Emilia Guarnieri

Emilia Guarnieri leaves her presidency of the Rimini Meeting

She was one of the Meeting’s founders forty years ago, and after 27 years she will no longer be in charge of this great event. “What I feel right now is a great gratitude”.

"For me, the Rimini Meeting has been, and still is, an immense adventure of freedom”. After 27 years of presidency and 40 years of shared responsibility, in the coming days, with the convening of the Board of Directors of the Foundation Meeting for Friendship amongst Peoples, Emilia Guarnieri will hand over her leadership of one of the most popular and one of the longest-running cultural events in the world. It is a step that was announced some time ago, but which still leaves its mark.

"I understand that it is time to let go of this beautiful, rich and much loved thing that I have lived and hand it over to other hands, arms and legs”, the president comments. "I say 'let go' and not 'abandon', it is like what happens with your children: if you love them, you have to let them go". What sentiment prevails? "Above all, a great gratitude for all that I have received in these four decades, in terms of history, wealth of experience, encounters. I never imagined that I would encounter so many world experiences”. Gratitude "for every person I have worked with, the administrators of the Meeting, the cultural editorial staff, the collaborators, the institutions, the partners, the speakers, the exhibition curators, the many volunteers who gave their time for free. I carry the names and surnames of so many people in my heart”.

The volunteers, the soul of the Meeting, over three thousand of them every year, for four decades. "I, too, have always been a volunteer at the Meeting," says Emilia, "during these forty years we have testified to the beauty of the human experience that we met in the friendship with Fr. Giussani, so that it could become a place of encounter, freedom, dialogue and common construction with everyone. A great friend, at the first steps of the Meeting, in the eighties, told me: “Remember, Emilia, that the Meeting is not yours". I grew up with this awareness and tentatively, at least, with the freedom of those who have something in their hands whose origin precedes them".

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The next appointment is the 2020 Meeting, which will be entitled "Devoid of wonder, we remain deaf to the sublime”. "I, too, desire the wonder that the title of this year's edition speaks about. I plan to enjoy this Meeting as much as I enjoyed the other forty, maybe even more, who knows, I am very curious".