November 24 to 26, 2015
The following day, December 17, the agreement between President Barak Obama of the United States and President Raul Castro of Cuba on a resumption of the relations between the two countries was announced.
The conjunction of these events makes clear the congruence between the Symbol of Rebirth and the emergence of new geopolitical scenarios, which affect not only the two countries directly involved but the rest of the world too.
For sixty years Cuba has been at the centre of the world’s attention as a focal point and mirror of the social, economic, political and cultural conflict that divided the world into the two camps of the Cold War. Throughout that time the world has been in the grip of opposing forces, and we are well aware that the underlying reasons for that conflict have not yet been resolved.
At a moment in which we are seeing a resumption of relations with the United States, Cuba assumes a crucial position in the world on account of the direction that this evolution might take. Today there is an urgent need to develop a new balance to take the place of the previous conflict.
Rebirth puts the creative faculty proper to art at the disposal of this great enterprise, which sees Cuba as the epicentre of a process that affects the whole of society, with all the tensions and problems that pervade the spheres of culture, economics, politics, religion, science and technology and the ecosystem as a whole.
Rebirth brings two essential elements together: art as creative faculty and politics as the art of government that involves all sectors of social life.
At this moment of momentous change in society worldwide, an activity in which art and politics work together has become essential in order to develop a prospect of sustainability on a global scale. Art and politics are, in fact, two elements that can be united to produce a third element, one that constitutes a completely new reality for which the whole world is waiting.
In particular, this new meeting between the United States and Cuba could set the two countries, consistent with what has been said above, on the path toward innovative and balanced solutions that will spread beyond all borders to inspire sustainable and evolutionary practices.
This process cannot be entrusted solely to politics, but has to be generated by culture and therefore by the creative faculty of art.
Rebirth actively assumes this responsibility and makes it its own raison d’être.
Rebirth is based on the principle enunciated by Michelangelo Pistoletto in the Theorem of Trinamics, which defines the phenomenon of creation through the formula symbolized by the triple circle. The triple circle represents the generation of a new equilibrium (the central circle) that emerges from the interaction of opposing forces (the two outer circles).
Trinamics is the dynamics of the number three. It is the combination of two units that gives rise to a third new and distinct unit. The triple circle is a symbol of birth and rebirth, which takes place through the fortuitous or deliberate combination of two subjects, objects or concepts, like the positive and negative poles that produce electricity, like the male and female that come together to generate a new person, like the fusion of oxygen and hydrogen to produce water and like the extremes of totalitarianism and anarchy between which democracy has developed.
This symbol, in Cuba, makes the country a cradle of rebirth.
With this Forum Rebirth is opening a workshop of art and politics in Havana that, starting out from specific local characteristics and needs, will push the different tensions and conflicts toward potential resolution via a practical balancing act.
The symbol of the triple circle has been taken up and reinterpreted in many areas of the world, where Embassies of Rebirth have been set up. All these undertakings have come together in the Rebirth symbol formed with stones from every member country of the United Nations that is being permanently installed at the UN Offices in Geneva and was inaugurated on October 24, 2015, on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations.
Exactly one month later, on November 24, 2015, the 1st Rebirth Forum opens in Cuba.
This Forum marks the beginning of a permanent workshop of art and politics in Cuba developed in line with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals declared by the UN.
The workshop, which aims to involve the whole of Cuban society, was preceded by the work carried out by the Rebirth Embassy in Havana in 2014, in an effort to involve schools, universities, artists, public institutions and ordinary citizens. This led to the performance – carried out by fishermen – of outlining the symbol of Rebirth in the sea off the Malecón, Havana’s esplanade.
The forum is being held under the auspices of the United Nations. The program consists of an initial exposition of the Rebirth project followed by speeches from the participants and will continue with sessions of discussion and exchange of ideas.
The United Nations list of Sustainable Development Goals forms the main plank of the subjects that will be tackled and will be considered as the basis for a possible commitment to development in the future through a collaboration between the Rebirth Embassy and the government and citizens of Cuba.
The work of the forum will be carried out applying the trinamic method of research, which will be explained by Michelangelo Pistoletto himself and members of Cittadellarte.
The objective is to bring about a genuine rebirth in the country through a new assumption of responsibility with regard to itself and to the world. This responsibility is founded on a system that produces a new cultural, political, economic and social balance.
In order to attain this objective the participants will start out from culture, and specifically from art understood as creative faculty.
The Rebirth Permanent Workshop of Art and Politics in Cuba will maintain a connection and cooperation with university and government institutions and a constant interaction with the University of Ideas at Cittadellarte, promoting collaborations with Cuban and foreign artists on the island.
In conclusion a statement will be drawn up that will serve as the draft for the work program for the Rebirth Permanent Workshop of Cuba.
A second meeting of the forum is planned for the fall of 2016 in order to compare notes on the progress of the Workshop and to update the program, in connection with the network of other Rebirth Embassies in the world.
Michelangelo Pistoletto (Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 50th Venice Biennale and honorary degree in Political Sciences from Turin University) founded Cittadellarte with the aim of placing art at the center of human activities – economics, politics, culture, education – and promoting environmentally friendly and sustainable development through an artistic approach.