Giardino di carta
The Keminova Factory Library.
Giardino di Carta is many things, first and foremost a veritable library at the company inspired by the Olivetti way, the heart and soul of a broader project that envisions the factory as a community, a place of inspiration, exchange and constructive relationships. It aspires to be something even greater: a driver of ideas, stimuli and reflections that manifest themselves in a series of meetings with key figures of culture, art and science, for the company’s professionals and general public from beyond the company.
Meetings and conversations 2023
Inside us there is something that has no name, that something is what we are.
Identity is a multifaceted diamond and each one offers a particular vision; identity does not reveal itself in any of them, and yet it constitutes their reflection.
David Le Breton
As I write these words, which will accompany the program of Giardino di Carta 2023, I feel the weight of the intrinsic complexity in the title of this edition, and the need to unravel the sense of such a far-sweeping concept, starting from its linguistic and philosophical definition.
So, I open the Treccani dictionary of the Italian language and find “identity”:
“To be identical, perfectly equal”, but also “a sense and awareness of the self as an entity that is separate from others and continuous over time”.
A good starting point, worth pursuing. Then I came across the document of the Swiss Federal Commission on Migration which definesidentity as “orienting oneself, knowing one’s own position in everyday life, in the environment and in the world. The definition of identity moves between perception of the self and of others: each time we say “I am”, we implicitly indicate a difference or delimitation with respect to “others.”
Now the philosophy of Michela Marzano comes to my rescue:
“The notion of identity eludes us. Who are we? What is it that truly defines us? […] Identity moves, changes, evolves, and despite desperate attempts to set it in stone, it eludes us. We are all “one, no one and one hundred thousand” as Pirandello wrote, […], above all because we have nuances that eschew a rigid definition of the self”
I have more questions than answers. In short, can there be talk of identity given that our essence and that of culture lies in change and transformation? How to find a balance between the defence of a singularity and the need for universality? How to modulate it in juxtaposition and relation with the concept of difference, which it mirrors?
The decision to focus our meetings on this concept is no coincidence, rather it arises from the fact that identity has always been very close to the Keminova heart, its activities and initiatives. Facing the multitude of nuances starts here, and is certainly a challenge. A daunting challenge we will attempt to tackle together with a group of speakers who will discuss this concept through their experience and from different, unexpected and surprising points of view.
From brand identity (of our brand in particular!), its external and internal implications, to identity linked to the land and its cultivation, gender identity and its place in a work environment, the building of a territory’s identity and the creative, fluid and personal reading of identity through art and illustration. Of course without forgetting the shaping of identity in our products, the result of study, intuition, dialogue and analysis of needs and changes in society.
An ambitious but thrilling objective: to question our fixed points, raise questions before coming up with answers, enriching our awareness, through the construction of a gaze that thrives on the past in order to understand the future.
How many other definitions of identity and difference will we come across? And how far will they take us?
2 December 2023
Workshop in two sessions: 10.30-12.15 and 13.30-15.15
Marco Somà, Andersen Award illustrator
The call of the swamp
Workshop in search of identity, for all ages
Open to families