In this second issue of ZRAlt! we give the floor to the “greatest poet of all time”, Albert Einstein, who on his part, continues to enlighten us about the productive relationship between crisis and creativity, perfectly in line with the inspiring philosophy of our magazine:
“Let’s not pretend that things will change if we keep doing the same. A crisis can be a real blessing to any person, to any nation. For all crises bring progress. Creativity is born from anguish, just like the day is born form the dark night. It’s in crisis that inventiveness is born, as well as discoveries made and big strategies. He who overcomes crisis, overcomes himself, without getting overcome. (…) There’s no challenge without a crisis. Without challenges, life becomes a routine, a slow agony. There’s no merit without crisis. It’s in the crisis where we can show the very best in us. Without a crisis, any wind becomes a tender touch. To speak about a crisis is to promote it. Not to speak about it is to exalt conformism. Let us work hard instead. Let us stop, once and for all, the menacing crisis that represents the tragedy of not being willing to overcome it.” (from The World As I See It).
Einstein would have never imagined that those reflections of his, dated 1931, right before the unspeakable aberrations carried out by the Nazi regime and which, a few years later, would force him to emigrate to USA, was at odds with the outrageous “deathly reality” of the Shoah or with the millions and millions of European citizens decimated during the World War II.
And yet… and yet the blessed word Peace in that same blood-soaked Europe has gradually gained back legitimacy, while the Einsteinian “crisis” reclaimed its Greek etymology (Krisis, literally to separate, to decide).
Within this enlightened frame, ZRAlt, too, in its own small way, undertakes a fearless challenge promoting a possible innovation in the overcrowded world of online magazines, both on a national and international scale, with its travelling mini-editorial office in the no-more-town of L’Aquila, where even the Internet connection might be a serious challenge.
In the editorial published in the first issue we explained the motivations and contents of a mono-thematic magazine focused on “Catastrophe & Creativity”.
However, every catastrophe entails an existential crisis (personal or collective) and both – as Einstein clearly puts it – are just the fuel for an untamed and indomitable creativity, which with its lymphatic contribution is able to give new life to the desiccated utopian roots of a “new humanity” more and more oppressed by the overwhelming burden of intolerable injustices.
Creativity as an antagonist against the fury of any disasters, not only those caused by Nature, but also by “human insane minds” that, from the Marxist exploitation of man by man, in the globalizing age of the world’s wealth concentrated in the dirty hands of the richest 1 percent (mostly hidden by the white gloves of multinational corporations), have turned to the regular daily larceny of the remaining 99 percent of the population.
The fragments of a rampant worldwide injustice can be found, in the current issue ZRAlt!, in the article signed by Pino Bertelli (The Mali Conflict) documented by a portfolio of amazing pictures shot in a refugee camp in 2012, authentic icons that splendidly portray the Beauty of the Tuareg ethnic group.
The fact that the redeeming theme of Peace has never been set aside finds evidence in the essay Natural Disaster: G8 and G20, co-written by Sekiguchi Toyoshige and Pina Calì, where the figure of the gentle Buddhist monk emerges, also the co-author of the article, who from Japan sets on solitary journeys to bring his campaign for nuclear disarmament to the G8 and G20 summits – chanting prayers for peace, beating a small drum and carrying a banner.
With regard to art, the exposition Debord’s dérive at the 99 Cannelle, conceived and curated by Antonio Gasbarrini on the first anniversary of the earthquake (6 April 2010), still shows the aesthetic possibility of spreading Beauty, there where ruins and medieval dried-up spouts would let us glimpse only the eerie aspects of destruction… In the two specular article and video Natural Disasters, cinema and special effects written by Gabriele Lucci and Post Scriptum (a documentary film by two L’Aquila-based youths, Stefano Ianni and Francesco Paolucci), we can grasp the underlying dialectic of filmic fictions inspired by natural events as opposed to the harshness of an abandoned town, first evacuated and afterwards shored up by skeleton-like wooden and steel props.
More related to cultural reflections are the two articles The Demiurge Massimo Cacciari by Walter Tortoreto and Charpy Pendulum Impact Test by Anna Maria Giancarli, inspired by public meetings and conversations (in L’Aquila and Rome, respectively).
The second and last part of the intense essay Media Coverage of Natural Disasters written by Giuseppe Siano analyzes, in an original way and under the magnifying glass of the innovative Information theory, the new ways of media reporting in the current Internet informational revolution.