Simona Ghizzoni

Isola — La storia della nuova vita (The story of the new life)

“We have lived our lives by the assumption that what was good for us would be good for the world. We have been wrong. We must change our lives so that it will be possible to live by the contrary assumption, what is good for the world will be good for us. And that requires that we make the effort to know the world and learn what is good for it.”

2020 started full of projects, exhibitions, new collaborations, travels. Then, the epidemic began.
A young man, aged 38, in good health, is suddenly hospitalized for a pneumonia that does not react to any medicine. Days go by, they intubate him. A doctor has a hunch, maybe it’s that “Chinese flu”, as the media call it at the time, let’s do the test, positive. The young man doesn’t know it, but since then his name is patient one.

Shortly after the declaration of a state of emergency in Italy, my family and I decided to move from Rome to the North, to the epicentre of the epidemic, to get closer to my parents, elderly and alone. We moved to live in the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines, in the house that belonged to my grandparents. We arrived after 5 hours of travel without a stop, the car loaded with the minimum necessary for me, my partner Stefano and our two year old son Ernesto and enough food for a couple of weeks.
Life here is not easy, very different from city life. But it’s quite a while since we have been reflecting on the sustainability of our lives today.

For a long time there was a growing concern about our son’s future due to climate change and there was a growing feeling that something serious was going to happen. Our species has transformed the world, pretending not to be part of it. An illusion that the pandemic suddenly disproved.
Are we going back to our lives? Can we just pretend that nothing happened? Will this getting used to living with little or nothing teach us anything? I don’t know yet, but surely the decisions we make in this time of emergency could set a new future for us.

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