Invitation to the next congress
"And if beauty could save the world?"
Paris from 24 till 27 August 2017


Paris by nigth

"Beauty, an alternative to the myth of progress" was the title of the last Congress plenary meeting in Montreal. And of course we are far from having exhausted the subject ! But what does this really mean for you, for me? What is this beauty that claims to save the world in times of killing madness, of rampant fanaticism and the powerlessness of governments to retain the tide of the planet's global warming ?
It is for sure a firm belief at the heart of those who identify themselves with this current, this adventure, that "Beauty will save the world", and at the same time a conviction that requires constantly to be shared, risked, named anew otherwise it becomes its opposite: an abstraction, yet another slogan, a dream.
What can be expected as a result of COP21 or in the hearts hurt by the events that haunt our screens and our nights, but also thanks to impacts such as the encyclical Laudato Si, is awareness on a bigger scale of the relationship between man, the cosmos and the divine, the one that Agusti Nicolau Coll spoke to us about at the round table conference on the 9th of October 2015 in Paris. This trinity, even if we have tried to forget or deny it, may well impose itself increasingly to all and especially to everyone personally. For heirs to the Judeo-Christian tradition it seems to be such a truism, so "familiar" that it has faded a bit and it is urgent to restore its colors; for others, on the contrary, doubtless more numerous than we think, this vision of mankind as linked, connected, is beginning to appear as an inner necessity, a need to understand, a desire to return to the heart of matters, to essentials. We find this constant, says Raimon Panikkar "in most world cultures, as to be able to say that this is a cultural invariant and therefore a human invariant".
The three is not necessary, it invites, it opens, it moves on from the dialectic or at least takes it further. It opens a path to the other, to silence, to communion.
And that's exactly what it is in the end. After the fall of ideological or institutional illusions, remains a society that soon becomes nothing but a community of men, women, children a little lost and - and not but - that has the advantage, the enormous advantage of not being able to maintain itself from the outside with an artificial straitjacket. There is nothing but the richness of each person's presence, with his talent, his unique and indispensable color and also his intimate wound, that can be recognized as the foundation of society, a force of proposal capable of inventing and finding, creating and saving .... And also, and above all there is the selfless relationship, the vital need of the other. A stripping that forces us to change relationship to ourselves, to others and to the world, together to become contemplatives, is this not a source of hope for our world that comes to us from where we would never have imagined ?
I think the artistic act allows, or rather demands, to be situated at the center of this cosmic-divine-human trilogy, it is at least the experience, more or less conscious that it gives the artist as to the one to whom it is addressed. If beauty touches us to such an extent it is because it creates in us almost without our knowledge, this reconciliation, this work of unification, this "three in one"! The originality of the Congress is to create together this artistic act, or at least this symbolic act, to believe in communion at work between people totally diverse in age, ethnicity, intellectual abilities, talents, beliefs, to taste its' fruits and to provide outreach and concrete initiatives that it will most certainly generat.
So if the Congress claims to manifest something of beauty that saves, it must not only be artistic in its' words, or through evenings and exhibitions, but in itself. On, then !

Iris Aguettant