Opening ceremony on the island. The mayor recalled the need to build relationships with the rest of the world
PROCIDA. The official start in Procida, the Italian Capital of Culture 2022, was given this evening in the presence of the President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella, who inaugurated the cultural program of 44 projects. «I express a strong and sincere appreciation for those involved in the organization of this rich program of events – the words of the Head of State -. Procida is called to tell the primary importance of culture. Culture is a capital, to be valued and invested in, it is capital as the sum of the expressions of human commitment, it is capital as the sum of the inheritance left by humans on earth. What is a secluded place like an island will become the place from which culture will radiate for a year. Procida as an industrious laboratory and fascinating responsibility for citizens and for those who love the island: you citizens of Procida are the protagonists, in the logic of that participation that underlies everything. The island is one of the smaller ones in the Mediterranean, and remember that we are all center and periphery, metropolis and small village, island and mainland. Procida has taken up the challenge, culture is not a niche, it is not separated from the social fabric, but beauty that is transmitted, thought that enriches, ethics and emotion. Procida has been a workshop of changes, passions and ideas, once a fortified and secluded place, today open and welcoming with a community that wants to enhance the territory and its beauties. Culture is synonymous with peace, its authenticity lies in the ability to promote communication and cooperation. We are overwhelmed by images that we thought we had delivered to the archive of unrepeatable horrors on our continent, but other new crimes are sweeping Europe. The energy of culture must reach us to build peace. Cultural heritage generates humanism: these are the resources that allow the people to share and dialogue. A message of hope and the will to hope must come from this island ”. In conclusion, the president affirms: “The sea is wealth, it is life and solidarity, the sea is a relationship between peoples; Procida the capital is an opportunity for the whole region: only if the South grows in a renewed sense of cooperation will the country move forward “.
The mayor of Procida Raimondo Ambrosino recalled the need to build relationships with the rest of the world: “The island of Procida is densely populated, but it has never lived independently, it has instead fed its citizens thanks to the sea and thanks to relationships that it brings with the rest of the world. For this reason Procida has a culture of welcome, and this is also seen with the migrant reception program that was activated years ago, when this was a particularly hot topic. The different nationalities have coexisted with us creating a cosmopolitan culture that characterizes us. The island as a place where new relationships come together and build, where welcome and openness to the different are the watchwords “. Vincenzo de Luca, president of the Campania region said: «We believed in this project and we have been working on it for two years, when in Europe and in Italy there was a completely different climate, the slogan is, in fact, culture does not isolate. The goal is to relaunch the tourism economy in the Campania region. Procida is like a sort of window on a coast line, on a blessed territory: this small island overlooks an archaeological, cultural and historical wealth of Campania. The ability to dialogue, understanding, is part of the history of the island and is what you want to give to others. Procida is a land of sailors and fishermen, people who, from their relationship with the sea, have learned that this does not allow superficiality but requires rigor and also recalls hope “
The president of the Chamber of Deputies, Roberto Fico greeted Procida and the Procidans who are far away, the Minister of Culture, Dario Franceschini recalled that “the competition that arises to become the Capital of Culture pushes various places to build their own vocation, and it is for this is what cities are rewarded for, not so much for their archaeological or historical magnificence, but rather for the project they have presented, for the story they want to tell and the message they want to convey. In fact, for the first time we are in a Capital of Culture which is a small community, and not a capital. What convinced us is the story of a Procida beautiful outside and inside, beautiful outside for what man has managed to build with nature, beautiful inside because the message heard and transmitted speaks of welcome and mutual respect: a particularly important message in a year like this. Even in the hardest moments, culture leaves room for dialogue ».
Agostino Riitano, director of Procida Capital of Culture highlighted that: «culture is a bond, and now more than ever we need to create and recreate those bonds that are breaking up today. For us, culture is the meaning of institutions, culture is the defense of freedom of expression, it is a vocation to welcome. We have tried to translate the motto “culture does not isolate” into 27 languages, because we want to reach as many communities as possible, we want to build new bridges and relationships. This island is not just “a beautiful place”, the winning method is to have created active citizens who generate culture, and not just spectators: in our project, culture becomes popular again. “Utopia and event” are the theme of the day, in fact today we are making something intense and strong happen for this community and for the whole country ».