- tant anniversary.
I was pleased to be present in Pescara at the inauguration of the Abruzzi Armenian season, during which another event was held dedicated to the anniversary of our diplomatic rela tions: the presentation of the book Armenian folk songs, firstly published back in 1921.
Stills of Peace and Everyday Life: Italy and Armenia marks the continuity of a friendship that is deep and immutable, of history, of shared values and of the desire to deepen and enhance more and more the bonds between Armeni ans and Italians.
I sincerely thank all those who made this year's edition possible and in particular my best wishes go to the realization of the shost film about the Armenian communities in Italy, which saw the fective commitment of our Embassy together with the organix tion of Fondazione Aria.
I hope that, even when the present event will be over, the Ar menian season in Abruzzi may still go on, wishing there will be many other opportunities to strengthen even more the relation ship of deep friendship that binds our two nations.
The Ambassador of the Republic of Armenia in Italy
Started in 2013 with a first exhibition taking place in Islamabad, Pakistan, Stills of Peace at its ninth edition features Armenia, the far end of Europe at the gates of Asia, that after at least a millennium of prevarications and the deep scar of a genocide, has declared its independence from the Soviet Union only in 1991. The bright eyes of a young girl portrayed by Zaven Khachikyan – coming straight to our conscience, sweeping away indifference to give way to hope, demanding respect and care for future generations and unwittingly invoking truth – were chosen as the official image of the event. Ar menian people carry the living memory of the war inside them, but the one thing they have never been robbed of, is the hope for a fu ture in which the principle of equality of nations and peaceful settle ment of international disputes will be universally recognized, togeth er with the right of self-determination for every Community on Earth.
Fondazione ARIA, renewing the decennial cooperation with the Municipality of Atri, brings now Stills of Peace to Pescara, set ting up a virtuous network that allows the event to grow bigger and to feature important and original site-specific productions, together with sixteen artists, six curators and three venues host ing seven contemporary art exhibitions. Photography, sculp ture, painting, performance, video-art, six o.v. film screenings and a cinema production portraying the Armenian communities settled in Italy.
Once again, the original spirit of Stills of Peace and Eve ryday Life achieves the purpose to make people open to differences and to the respect of diversity that comes from mutual knowledge through the shared humanistic and existential values that underlie every single Culture. Our globalized society is in need of a multicultural and inclusive vision, and contemporary art is a strategic trail blazer for a new vision of the world where East and West live together peacefully.
Giovanna Dello lacono
Director of Stills of Peace Event