Eighth edition: 26-28 May 2017

The eighth edition of Dialogues on Man will revolve around the theme “Culture makes us human. Cultural movements, diversity and exchanges”This subject has been chosen to mark Pistoia’s designation as Italian capital of culture in 2017.

The festival will reflect this achievement with a packed programme of encounters, discussions and readings, using accessible language for an audience interested in comprehensive investigations and the search for new tools and stimuli to understand the world today. 


After a successful seventh edition which saw the participation of more than 20,000 participants, the Pistoia-Dialogues on Man festival of contemporary anthropology is back, once again promoted by the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Pistoia e Pescia and the Municipality of Pistoia. The event is designed and directed by Giulia Cogoli.


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Pistoia - Dialogues on Man, the festival of contemporary anthropology, presented its seventh edition, focusing on “Humanity at play. Society, culture and games”. Dialogues aims to offer the widest possible audience of all generations the tools to confront and decipher the reality in which we live.
Culture springs from a form of play (as Dutch historian Johan Huizinga wrote), so play is not merely an activity for children, though it is crucial for their healthy mental development. Play is central to culture because humanity is built through simulation, invention/fiction and mimicking situations. Anthropologists, philosophers, sociologists, scientists, psychoanalysts and people from the world of sport join in discussions, conferences, shows, films and the occasional game to talk about rules and discipline, but also pleasure, happiness, rationality, gambling, adventure and risk-taking, simulation and strategy, learning and evolution. Play is found in all societies, in a myriad of different forms, travelling through societies, being transformed as it goes, generating opportunities for integration and the “creation of culture”. After all, as Umberto Eco put it, play is “one of the fundamental human needs”. So come to Pistoia and “play along” with a visit to Ferdinando Scianna’s solo photographic exhibition, created especially for Dialogues.

Giulia CogoliCreator and Director of Pistoia – Dialogues on Man


May 24-July 7: free admission

Inauguration: Friday, May 24, 4:30pm

Fresco Rooms, City Hall—piazza del Duomo

Wandering Italians: A century of traveling and vacationing in the Touring Club’s photo archives

About forty of the most meaningful pictures were selected to lead visitors through a century of travels and vacations, beginning with the bicycle holidays launched by the Touring Club. The photographs depict Italians enjoying lakeside vacations, mountain treks, cruises and camping vacations. We see lonely travelers and family groups, mass holidays and overcrowded beaches—a broad range of situations illustrating how deeply the habits and way of life of Italians have changed over one century. «My business allows for short but frequent vacations, and I enjoy them with ever renewed enthusiasm. Free at last from all bonds, I take the opportunity to breathe some fresh air by going to the plains, the mountains, the beach, and wherever my curiosity draws me». It is not hard to subscribe to these words, written more than a century ago by Luigi Vittorio Bertarelli, the founder of Italy’s Touring Club: his need to breathe, his longing to know different things, his genuine curiosity are the fundamental motives of all travelers. Bertarelli himself encouraged club members to send postcards and pictures from their travels in order «to create a grand collective illustration of Italy». That was the initial core of the Touring Club’s photo archives, now including about 400,000 black and white photographs. These pictures date from the period 1870-1970 and portray all of Italy, as well many other countries of the world.

Exhibition curated by Luciana Senna.