For many years we have been participating to the cultural life of the African continent: we have been meeting people, getting to know organizations, co-creating initiatives, telling stories and partaking in experiences that, in time, change places and communities, and the ways people interact with each other and perceive the reality around them. And not only that. Every day we read, research and try to intersect the flow of new and antique knowledge that comes from Africa and enters the circulation of the world’s network. This knowledge is probably the biggest asset of lettera27. It has been stimulating and enriching us, always changing the way we see things. So at some point it was only natural to pose ourselves a question as to how we can share and give value to this heritage of dynamic and ever-evolving knowledge. This question inspired and informed a lot of our activities, with which we are trying to aggregate and disseminate contents, debates, events and various critical points of view.
To this day the strongest and purest answer to this question has come in a form of another question: Why Africa?. An open question, sometimes contradictory, which constantly raises other questions and amplifies the possible answers. Why Africa? is an idea conceived by lettera27, which took shape of an editorial column on Doppiozero, our partner on various initiatives. The column has grown thanks to the constant dialogue with Doppiozero’s editorial team. Every month this thought container has been acquiring more defined contours and has been opening new lines of thought, enriching it with new authors and ideas. It has sparked debates and inspired poetic, personal and intimate thoughts. It has even conquered the fondness of those who were initially sceptical and have given us a non-response…
A few weeks ago this space has opened a new window to the world: Doppiozero has launched its International version. From now on every week you can read Why Africa? articles and a selection of Doppiozero’s content on art, culture, literature, music, cinema and philosophy that they have published in the recent years and that is now translated in English. It is yet another way to share knowledge and engage larger and more diverse audiences in a critical debate.
We start with a piece that launched our column a year ago. Do you remember it? A number of authors and influences of the African and international cultural scene have responded to our question Why Africa?Followed by The mother of all dances, one of the most read and loved pieces of our column, in which Simon Njami takes us on his personal journey between lights and shadows that the word Africa evokes. This week Doppiozero International re-publishes two articles that elaborate on the themes of migration, geography and boundaries. The first one is a dialogue between Dagmawi Yimer, film director and a member of Archivio delle Memorie Migranti, and Gabriele del Grande, co-author of On the Bride’s Side, the documentary that following its huge success in Italy and all over the world will be presented on October 15th in London. Together with this double interview we suggest you to read a beautiful piece by Roberto Casati, who questions the conventional ways of looking at geography, which also symbolize the ways of defining the boundaries between cultures and human beings. What if we looked at the world map from a different perspective? Why not try to draw different trajectories and invent new continents?
We leave you to read or enjoy re-reading the pieces in this new space of thoughts and ideas that is called Doppiozero International.