Pistoia - Dialogues on Man, the festival of contemporary anthropology, presented its seventh edition, focusing on “Humanity at play. Society, culture and games”. Dialogues aims to offer the widest possible audience of all generations the tools to confront and decipher the reality in which we live.
Culture springs from a form of play (as Dutch historian Johan Huizinga wrote), so play is not merely an activity for children, though it is crucial for their healthy mental development. Play is central to culture because humanity is built through simulation, invention/fiction and mimicking situations. Anthropologists, philosophers, sociologists, scientists, psychoanalysts and people from the world of sport join in discussions, conferences, shows, films and the occasional game to talk about rules and discipline, but also pleasure, happiness, rationality, gambling, adventure and risk-taking, simulation and strategy, learning and evolution. Play is found in all societies, in a myriad of different forms, travelling through societies, being transformed as it goes, generating opportunities for integration and the “creation of culture”. After all, as Umberto Eco put it, play is “one of the fundamental human needs”. So come to Pistoia and “play along” with a visit to Ferdinando Scianna’s solo photographic exhibition, created especially for Dialogues.
Giulia Cogoli, Creator and Director of Pistoia – Dialogues on Man