“Common Ground Me, You and Us,” Loppiano’s May 1st invites people to start from themselves, from their relationships with each other, to build a better world together.
Castro, from Angola, orphaned by the corruption plaguing society in his country, confides how he overcame his personal pain through faith in God and the choice to study economics, to put himself at the service of the poor and ease the pain of his compatriots. Mimmy, Burundi’s “zero plastic” ambassador, shares her project to recycle plastic into eco-friendly sheets and plant trees in Rusizi National Park. Ivan, who lives in Damaguete, Philippines, together with the community he is a part of, cleans up the beaches of his island every first Saturday of the month and plants mangroves to preserve the marine environment. The reason for this is because, “Our people need the sea to survive. As one of the poorest countries in Asia, fishing is a means of livelihood for many.”
Daniele, an Italian, recounts how much the May 1st in Loppiano influenced his life’s fundamental choices. “It set me in motion, in an ever more authentic and mature search for what, as a man, I can give,” he explains. Today, he is a co-founder of tunehey!, an app and benefit company that aims to support the work of artists and help spark neighborly relationships through music.
These and many others were the testimonies heard from the stage of the Loppiano Auditorium on May 1, 2023. More than 1,200 were present, from all parts of Italy, with representations from Europe and the Continents.
A program started in the auditorium, live on YouTube, which also opened the World United Week 2023 “Dare to Care, People, Planet and Our Ecological Conversion.” That is, seven days to raise awareness of peace, care for the environment, ecological conversion, and integral care of the person that starts from concrete fraternity. They were seven days promoted by the Focolare Movement communities around the world in synergy with other movements, associations, local institutions that share its values. Like the Laudato si’ Movement, main partner of the 2023 edition.
On the occasion of the 50th anniversary celebration (May 1, 1973-2023) of May 1st in Loppiano, the citadel was divided into 3 major areas: Me, You Us. In this “common ground,” as the title of the event read, young people offered a program of concerts, performances, workshop spaces with experts, offering participants a journey from within themselves to the other, to the “we.” “In the knowledge that it is through the relationship with the other that we can put to use all our talents, tools to bring light into the world. Acting for the common good, for our communities, our territories, the world we inhabit,” was the conclusion on stage by Annachiara of Bergamo.
The next appointment is at the World Youth Day in Portugal in anticipation of the next May 1 st in Loppiano.
Music and dance for fraternity and peace
During the May 1 celebration, the international band Gen Rosso also brought its message of fraternity through music, with two concerts inspired by the new album “The reason.” It is the fruit of the experiences and many encounters that have characterized these last three years of activity. Not the least of which is the experience of welcoming and informal training with young refugees and migrants in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Lebanon. Alongside them was a concert by Emanuele Conte, a young singer-songwriter from Treviso and winner of Area Sanremo 2021, who presented his latest single “Bullet Doll,” released on April 25; it is a hymn to peace and caring for the world. “We can safeguard our Earth by starting to love one another. Otherwise, it is a done deal from the start,” he commented. The event’s choreography was made possible by dancers from the Academic Dance Workshop, a school that promotes dance as a tool for unity among peoples, which, with the Ass. Dancelab Armonia, promotes the Festival and the “Harmony among Peoples” Award, and art campuses with children in Bethlehem.
April 29 and 30
200 arrived in Loppiano from various parts of Italy to experience all three days of the Festival “Common Ground | Me, You and Us” and go deep into the proposed path from “I” to “We” through “You,” the other. A path that was made possible through dialogue workshops with experts, on themes chosen by the young people themselves (CLICK for more). “On my own I would never have reflected on these issues,” confided one girl at the end of the two days. “It was important to acknowledge the wounds inside me,” one young man confessed candidly. “I had not thought so seriously about reflecting on the important things in life and committing to others,” added a third.
Loppiano’s May 1st workshops were held thanks to the valuable collaboration of: The Economy of Francis, Sophia University Institute, Polo Lionello Bonfanti, Swallow Citadel of Peace, Laudato si’ Movement.