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RVR1_The awakening gene

RVR1_Il gene del risveglio (RVR1_ The awakening gene): two days of reflections and practices, initiated by Codici and coordinated by Stefano Laffi and Claudia D’Alonzo, on the ongoing transformations of cultural environments, with specific attention given to processes of participation and community activation in the city.

The chosen format is a Symposium, a space in which to create a debate between culture and welfare organisers and workers around questions such as: how to reactivate social links after a year of fear? How can culture awaken us from numbness? What can the public space do to regain its inhabitants’ trust?

The title of the Symposium is borrowed from nature and biological studies, inspired by the so-called “awakening gene”, discovered in 2017 and responsible for the interruption of the process of vernalisation in plants (the sleeping period starting with the coming of winter): in nature, hibernation is a strategy for survival, the slowing down of vital functions, so that the consumption of food is reduced when it runs low in the surrounding environment. It is nonetheless a period of suspension, which prepares for the coming of life and which would not be possible without the timely stockpiling of provisions. With spring, nature sends out signals to trigger their awakening and plants and animals go back to their active life.

For many human beings, the pandemic represented a forced hibernation, the slowing down of vital functions, and exile from the public sphere, a condition of isolation from others. Not being genetically programmed for this, we suffered from the forced hibernation, the slowing down of our cultural and social metabolism. Yet the extension of this forced hibernation created new habits, new way of perceive others and ourselves. What will be our own RVR1? The hypothesis encompassing the project is that culture is able to call us back to life, out of our state of suspension: for this, while a new cycle is starting, in a world that is completely different from the one we knew, our Symposium draws its participants into an immersive experience of possible awakening, finding new ways of perceiving and acting, and allowing for the emersion of critical issues, fears, fragilities and traumas of an activation that can only be spontaneous.

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