“To the Ends of the World and of Existence: Destiny Has Not Left Man Alone” is the theme of this years Rimini Meeting, an annual week long cultural festival to be held from August 24th-30th on Italy’s Adriatic coast. This year, AVSI tells its story in Kenya, Ecuador and Brazil through an exhibition directed by the Irish writer John Waters.
“On the peripheries of existence”-- these are words that Pope Francis has frequently used to describe some of the poorest areas of our world, communities where misery, conflicts and starvation are so overwhelming that they seem to call into question the very dignity of those among us that suffer the most. The “periphery” with all of its inequality, marginalization and poverty cannot but cause every one of us to take pause and question our faith, especially in a world that abounds in resources and that should be able to provide for everyone, particularly those among us with the greatest need.
Today, the international debate surrounding international development is livelier than ever before. As countries and international institutions debate the economic adjustments the must be made to best respond to the lasting effects of the crisis, it is clear that the downturn has already affected the dynamics of international aid. With less money to spend across the board, most countries have changed their development strategies and created both new divisions as well as opportunities throughout the global south.
Within the current debate, AVSI’s exhibit titled, “To the ends of the world and of existence: Dignity and Development” aims to show how faith affects our relationship with reality and how it can be an answer to the important challenges that each of us faces in every corner of the globe. Through videos and installations, the exhibit hopes to provide a provocative presentation of AVSI’s experience in the “peripheries of existence” by focusing primarily on their work in Kenya, Ecuador and Brazil.
The exhibition is interactive, and hopes to help everyone that comes to the exhibit to enter into the current debate surrounding international development. Through examples and experiences, the exhibit aims to pose key questions like: What factors are necessary for lasting development? Is it possible to create lasting change and impact when facing challenging conditions like extreme poverty? What about when the people and communities that we work with exist in a reality far from our own? Can technology and advancements in transportation really bring them as close as they appear?
The exhibition is co-funded by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs within the framework of an education for development project.
The Rimini Meeting 2014