During the past week I was in Locarno at the Film Festival for some days, and I really enjoyed the movies I watched, which inspired me a lot of thinking..
the Festival opened with the movie Indebito (undue debt) by Andrea Segre, starring Vinicio Capossela and other Rebetiko musicians. It was about economic crisis, rebellion, music played in the narrow streets, music as rebellion to crisis, and it was also a lot just about Rebetiko and Vinicio Capossela, which many people didn’t like. Very little it actually showed the issue of the huge value of what we inherited by Greek culture, which overcome any current debt, and therefore should make EU thinking that maybe we are now au pair. The movie stimulated a discussion with my friends and I ended up saying that in Europe arts and culture are not given too much value because the European mentality is dominated by countries where there is no quality of life, no quality food, no quality landscape, no quality art, or weather, therefore they don’t give a shit to Mediterranean values…
I had too many drinks at the opening apero, and so I think.. I didn’t think .. it’s not about food, it’s not about countries, it’s about people and individual mentality mirrored in a dominant society (someone will think I’m still drunk, but I’m not!)..
Quality of life is not about who makes the tastiest bread or the best wine.. it’s not even only having a combination of extraordinary good food with good weather with wonderful landscape (as we have in Italy and in a few other countries in EU).. this is more valuable on Facebook…
but what is then, is it all about GDP and development? roads, railways, internet?
A friend who lives not far from Locarno, and hosted us for two nights, said something really important about this. He is blind, and he leaves in a 50 people village on the mountains, from where he commutes by bus and trains towards places where he can ski or swim, which requires long time. He said he had lived in many towns or big cities before moving there, because he had thought that could be the best option.. But then he realised that he preferred proximity to nature, safety (in the small village he can move easily, there are no cars), and people who cared more about him and more ready to help him.
It seems Italy doesn’t provide a great quality of life, if, besides good food and weather, cannot provide equal services for everybody. Our cities are impossible obstacles for people with handicaps and are impossible awful smog traps for everybody…cars are everywhere, parked and packed.. the natural environment was destroyed unless preserved by remoteness or historical ownership (aristocratical or religious)…
However, our friend had lived even abroad.. and this led me thinking that it’s not about nationality, or traditional culture, but more about values.
Solidarity, creativity, joy, compassion, hospitality..awareness, virtue, ethics… None of this values is included in the Quality of Life index designed by the Economist Intelligence Units.
what’s the value of walking in the streets and not being afraid to talk to people, and being answered if you greet them (something that many times doesn’t happen if they don’t know you!!!)? what’s the value of gathering with other people just bringing your chair in the main square and share games or music or food..?