#Giffoni54: time to reconnect. Here’s the theme of the festival’s 54th edition

Announced on Giffoni Day the theme of the 2024 festival and of all the activities to be held throughout the year: “The Illusion of Distance”

The Illusion of Distance” will be the theme of #Giffoni54. The announcement was made on the occasion of the Giffoni Day, which was celebrated today in the Multimedia Valley. This special date commemorates the day in 1970 when the then 18-year-old Gubitosi first had the idea of a unique festival that would later become in over half a century one of the most followed and beloved cultural and social events in the world. This was the occasion to unveil to giffoners and beyond what will be the guiding theme of all the activities of 2024 and the festival, which will be held from July 19 to 28.

In this era defined by digital connectivity, “The Illusion of Distance” is an urgent topic because it highlights a paradox and points to the dangers of isolation, which creeps into the lives of the new generations with the fear of the other, the different, the distant, with the illusion of feeling separate. An invitation to find common paths again, to discover the invisible bonds that exist despite apparent divisions and to create new ones in order to prove how incredibly close and inextricably united we all are.

The distance Giffoni sets out to explore transcends the physical dimension and encompasses the emotional, cultural and spiritual spheres. The recent experience of Covid-19 seemed to have established a significant new awareness of the essential value of relationships and contact with the other, yet this already seems to be fading away. Not only did this period highlight the inherent challenges of preserving a physical space, but it also offered opportunities to reconsider and strengthen the ways in which we connect. What we continue to experience now is a time of separation. However, there is no virus to blame anymore. There are many other forms of separation that are just as dramatic and urgent, although less obvious. Just consider the way we perceive global tragedies. Wars make people from some parts of the world mere spectators, who perceive conflicts as distant and not directly relevant to their own existence. Here is another illusion behind which a major problem lies. The discomfort and pain in measuring oneself against the suffering of others and the sense of powerlessness about it can drive our minds to build an emotional distance from such tragedies.

Additional questions arising concern conflicts that stem from other illusions of distance: these are close, even intimate conflicts that sometimes escalate into tragedy, as the huge number of feminicides shows almost on a daily basis. Many complex and varied mechanisms are at the root of these conflicts: cultural, social, educational dynamics and so forth. However, there is a common thread running through them: the perception of an unbridgeable distance between men and women. A masculine and male-centric perception.

Going beyond the figures and listening to the personal stories of those affected can help create an emotional bond, a deeper understanding of their own backgrounds. Art, films and culture have the power to build real bridges between people. Each story that is told is a journey into a deeper understanding of others’ experiences.

In a world that seems divided and dividing, knowing the stories of other people is an act of rebellion against the illusion of distance. Every voice, every story is a protest against the idea that we are strangers to one another. It is an opportunity to acknowledge that, beyond surface differences, we are all co-authors of an evolving story, of a collective experience, of a new awareness that enables us to see beyond our immediate field of vision, to escape the illusion of a “small world” in which only the ideas of those who are close to us and share similar values matter.

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