Torino Spirituality reflects on the skin

From 29 September to 2 October Turin Spirituality returns, four days of lectures, dialogues, readings and meditations at the Circolo dei readers and in the heart of the city, to reflect together by comparing consciences, cultures and religions. The XVIII edition reflects on the concept of Skin, the “deep surface” of the human being who, while hiding, questions the tangible mystery that each of us represents. In the confrontation of consciences, cultures and faiths, Torino Spirituality returns to trigger a reflection on the meaning of our time and of our being in places of meeting and worship, museum spaces, culture and entertainment in the Piedmontese capital. The image chosen for this year, an ancient lava rock marked by the traces of a contact as unpredictable as it is poetic, alludes to the infinite wealth of encounters our skin is witness to: some ephemeral, others lasting like crystallized flowers forever in stone. Footprints and ornaments that every life is destined to know.

“Dedicating the edition to our epidermis means giving ourselves great horizons to investigate: the skin to be protected and the wounded skin, the perfect skin that does not want to know about aging, the thin, thick, covered, shameless skin, the mirroring one of touch aids , the one that changes, the same skin, the different skin, the one on which the world comes to meet us, the skin with which we go in search of God. An intimate and collective exploration that we are eager to share with the public of Torino Spirituality ” , comments Armando Buonaiuto, curator of Torino Spirituality.

“Turin Spirituality returns to animate the city with a theme that is the perfect synthesis of who we are – an indissoluble whole of interiority and appearance, of life inside and outside of us. The skin is not only the largest, indeed boundless organ we have: it is also the frontier that separates us and unites us to the world. This year the festival – coming of age! – will explore the inexhaustible complexity of existence through the skin and the extraordinary insights that this “deep surface” offers ”thinks about the theme Elena Loewenthal, director of the Fondazione Circolo dei conti.

Thin and at the same time rooted and deep, the skin is the visible map of our existence, the archive of billions of unique and individual stories. Starting from this individual surface of ours, an index of who we are and where we end, the threshold and place of contact with others and with reality, think writers, philosophers, protagonists of the arts and contemporary thought.

The festival is inaugurated by the former world champion footballer and activist against racism Lilian Thuram and the missionary priest Alex Zanotelli, in a dialogue on skin and stereotypes starting from Il Pensiero Bianco (ADD publisher) moderated by the journalist of Internazionale Annalisa Camilli . A special event is the meeting with Orhan Pamuk, Nobel Prize for Literature, who in conversation with Elena Loewenthal, tells The nights of the plague, a new novel published by Einaudi: it is 1901 when the plague spreads, slipping beyond the skin to poison consciences. The 2022 Pulitzer Prize Joshua Cohen arrives at the festival, in Italy for the release of “I Netanyahu”, the novel that earned him the prestigious award, published by Codice Edizioni. Getting out of one’s own skin to give physicality and impulses to that of other human beings is the actor’s job; is the point from which Fabrizio Gifuni will start in Cambiare Pelle. The art of the actor, in conversation with Maria Paola Pierini, professor at the Dams in Turin and film historian. Children ≠ parents is a comparison on when parents and children do not recognize each other in each other’s faces, but more in intimacy: a conversation about society and its stereotypes between children and parents of mixed couples, foster or adoptive parents with Luciana Littizzetto, the singer-songwriter Niccolò Agliardi, the writer Sabrina Efionayi, the journalist Elena Goretti, hosted by the radio speaker Matteo Caccia and the dancer and performer Lidia Carew, in collaboration with Associazione Lidia Dice. On the opening day the neurobiologist Stefano Mancuso intervenes with a lesson on the vegetable epidermis: the skin of the earth (the event is already over), while the writer Paolo Nori tells the experience of his burn. Senza pelle is the title of the dialogue between the theologian Vito Mancuso and the artist and theatrical actor Alessandro Bergonzoni, moderated by Armando Buonaiuto; the writers Nicola Lagioia and Valeria Parrella talk about skin, bodies and literature. The psychoanalyst and essayist Massimo Recalcati thinks about the epidermis and its link with vulnerability, while the Dutch writer Jan Brokken reflects together with the historian Carlo Greppi on the theme The Righteous. Save the skin of others. The philosopher Maura Gancitano argues about beauty, canons of aesthetic conformity and perfection of the complexion. On the final day the monk Enzo Bianchi discusses with the founder of Turin Spirituality Antonella Parigi, the Hindu nun Svamini Hamsananda Giri and the Zen nun Elena Seishin Viviani about the links between body and spirituality and their evolution in these 18 years of festival. The linguist Federico Faloppa also speaks of stereotypes and social imaginary, in the lesson Whitening an Ethiopian and the writer Ubah Cristina Ali Farah, who in the dialogue Always and only good people? he confronts the historian Francesco Filippi on our colonial memory. Vittorio Sgarbi speaks of how the epidermis has been represented in the history of art in a lectio magistralis; Oliviero Toscani also thinks about the visual arts, a photographer who has forever changed the advertising imagery, drawing the cardinal points of a photographic Atlas of the human race, together with Luca Beatrice. The theologian and priest Luigi Maria Epicoco reflects on the relationship between skin and interiority in the lesson The skin of the soul (event already exhausted), while in the intervention A caress on the world the ethologist Roberto Marchesini explores the tactile dimension of care by comparing the humans and animals. Cecilia Strada and former magistrate and essayist Gherardo Colombo discuss the lives spent taking care of the skin of others and the experience of the rescue ship ResQ People, in dialogue with Armando Buonaiuto, in collaboration with the Festival delle Migrazioni. What it means to enter into the skin of others to tell it is the beginning of the reflection of the Dutch writer and reporter Frank Westerman, in dialogue with the anthropologist Marco Aime. Neuroscientist Giorgio Vallortigara, on the other hand, answers the question Why can’t we tickle ourselves? in the lesson dedicated to investigating the boundaries of the self, while the writers Vincenzo Latronico and Irene Graziosi, the content creator Petunia Ollister and the essayist Elisa Cuter talk about social networks and their effects on the perception of our bodies.

The festival has an itinerant preview in the weekend preceding the event in the city: after the summer events, the spiritual walks of Turin Spirituality return with La natura on tiptoe, two itineraries for walking lightly on the surface of the earth. Saturday 24 September the priest and writer Paolo Scquizzato and the readings by Daniela Falconi accompany Walking is joy. Remembering Thich Nhat Hanh, an itinerary immersed in the biodiversity of the Fondotoce Nature Reserve, in collaboration with the LetterAltura festival in Verbania. On Sunday 25 September the same Paolo Scquizzato and Daniela Falconi, this time in Ostana (Cuneo) and in collaboration with Viso a Viso Cooperativa di Comunità, lead Women for the Earth. How the feminine listens to the environment: listening to the words and texts of some women who have spent themselves for the protection of the environment, a walk through paths and villages to get closer to the wounded mother who hosts and nourishes us.

Torino Spirituality reflects on the skin – Piedmontese newspaper