It all started from a personal story of passion and change: the story of Deborah De Rose. In 2015, Deborah, a young lawyer, decided to hang up her robe to pursue her calling to communications, cultural events, and social innovation. Files and legal acts soon gave way to courses, laboratories, workshops, and conferences, causing her small law firm in Cosenza to evolve into a creative meeting space dedicated to enhancing creativity and know-how, together. This is how the association Interazioni Creative was born, 48 square meters of infinite space for creativity, vision, and possibilities which has become a point of reference for creative success in Calabria. In 2017, the association was ready to face a new challenge: to plan and give life to an ambitious project, with zero public funding. This bold project would be dedicated to celebrating the cultural value of creativity, illustration, and design. And that is how the Cose Belle Festival was born.
We made the decision to stay in Calabria with the desire to create value for our territory. When Interazoni Creative was born, there was a lot of judgement. Many felt it was a utopia, a whim, something that wouldn’t last long. We are Calabrian, with pride, but sometimes our region can also be unkind. In 2015, the idea of bringing a festival and an illustration competition in Cosenza to life was considered madness: “You are too far from the networks that matter”, “But who would be interested in something like this.”, “Get a real job!”. Thankfully, we didn't let that sway us. Lesson learned: don't talk about your ideas with anyone who doesn't have the cultural background to understand it.
We love contrasts, making seemingly hopeless things work, and we love oxymorons: we are an oxymoron, we are pragmatic dreamers! For a while we were just dreamers; our dream could have been lost like so many others crushed by fear or a situation that wasn’t ready to welcome it yet. Trying new things, one step at a time, we learned to be pragmatic, to do, create, share, and build valuable relationships. Dreaming is beautiful, making dreams come true is wonderful, but sharing them is the real challenge! Lesson learned: Beginning is the only way to find yourself on the right track.
Rino Gaetano sang: "Ad esempio a me piace il Sud.", and we like it a lot too. The desire to bring a positive image to this region of Italy was one of the reasons why the Cose Belle Festival was created. Calabria is usually remembered as the homeland of grandparents, nduja, and summer vacations. So, we asked ourselves:“What if when someone hears about Calabria, they also think about a beautiful festival that celebrates and promotes the cultural value of creativity, illustration, and design?”. What do you think? Are we doing that? Lesson learned: if something doesn't exist, it doesn't mean there's no need for it.
We like to strive for the world we would like to live in. Creativity and imagination are our peaceful weapons, the force with which we wish to chart a path of beauty. We are a project that is free to be and to transform. We like to picture Calabria as it could be. We believe that creativity is the essential key to innovate, to bring about an honest feeling of worth to the lives of people and their territories. We think that enhancing creativity as well as protecting and encouraging cultural growth is a social duty. Lesson learned: keep dreaming and building utopias, it is the vital key to creating worth!
Creating new connections, designing new possibilities, fostering wholesome relationships, and creating inspirational spaces is our way of being faithful to the name Interazioni Creative and applying the dynamics of Relational Design, the foundation on which we have built everything. Design becomes experience, which in turn becomes an opportunity to reach a new point of view, a lateral approach to a problem: limits become uniqueness to be valued, voids become spaces in which to build and not to run away from, communities understand that they have the resources to regenerate and grow. Relational design is the tool with which we want to carry out our gentle revolution. Lesson learned: there are limits that can become opportunities. Have you ever thought about that?
We are proud of the cultural opportunities that we have been providing to our region for four years. We carry out this project without public funding. Instead, we use the unique strength of our skills and the support of those who see our potential. And even though we may end up being ignored for funding of innovative and cultural initiatives presented by the region of Calabria, and every now and then we may get pissed off but we have decided to continue to pursue the project. Lesson learned: never give up, somewhere there is someone with a big heart willing to support those who are motivated by genuine values.