Rebirth-day is the international day of change, declared by the artist Michelangelo Pistoletto on 21 December 2012 and celebrated every year in December. This year, the celebration will take place on 18 December, and CIAL will be taking part in a few initiatives throughout Italy (and beyond), as part of the long collaboration between our Consortium and the Piedmontese artist.

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This is how Pistoletto describes the initiative: ‘The planet is suffering. Crises are erupting everywhere. The globalisation of “growth” is accompanied by increasingly realistic predictions of overall collapse. The fantasy-fuelled “end of the world” label that was attached to the date 21 December 2012 lent itself, unfortunately, to taking on symbolic meaning, representing the gravity of the situation that humanity finds itself in at this point in its history. Rebirth-day celebrates the moment when each of us commits to working together towards the responsible transformation of society. Terzo Paradiso (third paradise) means that at the end of the second paradise, the artificial one we are living in today that followed the natural paradise, we need to create the third stage of the human journey, generating a balanced relationship between the natural world and the artificial one. The term “paradise” derives from the ancient Persian language and means “protected garden”. Our garden is the planet Earth and it is our duty to take care of and protect it’.

Over the years, Pistoletto has specifically chosen aluminium to represent the third paradise, a metal symbolic of re-birth since it can be recycled an infinite number of times without losing any of its qualities.

This year as well, there is a full calendar of initiatives planned for Rebirth-day. First and foremost among them is ‘La mela reintegrata’ (the reintegrated apple), which CiAL is participating in by helping collect used cans, in various places throughout Italy (there will be a presentation in Aquila tomorrow, 10 December), with the assistance of primary and secondary school students.

WOOLLEN – LA MELA REINTEGRATA is a work made by Michelangelo Pistoletto in 2007. It represents a central emblem of the reconciliation between nature and artifice of the new myth of the Terzo Paradiso. Traditionally, biting the apple represents humankind’s detachment from nature. The reintegrated apple instead symbolises the rejoining of the artificial and natural worlds. Wool, which in this work is shaped like an apple, has always been a continually renewable natural element, the removal of the animal’s wool to dress humankind to the advantage of both.

Thanks to Francesco Saverio Teruzzi’s work as coordinator, on the occasion of this year’s Rebirth-day celebration, the apple will be reintegrated with the aluminium cans, in a large-scale group collecting initiative, to represent how ‘not-wasting’ can help humankind to reconcile with nature.