DADA: a stunning answer to Italian quest for (young) talents and (really) expert academics.

I am a lucky Italian student.

Most of my colleagues, university students like me, would disagree on the general meaning of this affirmation. It seems that being an Italian it is not a synonym of a natural born privilege, but within few decades it became an equivalent of looser, defeated by history. Not to mention that, being a student, seem to be as useless as never before…

Dear Reader, if this is the case, if you believe that Italy has nothing more to offer then sun, beaches, wine and good food, you have a pretty sad perception of my country.
Thus, this post is about hope.

A group of inspired researchers, headed by prof. Antonio Palmisano, gave birth to an amazingly interesting review: DADA.
Its subtitle explains more about it, but it does not picture the variety and the innovation of the review itself. As the “post-global anthropological review”, DADA surely fills an empty spot, creating a space where to analyze and debate cultural events of topical interest, with a clear anthropological perspective. Have a look at the first special edition‘s summary: it is rare to find such a complete and, in the same time, diversified collection of contributions. None of my metaphors would fit the experience of reading it by yourself. As a very good friend of mine used to say, “if life’s too short to spend it reading unworthy stuff”, stop reading this post and download DADA. But come back, afterwards.

Because DADA is much more than a review, and I can show you why.

As described by prof. Palmisano on DADA’s website, among the objectives of the review, one should catch your attention immediately: it pledges to involve young people in effectively producing articles within the framework of an international, scientific, academic, interdisciplinary review.
Given the nowadays panorama of Italian decadent academic community, DADA experiment is not just revolutionary, but also encouraging. It delivers a fundamental message to foreigners, Italians and (most important) to my colleagues: Italian Gross Domestic Production of Culture it is not over.

As a collaborator to the review (my article on Matvejević will be published on this blog soon), I am proud to have been part of this experiment. Given the results, I hope that this experiment will become a successful, continuous example that Italian students, guided by wise academics, are “alive and kicking”.

I beg your pardon, dear Reader, if you might feel this article as an abruptly arrogant show-off. Bear in mind the excitement and satisfaction that a 20-something year old student might feel, after collaborating to such a gratifying experience, while feeling stuck in a retrograde country, without real future perspective.
If after this statement you still fell offended by the aforementioned arrogance, it is my belief that it is time for you to move and do something to revert the situation.

Or to join the black blocks, if you feel like.

2012: will it be the end?

Along with the Mayan calendar, it seems that this world’s going to end the 21st December 2012. In order not to find themselves unprepared, however, Kosovars and the international community supporting Kosovo independence are deciding, as reported by Balkan Insight, to raise the anchor of the Serbian province independence more or less by the same period (I guess that Mayan didn’t predicted that!). The news emerged after the though riots of this week, due to the “customs war” between Pristina and Belgrade.

The author is not really sure about the end of the world, though. Nevertheless he has a strong feeling that  it is quite early for Kosovo to make this step.

Durer, “The Horsemen of the Apocalypse”. Every culture has its own way to imagine the end of the world. Unfortunately it seems that there’s just one world to be ended…

Even if a huge amount of critics can be directed to the most influential international actors engaged in supporting Kosovo’s independence, it is the humble opinion of the author that any sudden and rough-and-ready withdrawal of the aforementioned support is far more noxious to the regional stability than the support itself.

Unless European Union engagement towards the region is increasing, the nature of this “European interest” seems not solid and effective enough to keep the parties set at the negotiation table, nor to keep the Kosovar “border” safe.

Solution? The author believes that journalists can lack of ideas and solutions. Since the author is not a journalist, however, it is his duty to try to give his contribution to the issue.
Without a long term strategy (the Athisaari plan is everything but a long term strategy…) for the reconciliation between Serbia and Kosovo, any further unilateral decision made by the international community/Kosovo will be perceived as a threat by Serbians.
The fact that a huge part of Serbian voters perceives Kosovo as a continuous threat represents a far bigger problem, not taken in the due consideration by European diplomatic bodies.

To cut it short, the role of Balkan political leaders in relatively young democracies like Serbia and Montenegro might lead to straining speculation of the EU Enlargement policy. The political arena, lacking the participation of a mighty civil society, are still too sensitive to historically critical issues like Kosovo status. The wish to abandon the field by the international community represents the nth example of lack of serious engagement in supporting neighborhood countries, but for their own internal interests.

Somebody would say: “Fair enough”.

I think that I am disgusted by the vocab I’ve used in this article: a cultural issue should not be addressed in political terms.
However mutual understanding is by definition a compromise.
I made my part.