More than three hundred people attended the opening ceremony of the art exhibition “Noi, l’Italia” (“Us, Italy”) at the Laboratory Museum of Experimental Arts in Tor Bella Monaca, a place where beauty and social commitment coexist, in the heart of a Roman district suffering from the economical crisis, with its burden of social break-up and spreading violence.
Here Sant'Egidio decided to create this museum, that offers its space to the works of art by “The Friends” and to many other activities promoting the integration between different generations and cultures.
On the same occasion the newly renovated hall of the House of the Community was inaugurated in the presence of the President of the Community of Sant’Egidio, Prof. Marco Impagliazzo, and of some representatives from the Local City Council.
The artwork – paintings, art installations, videos and texts on the 150th anniversary of the Italian unification, were realised not only by “The Friends” of the Community of Sant’Egidio, but also by a dozen of associations, foster houses, cooperatives and social day centres for disabled people of the area.
Alessandro Iannamorelli, a student from the High School "Edoardo Amaldi", gave his testimony during the meeting. Alessandro, who belongs to the “Youth for Peace” Movement, spoke of “a breath of pure air” he perceived at the museum two years before with his classmates, and he stressed the real possibility to build together peace among different generations.
A representative of “The Friends”, Artist Diego Proietti, quoted the manifesto of “The Friends”: “We seem to be fragile and sometimes we have difficulties, but we have a great strength all together”, and he explained that through art it is possible to communicate one’s dreams to everyone and to make clear “what is sometimes really hard to express”.
Professor Simonetta Lux, from La Sapienza University of Rome, underlined the great power of change the artists live and communicate; a strength whose fruits are perceivable today but will be more and more evident in the future.
The President of the Community of Sant’Egidio, Prof. Marco Impagliazzo, speaking about this district’s conditions, quoted the words of John Paul II “Everything can change!”, underlining that the change of everyone’s heart implies the possibility to change the district of Tor Bella Monaca, the outskirts of Rome and the whole world. "The strength – he continued – is in an ‘us’ that links together many people, form Ivory Coast to El Salvador".
Indeed, several songs played by the “Sounds for Peace”, a youth band of the “Youth for Peace”, who enlivened the event with their music, are inspired by William Quijano – a young man of the Community of Sant’Egidio killed in Salvador for his efforts to defend poorer children’s lives – and by John Paul II, Master of peace.