Presentation Tonalestate 2004 (English)
Tonalestate takes place in Ponte di Legno (Brescia), between July 28th and August 2nd 2004, within some days of holiday. During these days it is possible to put questions (addressed to personalities belonging to the artistic, cultural, literary, religious, scientific or social field) that, confronted by the inadequacy of imaging our future, could reach some of the deepest questions about human being, his doing and his meaning.
This year Tonalestate will work on the title « Ecce Money: the money: capital and work».
ECCE MONEY «This is the money»: it seems that everyone is worth just for how much money (dollars, euros, pesos, yen, etc) owns, shows off, gives or produces. If we should define this kind of richness, we could say that is only accumulation. And accumulation, always in a permanent state of conflict against the right distribution, is just a pleasure-seeking mask, laid on the tragic face of a denied bare truth: in fact, reality means accumulation for few people and a tragic indigence for many other. Masking this reality is part of the civil and clean show that the rich (in money) Western world would like to present to the whole world: indeed, besides accumulation, richness (of money) needs to show off, needs signs, cool and trend marks: «The show is the other face of money» wrote Guy Débord.
Looking at the human complexity from the point of view of money, finance and the current notion of richness, has got the purpose, originating form a different taste of life, to discover another unit of measure for the richness of mankind. The true richness does not consist in money accumulation and its signs.
Western and Eastern worlds had others faces and symbols: for instance, that despised face whom Pilate said «Ecce homo», Jesus from Nazareth; the new economy dislikes an unjustly crucified man, as it dislikes a «chador» (haze) that hides a mysterious and female intimacy, as it dislikes that millenarian invocation and never achieving of Abraham, friend of a mysterious god.
Today, Ecce Money, has replaced, as well as the common sense of human being («ecce homo»), also ecce jesus, ecce christus and ecce deus. Money is already, everywhere, mister Money, the deus of an old and rich (in money) western world, whose power would like to master and lead the whole universe.
GREED OF CAPITALS The money (the moralists told and still tell us) is «the devil’s dung». But money is not dung; in fact, the greedy desire, megalomaniac and unjust, the deception to cheat the other man and the avarice that would like to take possession of everything, are “sins” belonging to mankind in itself, even before the existence of money; the birth of money has only made these «sins» easier.
Leopardi’s quotation («drawn on these shores/ is of mankind, the marvellous and progressive fate») is the realistic poetic proof of human naivety about progress; the belief that the man is only progressing towards the Good, without the possibility to lose himself and damage himself definitively, takes away the freedom (the possibility to choose between his own dung and his own humanity).
Before the so-called «auri sacra fames» (holy hunger of gold), there is the «sacra fames» that is the human, greedy, egoistic lust of possessions and capitals, man’s «dung»; and money has expanded it, in its possibilities, in progress, up to the whole universe.
THE HUMILIATED WORK Nowadays, since the Marxist social vocabulary, based on economism, is passed to the conservative forces and to the power, workers are told that what is most important is the economy (a deeper meaning of life, justice, politics dedicated to mankind: all this would be an over-structure that could brake the progress, intended just as a development of economy). And so, human work (entrepreneurial or employed), overflowed by the race towards gold, is humiliated, made worthless and servile. Moreover, instead of picking on the greedy «auri sacra fames» of mighty powerful accumulators, the power quashes normal men who work with hands, mind and heart: it criticizes them in order to condemn them as greedy of goods and possessions, calling «subversive» or «communist» the worker who complains for the poor wage.
A unit of measure for the man and his work could not be so limited and partial like the money: work is time, energy, sacrifice, culture and passion for our only earthly existence: it has to be made in the name of something whom is worth living for. We would like to find something different, on the other hand, in the attitude of this Vermeer picture («the dairy maid») that Tonalestate has chosen this year: we would like to see there the civil virtues of a dignified human work.
PEACE, WATER AND HOLIDAYS. Usually Tonalestate dedicates a whole day (or some breaks inside a day of conferences) to peace, realizing that only justice brings to true peace, preserved by forgiveness and not by a spiral of hate and violence that seems never-ending. Tonalestate takes the possibility of confronting and listening to different realities of conflict (from Palestine to Ireland, from Chechnya to Iraq, from Basque country to Latin-America).
Moreover, inside «Ecce Money», Tonalestate is going to speak about water, a common good to defend as an essential part of the true human richness. There are powerful establishments exploiting water; nevertheless, even now, over a billion and half of people has not access to drinking water, which should not be paid, but fairly dispensed.
This is Tonalestate: personalities of culture, young people, professors, students, professionals, workers, families, volunteers and people in charge of associations coming from different countries of the whole world (together with a lot of tourists and local citizens) create this place of dialogue and meeting of Tonalestate, within a brief period of holidays. We would like it could be a little sign of a different and positive kind of humanity, able to get another taste of life and of its richness.