Is the city old or new? When you say  “the sun” to a child  it draws a big circle with rays flying more or less confidently from its rim in all directions ; and with “house” the drawing shows a door, windows and a chimney with smoke coming out even in the height of summer. Yes, that is the house: the one of fairy tales, but also a real one drawn in the hope that we might understand the child’s life better, the life it knows and wants , but  also the one that makes it suffer.

The city is the one we know, the one we have lived in; and we want a better one, more efficient, and more lovely. But the city is above all the one we had fun in, where we have celebrated, not just our own family but everyone else in the city . We have witnessed the transformation of city languages, of festivities; many people might not be aware of it, but in recent decades there has been a powerful transformation of city life. New institutions, new public spaces, new services:  these haven’t undermined the old ones, the exchange of kisses and the bustle, but they have been superimposed in a dialogue that, when applied with intelligence, has given a new sense of harmony, a sense of  identity, to the city.

We are called on to be citizens in those cities,  angrily, wearily, but also with passion: our desires, needs, and cries need to be heard.

We at Festi Group have remained close to the cities, taken them under our wing, given them a new life force, suggesting a transformative language when very few people, if any, knew where we were heading: to celebrate. Festive events, we believe, “present the world we want”, we anticipate the future, it’s our talent and our duty. In the energy and heat of the party we still have to be ready for anything, to be unflappable, even when everyday tedium gets in the way. It’s then, faced with minor and major annoyances that our vision sharpens, we can make promises, and fulfill real needs.

And so Covid 19 can be seen as an opportunity: under quarantine millions of people are dreaming of a better world and imagining what it might be like. Many, most of us, want to give Light to Life, not just for the time being, but to be rid of stupidity and deception, and to embrace , in so far as each of us can, understanding, celebration, being, and above all being true citizens.

That’s where we have to start.

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