The Art of Slow Living Npo/ L'Arte del Vivere con Lentezza Onlus
Piazzale Ponte Ticino, 7
+39.0382.300242 or +39.348.9140105
A little bit of history
Starting to develop a relationship with the time-factor is fundamental, just look around and see how this need looks like a small fire that leans under the ashes, ready to burst into flames inside us and spread in a world made up by people that, growing and growing, are deciding to slow down and try to scale speed in order to live better. We live in a high-speed time, and slow living is an attitude, a physical and mental exercice that can help us to understand what is going on around us and accept its uncertainties, and the thousands of radical changes we are scared of and we’d like to stop in some way, freezing them or maybe hiding.
Our reaction facing the positive-or-negative change is always the same, for habit or fear: we lower our heads, we arch our back and try to accelerate just when it would be better to stop and think, understand, observe. Time, in fact, is a scarse and rare element, but to be found in big deposits inside us that we should just decide to discover and bring to light. Time is an element we can learn to manage with a little commitment and that have a merit and a fault: it is priceless, unbuyable, it is limited but free, actually you can only have it.
Slowing down means thinking on how can we better govern our use of time. In order to ask us a question, it is necessary to find a space of time between daily tasks.
Slowing down in order to think and go deeply inside things, to appreciate some small everyday things and realize that the biggest wealth we can store, are human relationships.
Slowing down is necessary to live and maybe run faster.
Only few small deeds in every field of our life, from work to children, from love to food and holidays, are enough. Don’t do two things together, prefer courtesy to eagerness, in few words, apply or create your personal Slowmandments, that are simple life rules that improve our Day.
Purpose and activities
The association The art of Slow Living deals with education and communication about time policies where economic welfare is already existing, while it supports autonomy and development of individuals and small communities in poor areas with deep social and economic inequality (Learn to Earn Project - India, Uganda and Brasil, coming). Moreover, it uses new technologies (web) in order to awaken, stimulate and share ideas and projects for a right management of time to live better.
There are many activities: campaigns, thesis, workshops in schools, investigations, exhibitions, cultural events. The associacion was born at the end of 2005 when a group of people dipped in frenzy of everyday life started to wonder about their insatisfaction for living totally in the hands of external events and so, very often, not mirroring their personal imageryo of themselves. The purpose of our association is to share and spread as much as possible ideas that can improve a person’s life, a worker’s life or citizien’s life. In order to get this, we organize small or big cultural events, debates, conferences and festivals where we can confront each other on themes so difficult to measure like time and happyness. To do this, we find that discussing about a new culture of life and work with economists, managers, philosophers, students, writers and citizens is very useful. What we have done until present was often appreciated with benevolence by medias, that from the very beginning never lack their support, but it was also welcomed by a growing number of people that took part in our activities or organized their ones, maybe asking for some help or suggestion. We feel like a part of the great revolution of our times, Wikinomics, that is the art of mass collaboration by internet: in this way, an event we look after in Milan can also be proposed in an autonomous, personal and creative way in other towns by peoples that share our idea.
We aren’t alone posing this question: even the big international entities are wondering if this is the case for going on growing GDP. For this reason we were invited in November 2007 by European Commission in Brussels to the “Beyond GDP Conference$”, in order to find a way of building an economy based on happyness, respectful of environment and people. Our dialogue with enterprises and institutions consists of proposig small, concrete and efficient interventions that can positively influence workers’, people’s or citizens’ life.
The World Day of Slow Living
The World Day of Slow Living, now in its third edition, is an important moment for people, associations, and institutions to share a reflection on slowing down for a better life and as an act of kindness towards themselves, others and the environment. It is made up of some small or big events built in a creative, spontaneous and generous way. The World Day of Slow Living strength lays in the energy of a collective action.
The Art of Slow Living organized its first World Day of Slow Living on 19th february 2007, and it was enthusiastically welcomed by citizens and medias. There where many happenings in Italy: from walks by donkey in Tuscany to “Slow Marathon” in Rome, til symbolic fines to people in Milan walking too fast and bike race in Ferrara, where the winner was the last one to arrive. More than 100 simultaneous happenings.
