I was born in Italy by an Italian Catholic mother and a Muslim Senegalese/Gambian father.
I am an African, European, Italian, Gambian, Senegalese, blue collar, bourgeois, Muslim Catholic, black and white man. “Technically” I am all and, of course, none of the above, as I have grown up in a globalized world, I have lived in four different countries between Africa and Europe and my growth and formation have been immersed in a cosmopolitan context.
I was born with this range of diversity within me and I have experienced all the different roles that society constructed for me. I experience the role of the oppressed and the oppressor, I have been the rich and the poor, both the victim and the perpetrator. Growing up I had to find strategies to reconcile all those contradictions that used to live inside me.
“I have always been interested in discovering the "other", because the other was me. That’s why empathy was never a choice, it was more a condition. ”
Adama Sanneh — Co-Founder, CEO - Moleskine Foundation
I don't have a straight answer to express who I am.
It was that “condition” that created an interest first, a passion later and finally a profession in social change.
Leaving for Eastern Africa to work in an emergency relief program was the only activity in which, at the time, I could find meaningfulness.
Time and experience shaped and articulated this personal research for meaningfulness in different ways, but it remained at the base of what drives me.
I am many things (as all of us, I believe). What I can say is that what drives me is a constant research and discovery of the “other” because the other is me.