The destruction of the past, or better, the destruction of the social mechanisms which connect the experiences of contemporaries to that of the previous generations, is one of the most typical and yet one of the strangest phenomenons of the twentieth century. Most of the younger generations at the end of the twentieth century have grown into a sort of “permanent present”, in which every organic relationship with its historical past, is absent. This requires that historians, whose role is to remember what others forget, are more essential at the end of the second millenium than ever before. But also for this reason they need to be more than just simple chroniclers and memory compilers even if this is their most necessary function.

Eric Hobsbawm, historian, social theorist and author.

Just as Eric Hobsbawn says, we live a “permanent present”, which detaches us inevitably from the “already lived”, and reduces the possibility to learn from the mistakes we have made. Only a “benedettian” approach directed to safeguard the heritage of memory can release and sustain the significance of human beauty.

The definition of being European is today very much discussed. This continent wants to move as an individual organism financially and politically yet continues to observe a painful crumbling of its foundations: the gradual loss of trust in political institutions by younger generations is leading to the desire for change: a change which will value linguistic affinity and coherence between similars, those who have no job or who see promised careers vanish. Due to internal crises and the absence of memory, new generations have to look for the causes of their malaise and they become easy preys for xenophobic tendencies. In the face of such enormous and incomprehensible events, they find themselves powerless.

Questions Who are we? What do we consume? How do we judge? How and in what do we believe? are declined by the relationship with the other and with his past. Not knowing how to reply to one of these questions means to be part of the “permanent present” and consequently be at the mercy of who or what moves and defines events and society. The effect is a terrible refusal to listen and consequently, ignorance in the face of all the human stories which are happening around us with dramatic regularity and intensity.

I Am Here Now wants to call upon young audiences to ask themselves if we are able to comprehend the danger of ignorance and if we are able to acknowledge each other in a better way by reflecting on our reciprocal histories.