Towards the Meeting: what's new and how to get involved

The topics, the faces, the App to book exhibitions and meeting, the pavilion for kids and sports... A month to go until the Rimini event, we take stock of the new edition with the director, Emmanuele Forlani.
Maria Acqua Simi

There is less than a month to go and in Rimini friends, volunteers, professionals, young and old, are all abuzz preparing for the Meeting, the first edition that will be completely open to the public after the pandemic. What to expect from this edition? What new features are there? How to book exhibitions and meetings?... We talked to Emmanuele Forlani, director of the Meeting for Friendship Among Peoples Foundation.
"The first thing I would like to say is that the title "A Passion for the Person" was chosen a year ago, but in these weeks we have seen how deeply relevant it is. The whole week will revolve around this because it is a theme that concerns everyone's life, their frailties, their doubts, the questions about what it means to be free or to hope when all seems to be lost. Think of the difficulties of those fleeing war, of families, of our own country facing a global pandemic and now a conflict in the heart of Europe. The topic of education will be at the centre of it all, which we feel is crucial not only in the educational sphere but also in the social, economic, and work spheres. There will also be meetings dedicated to science, economics, health, politics, energy. We have tried touch upon all this through testimonies and dialogues because there is a need to listen."

That is why, Forlani explains, the Meeting will feature, among others, poet Boris Chersonsky and Ukrainian artist Pavel Makov, Irina Scerbakova and Elena Zhemkova of the Moscow Memorial. Also highly anticipated is the great Russian poet Ol'ga Sedakova and Argentine psychoanalyst Miguel Benasayag, French playwright Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt or John Mather, NASA astrophysicist and Nobel Laureate in Physics.

Politics will also be discussed at numerous meetings, such as those organized by the Parliamentary Intergroup for Subsidiarity. "There will be several institutions at the Meeting, including European Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni, Prime Minister Draghi and several ministers. Now that we unexpectedly find ourselves in the midst of an electioral campaign, the Meeting becomes an opportunity for judgment and debate with those who have political responsibilities in Italy," Forlani stressed.

A new feature of this year's event is the new pavilion entirely dedicated to Sports and the Children's Village, designed and conceived for children and young people aged 2 to 14. "We have set up more than 100,000 square meters at the Rimini, trying to witness that each of us - and we are talking about 2,500 volunteers - is called to 'say I,' as gratitude for the good received and encountered. That is why there will also be the new space for Sports and a Children's Village, with jam-packed program. The village, in particular, will be like a Meeting within the Meeting, tailor-made for the youngest. We designed it by involving different parents. There will be workshops, games, shows, readings, a babysitting service. And two very nice exhibitions."

Read also - Exhibitions at the Meeting 2022: the crack and the passion

To enjoy all this, the Meeting App can now be downloaded. "We have streamlined the procedures for entering the Rimini and developed an updated App, which can be downloaded for free on any smartphone. Let me emphasis that it is necessary to download the App to book exhibitions and meetings, and to enter. But those who do not have the ability to do so need not worry: anyone who has the App can have up to 10 guests for whom they can book everything for free. Exhibitions can be booked from August 1, while meetings are already available. To those who have asked me whether you are able to book last minute, I say yes, but there is the risk of sold out slots." The invitation, therefore, is to book as soon as possible so as not to miss an inch of the beauty that awaits us.