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Season greetings from the Director of the IIC



Season greetings from the Director of the IIC


Dear friends,

2020 is coming to an end, and since we have not been able to meet during the usual end-of-year party, I take this occasion to send you my warmest greetings and my most heartfelt thank you.

This year has been truly extraordinary. Italy was the first country in Europe to be hit hard by the pandemic. As    many have acknowledged, the country has been able to react well to the emergency, putting in place measures   that have limited the infections and supported the economy. The Italian government has also pledged to   support  the Italian cultural world, which has responded positively by organizing in recent months   thousands of cultural   events in Italy and abroad. 

During the year, when conditions allowed it, some live events were also organized in Italy, in full compliance with   the Covid restrictions. To name just two: The Venice International Film Festival and the Raffaello Sanzio exhibition. The latter, organized at the Scuderie del Quirinale in Rome on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the great painter, was reopened after a forced closure between June and August - even at night – obtaining an enormous success and attracting over 162,000 visitors.

Our Ministry of Foreign Affairs has stimulated and supported, with special funds and cultural projects, the entire diplomatic and cultural network. The Italian Cultural Institute in Sydney, in collaboration with the entire Sistema Italia and under the coordination of our Embassy and the Consulate General of Sydney, has also reacted, I believe, promptly and to the best of its ability to this unexpected situation.

Thanks to the commitment of all our staff and our teachers, the courses were quickly converted to an online format, and your response has been overwhelmingly positive. In this respect we experienced also a further and unexpected growth in the number of students of our Italian language and culture courses.

At first all the events were rescheduled online, taking advantage of the new technologies. However, starting in July and in collaboration with our other cultural partners, some events have been organized that allowed the participation of a live audience. Just to name a few: The collaboration with the Head On Photo Festival with the exhibition of photographs by Annamaria Belloni, displayed at Bondi beach, a concert to pay homage to the great Ennio Morricone within the Italian Film Festival, the three week symposium dedicated to Raphael at the Art Gallery of NSW, the exhibition on the new trends in Italian comic strips on the occasion of the Week of the Italian Language in the World presented in three different venues, and finally the rich program of events organized on the occasion of the 5th Week of the Italian Cuisine in the World.

This year we have continued to promote the Italian language and culture with our usual passion, but also with a particular commitment, in order to tangibly support both Italian and local artists and cultural organizations - museums, festivals, theatres – that we usually collaborate with.

In this end-of-year newsletter you will also find some interesting offers designed especially for you. These include the ability to access, completely free of charge, a large multimedia library called MLOL, as well as the possibility to download a free guide to Italian restaurants in Sydney carrying the "Italian Hospitality" brand.

The guide also includes a chapter dedicated to the important relationship between food and culture in our country and a tribute to the great Pellegrino Artusi, whose bicentenary was celebrated this year. Finally, I would also like to draw your attention to a beautiful story by Gianni Rodari, Il Paese senza punta, read by Massimo Cederna and available on the Institute’s Youtube channel.

All this was possible thanks to your support. You have re-confirmed your interest in our courses, attended many of our online lectures and enthusiastically participated in the events that allowed us to meet in person.
2020 was therefore a year in chiaroscuro, a year in which we endured the difficulty of not being able to meet, but it was also a year that allowed more time to reflect, in which we learned new ways of interacting and new work modalities, which still allow us to pollute our planet less.

We have also become more aware of the beauty of meeting in person, of how important our freedom of movement is, and I am sure that this experience has changed us for the better. In this regard, I would like to inform you that in February we will host a conference on this topic, entitled “Different from Before”, which I hope will provide us food for thought.

Finally, during these months we have also devoted a lot of energy to improve our premises, and we hope that we will soon be able, albeit gradually and in compliance with local regulations, to fully resume our activities at the Institute. We are obviously aware that the events at the Institute are very important and we all miss them.

Dear friends, I wish to thank you once more, and on behalf of all the staff I wish you a peaceful Christmas season and a wonderful 2021.

Lillo T. Guarneri


Date: Da Wednesday, December 16, 2020 a Thursday, December 31, 2020

Entrance : Free