Towards a dialogue of "joy, courage, and drama"

Carla Rinaldi reflects on a Silkroad Ensemble rehearsal

December 28, 2016

This August, Carla Rinaldi joined Silkroad as a special guest at its annual Arts and Passion-Driven Learning Institute. One morning during the Institute, Carla sat in on a Silkroad Ensemble rehearsal, after which she shared these thoughts. Four months later, they form a hopeful, articulate vision for the year ahead:

Children are a unique tool for sharing what we define as the pedagogy of listening. It is an approach that means, most basically, “I allow you to exist through my listening.” Today, more than ever, we need to do this, especially in Europe. It is an enormous possibility and beautiful challenge. We have two options: the first is to stay as we are and to create invisible walls; the other is to be transformed by real dialogue. Dialogue is not just a conversation: after two people engage in real dialogue, both of them are different. We must welcome people into dialogue in our communities, not in the way Western countries have welcomed people — by saying, “Yes, come, stay, learn our rules, learn our languages, and forget yours.” The new dialogue must be the one that the Ensemble demonstrates in their playing, that I saw this morning.

I believe that it is in our biological essence to be together and to try to change and to construct. And this is why I really hope to be able to create a situation where there can be different levels of encounter, with the school, with the city, with the youth, and with the country. This is the message I see [in Silkroad], and it is not only about what you do, but the way in which you do it, with joy, courage, and drama.

Read Carla’s thoughts on art and play.


2014: the Ensemble at play, in joyful, dramatic dialogue.


Carla Rinaldi is president of Reggio Children – Loris Malaguzzi Center International Foundation and a leading scholar and practitioner of the model of early childhood education that has come to be known as the Reggio Emilia Approach, named for the city that Carla calls home.
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