Highlanders! Population and depopulation in the Alps area
ISR researcher Paolo Costa talks about culture as a means of regeneration of the Alpine areas in a conference at Fondazione Demarchi in Trento from 9 am to 10 am on February 2018
When one thinks of innovation – a key word in the new mission of the FBK Center for Religious Studies – mountains are certainly not the first thing that comes to mind.
Yet even the alpine environments have been at the center of constant changes before the modern age and, even more, after the social transformations induced by the Industrial and Technological Revolution. Some of these changes, such as the progressive depopulation of many rural areas that started in the fifties of the twentieth century, are definitely negative.
Others are more ambivalent, for example the transformation of mountain subsistence economy into a high-profit tourism enterprise with an intense exploitation of the area.
The future of the mountain areas is at the heart of the conference organized by the Franco Demarchi Foundation in Trento on February 9 and 10, which will also be attended by Paolo Costa, a researcher at the Center for Religious Studies.
In his speech, Costa will address three main issues. He will start by reflecting on what makes mountains special in the eyes of their lovers or those who choose them as an occasional holiday destination. After describing them as a “resonant” place par excellence, Costa will try to clarify which cultural innovations could allow the alpine civilization to survive without altering itself even in a society that is committed to acceleration and performance. To this end he will indicate three of them: (a) the preservation of a lifestyle that does not reject being passive; (b) the enhancement of the art of self-help; (c) the rediscovery of a form of hospitality that is not hostile to differences.
The activity is part of the research line entitled “Spirituality and lifestyles“, Within which Costa is developing a project on mountains and spirituality.