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80 very light years - 80 years of Italian culture in Sweden



80 very light years - 80 years of Italian culture in Sweden


Italian Cultural Institute C.M. Lerici: 80 years of Italian culture in Sweden


During 1940s, Europe was torn apart by the violence of Second World War, and Italy was allied of Nazi Germany.

At the same time, Josif Brodski was born. He was a free poetic voice, victim of Soviet censorship, and future Nobel Prize winner in literature. In 1940, two American researchers, Martin Kamen and Sam Rube, discovered carbon 14 in the radiology laboratory at the Berkley University of California, at the same time as Charlie Chaplin's 'The Great Dictator' was released in American cinemas. These juxtapositions show us that every cloud has a silver lining and new horizons always open up.

All these events took place 80 years ago, a period comparable to the temporal span of a lifetime. A period of time in which society and its values have changed, embracing trends and suggestions that have marked our history decade after decade.

Therefore, 80 years of Italian culture in Sweden through the activities of the Italian Cultural Institute in Stockholm, represent an important anniversary. This is the occasion to celebrate the beginning and the development of a history of friendship and cultural and artistic relations, as well as an opportunity to reconceptualise the promise of a commitment of mutual understanding. A profound exchange that aims to present a culture that is an expression of our time and the prime mover of civil coexistence between peoples.

Over the past 80 years, many excellences of the Italian scientific and humanistic culture visited the Institute, which was first located in an apartment on Linnegatan 16 and then, since 1958, in the marvellous building designed by Gio Ponti on Gärdesgatan 14. Sometimes they "discovered" a new cultural world. On other occasions, they already shared values or dreams, as in the case of the long adventure of archaeological studies, which began with Carlo Maurilio Lerici and is still being going on today.

Each of them, as well as the colleagues who preceded me in the role of director of such a prestigious institution, contributed to make the cultural relations between Italy and Sweden deeper and stronger. Among them, I would like to remember Lucia Pallavicini. Her name is still mentioned by Swedish people who met her in person. Her imprint left an indelible mark in the history of the Institute.

It is a great honour (for me) to recollect the activities of the Italian Institute of Culture 80 years after its foundation. Precisely for this reason, we decided to take up the challenge launched by the difficult time we are experiencing to propose a series of initiatives that will represent a sort of "special edition" of this year's program. Not a nostalgic 'how we were', but a lens to take a deeper look at how much we have changed over the decades and, finally, to state that we will certainly continue to be there in the years ahead.

I would like to quote Italo Calvino, who discussed about the concept of "lightness" as a value in his "Six memos for the Next Millenium": "Take life lightly, that lightness is not superficiality, but gliding on things from above, not having boulders on the heart". A thoughtful lightness made up of lively curiosity and attention brings us closer to others. It teaches us to work harder and better, and to make our wings stronger, so that we can disentangle from the nets that sometimes seem to imprison our lives.

Maria Sica, Director



PROGRAM (in updating)

Monday Stoic: Tips of wisdom for our present from Marcus Aurelius' diary (29 marzo-14 giugno 2021)

La Lanterna di Gio Ponti (permanent site-specific installation)

Kulturnatt Stockholm 2021 (24 aprile 2021)

Historier om arkitektur mellan Italien och Sverige under 1900-talet (15 april-25 november 2021)

Arkivliv (27 april-8 juli 2021)



Data: DA ti 30 mar 2021 a fr 31 dec 2021

Arrangeras av : Istituto Italiano di Cultura Stoccolma

Inträde : gratis


Istituto Italiano di Cultura Stoccolma