Borderline Offensive Manifesto
Turmoil and crises are the new normal and the permanent state-of-affairs: complexity, uncertainty, movement and change urge an immediate future in which the lives and ideas of people are bound to extreme violence in different forms, brought by nature and society. In our societies, the money flow replaces the flow of ideas, and these ideas are the bearers of social change.
Contemporary Europe predicates a vision of peace, progress and stability, but reality makes it face its predicament: how does it define and re-define itself, its identity and its future in the global stage? No laughing matter.
How can humanity and art contradict this predicament? Creating safe spaces for democratic, horizontal, intersectional dialogue about the crises, what is promised and what is reality, and oppose to those who create conditions from which fear and anxiety about the future arise. The crisis is reflected in relation to “Other”. Humor is liberating.
To argue such grave matters, we propose Humor as an artistic, cultural and social force. To challenge taboos and the mutual stereotypes arising from the contact between different global communities, to rethink the way Europe sees itself, asking the questions and seeking the answers, together with the newly arrived non-European outsiders. Humor represents a break of state of affairs, portrait of an epoch, description of reality. Humor re-creates communality.
Humor breaks tension by helping us look at the world, others and ourselves from a different perspective, it prompts us to experience joy even in the face of difficult times. Humor and open-mindedness enable social reset, and represent a first phase of reformulation. We will be critical and self-critical, empathetic in order to reach and acknowledge deeper truths, we will share wisdom and discover common meanings, we will ridicule extremist narratives without seeing the excluded as a threat. Laughter is a step towards the future.
Redefining Europe, new and old Europeans will take difference, uncertainty, change as a shared substance of the European community and its future, and share friendly remarks, be more creative, ridiculous and deal with our fears and the problems they bring together, with a smile in our face, laughing.
If only two different persons can smile at the same joke, a most difficult and important achievement has been performed: the implicit, tacit and joyful titillation of their common humanity.
Humor is catharsis.
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