Rome, Italy – 2017

The Ship of Tolerance, an invitation to tolerance involving young generations was housed in the square of the Accademia di Belle Arti in Rome.

On 25 and 26 May, one of  Ilya and Emilia Kabakov’s  longest projects  was at the Cavalry Square in Via Ripetta, home of the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome, who coordinated the construction site and hosted the work until June 30th. Even the Coro Voci Bianche took part in an exhibition that was held on Thursday 25 May at the Teatro dell’Ara Pacis in Rome, under The Ship of Tolerance , an intervention dedicated to the theme of tolerance and respect for other cultures ideas, addressed to schools of every order and degree.

When we first created The Ship of Tolerance at Siwa, it was only one of the four projects we were presenting. We wanted to spread the coexistence between cultures, religions and traditions. The next steps took place in different countries and cities, expanding the idea of ​​tolerance to people belonging to different religions, cultures and ethnic groups.”

Supported by the Vatican Museums, Ilya and Emilia Kabakov were drawn to the idea of ​​presenting The Ship of Tolerance within an ancient palace, historically connected to maritime commerce, and today presenting itself as an artistic institution.

This was the second time – after Venice in 2005 – that The Ship of Tolerance sails in Italy. Which new messages will you send? What new meanings accompany the evolution of this project, still so current? 

“The world has dramatically changed. We are entering a new paradigm, just as a whole continent is shifting its attention to Europe and neither side knows how to behave and how to deal with the enormous urgencies created by the differences between peoples who are going to live together, seeking a new ideal of respect, of dialogue between religions, cultures and traditions from too many centuries in contrast. And this will represent our future for a very long time.”

We are trying to explain to the guys that people are frightened of what they do not know and that any conflict can be resolved through a communication that deepens the knowledge of the other, by respecting the values ​​acquired in the difference. There are subtle, straightforward messages that can be taught to children during the lessons planned by The Ship of Tolerance .

The most important thing is that culture has a universal language and that, if we want, we can always find common interests and common ground.