We are "stories made up of faces and relationships”

Saturday, 11 June, the annual event in the British capital. A day of meetings, exhibitions and music, to offer the city a new hypothesis upon the crisis of our time. And rediscover the value of "the other".
Gioia Palmieri

"No man is an island." The theme of the third edition of the London Encounter is taken from the incipit that gives the famous poem by John Donne its title. This year, the cultural event in the heart of the British capital, born in 2014 from the idea of a group of friends of Communion and Liberation, wants to get to the bottom of the provocation launched more than three centuries ago by the British writer. It will take place on Saturday 11 June, at 155 Bishopgate, in the heart of the City.

Months ago, before the battle on Brexit and the vote to decide the future of Great Britain within the European Union, the organizers of the London Encounter began to look at the effects of the great wave of migration, the position taken by the EU in the face of the Greek crisis, and the consequences of the Scottish referendum. How can we judge these events without giving in to instinctive positions? Thus, choosing the title "No man is an island", they tried to take a step beyond short-term political and social analysis, attempting to start from the value of the "other", of the "different", of the "you" that presents itself before us in life: the friend, the neighbour, even the migrant or an entire nation struggling with an economic crisis.

"No one is an island: each of us is marked by a history made up of faces and relationships, without which we would not be who we are. On the contrary, we would not exist at all," explains Patricia Solomon, one of the organizers of the Encounter, and lists the great questions that the day would like to start answering: "How can we rediscover the world outside of us and perceive the opportunity to understand who we really are in the other? How can we learn to live the relationship with others by letting ourselves be hurt, so that the nature of our being and the depth of our need emerge? How can community life help the person to say "I" by educating him or her to take a stand in face of life, everyday events, major political, economic and social events?”

The program? A meeting with Archbishop Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury and friend of the CL community, will inaugurate the event. In the afternoon, Lord Maurice Glasman, a member of the House of Lords; Shamit Saggar, Professor of Public Policy at the University of Essex and former advisor to the British Prime Minister, and Mario Mauro, Italian Senator and former Vice-President of the European Parliament, will discuss the question: "Unity in diversity: myth or reality?", and the role of the United Kingdom in the European Union. The intention is to leave ample room for questions from the audience. Thanks to the initiative of some British CL communities, three exhibitions have been created and will be on display during the day. "Etty Hillesum: we must be our own country", which will present the life and figure of the Dutch Jewish writer through the pages of her diary, written during Nazi occupation in Amsterdam and her deportation to Auschwitz. Another exhibition, "A dream of a Europe", tries to reach the heart of the European question, showing the beauty and meaning of the common cultural and social heritage of our continent. And then "The Family of Jacob: paths to unity" will retrace some of the stages in the life of the patriarch and his descendants as recounted in the book of Genesis, to understand what factors favoured a unity that went beyond pain and division. The day will end with a concert with music by Astor Piazzolla.