The second World Day of Slow Living took place in february 2008: in Italy there were a lot of cultural and ludic events with the participation of artists, associations and common people, together expressing, through simple deeds, the need for a more human life. This second WdoSL was enlarged to reach America, where the Slowness Festival of New York City took place (25, 26 e 27 february 2008): it made New Yorkers so curious that it was reported in The New Yorker and New York Times, and on Italian press abroad too. It took place in a lot of localities, in Italy and in the world: Milano, Roma, Firenze, Napoli, Palermo, Parigi, Lione, Londra, Jaipur, Bishkek, Salvador de Bahia, etc.... The Municipality of Milan and some sponsors supported the happening. The Municipality of Milan will support the Third World Day of Slow Living too. It will have its main focus on Tokyo but it will spread in many other places in the world.
Reading Four Books at the Cafe
Reading Four Books at the cafe is an enterprise started in 2007 putting together from one side the yell of pain of many people living lonely in our towns and at the other side the great net of places open to everyone which are cafes in Italy: we invited clients-readers-barmen all over the country to organize readings where to read loudly books that made us dream and think. Generosity and will to participate of people made almost 50 cafe take part of this proposal. For free.
The title was kindly given by Gino Paoli, author of the song “Quattro amici al bar”, which well describes how relations start, end and can rise again while sitting in a café where you can sit and talk with friends and strangers, have a cappuccino, a coke or a coffee; where you go and read, dream, write, organize, look at life floating, talk about politics and sport, tell your defeats and more else.
Some researcher of the Northwestern University di Chicago wrote in an article published in Archives of Internal Medicine that reading makes life longer. Maybe it’s non so simple, but for sure reading help you to live better.
Learn to Earn Project
The association The art of Slow Living deals with education and communication about time policies where economic welfare is already existing, while it supports autonomy and development of individuals and small communities in poor areas with deep social and economic inequality (Learn to Earn Project - India, Uganda and Brasil is coming).
Jaipur – India:“I-India” is a non governmental organization (NGO) founded in 1993 by Prabhakar Goswami and Abha Goswami, a professor and a researcher from Jaipur University who decided to help street children with their entire life. “LADLI” is a teaching programme by I-India that rose in 1996 in order to teach a job to guys and girls. “Learn to Earn” project supports their work studying with them simple manufactures that can be sold in Italy and abroad. The ambition is to produce simple and beautiful objects to be bought because of their beauty and not in order to make a “hidden” charity.
Jinja – Uganda: Balidhabene. Sara Alba was an official of Cernusco sul Naviglio. After her Ugandian husband’s death and her retirement, she decided to have her dream made real: she wanted to give education and future to some ugandian girls, poor and orphans or with parents affcted by HIV-AIDS, whose unique future should have been street-walking. Her motto is: «Teaching a girl, a family is taught». In Balidhabene (Jinja), she founded a school that prepares almost 15 girls to work in the near hotels. «What do you need?», we asked. «Someone that helps me because I’m alone and 68 years old, and funding». Muna, a founder of the association, left to Jinja in September for supporting Alba’s work and create the basis for a new project: starting from the school, a small hotel and a restaurant will rise, allowing to partially cover the economic costs of the project.
We are also starting small interventions in:
Salvador de Bahia – Brasil: school for fishbrider/nurseryman (agr);
New York – U.S.A.: Bronx Learn to Earn on the Road.
www.vivereconlentezza.it wants to be a virtual square where more than 2.000 visitors meet every day. They usually wants to know more about the association, to exchange opinions and to take information on the global movement linked to Slowness.
The Art of Slow Living has also became a successful book edited by Orme Editori in 2008. It’s going to be translated in a number of languages.
Maling List and active adherents
More than 1.500 people, associations, institutions all over the worls receive our periodical informations while almost 500 entities actively organize, at a local level, events proposed by the association.
Medias and press review
The theme of slowing down is very present in the medias, that are dedicating to it more and more attention, creating a real expectation of the World Day of Slow Living 2009. This makes us think that there would be a coverage even greater than last year (Press review 2008 available on ww.vivereconlentezza.it).
Non profit Cultural Association The Art of Slow Living
president: Bruno Contigiani
vice president: Ella Ceppi Contigiani
P.le Ponte Ticino, 7 – 27100 Pavia, Italy
Tel – Fax +39 0382575150