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Rimini Meeting: From the AIDS epidemic to Shakespeare and Rock Music

2012-08-27

The fact that tens of millions of people are affected from this disease, was also discussed during the Rimini Meeting, under the theme "A Forgotten Epidemic.” Experts came together to talk about strategies and treatments. Also there were representatives from the United Nations.

Paul De Lay
"We have done studies in different countries, which show that when treatments are combined with a strong community and family unit, people respond better to therapy and have a higher tolerance for medication.”

So in fact, the actual numbers show that it's not just about clinical treatment, it's the whole person itself who must be treated. Because of mass improvements, recently, some argue that AIDS is no longer a priority. But Carlo Perno says the disease will not end until the hearts of men change first.

Carlo Perno
"We must completely cure the heart of mankind. AIDS is an illness that is connected to the behavior of people, so it makes sense that along with medication, people themselves should also be treated. If not, there will be no success.”

Shakespeare's work has surpassed the test of time. From the fairies of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream', to the passionate story of 'Mark Anthony and Cleopatra', to 'Falstaff', a sinner who at his old ages invokes God. 

His characters may be complicated, but they've always shown a human dimension.  This very topic was discussed by Literature Professor, Alison Milbank and  Edoardo Rialti who works as the University of Assisi. During the Rimini Meeting they read a specific portion of Hamlet, precisely to prove this point. In that piece, the prince of Denmark recounts how before the eyes of man, mankind is a masterpiece, while in the eyes of God, they are merely dust. But what changes the playing field, says professor Rialti, is the fact that humans have an infinite connection with nature and the infinite.

That's what happens when we accept that  we are creatures that can truly have a relationship with the infinite. Shakespeare explains this in a unique way through his writings: In his comedies and  tragedies, people often make mistakes, but there is also the possibility of being forgiven and ultimately to lead a happy life. It's another way Shakespeare reminds us that mankind is truly a work of art. 

They came dressed in shorts and with no lights or decorations on stage. But really this exceptional band is made up of musicians who have played with great artists. They all came together to put the finishing touches on the Rimini Meeting. All in the name of good old rock music.

That same topic of rock music was also a major point of discussion during the meeting. An exhibit dealt the question of how this type of musical genre, can also open the door to man's search for the infinite. The show was performed by the All Star Rock Orchestra and members asked one very challenging question-point blank. Can everyone be a saint?

"What we've tried to do is to put together songs that, be it from the lyrics or the music, deal with this issue. Especially because these songs have the ability to profoundly touch the hearts of people.”