What is so extraordinary about the Galápagos islands that they have the power to conjure up the most fascinating and at the same time ambiguous scenarios in those who visit and imagine them? Splendid and wild, with dazzling black lava streams and crowds of living beings, their nature is turbulence turned into stone. They’re rocks embedded in the sea, defended by their inaccessibility. It’s difficult to know why but you just need to pronounce their name to capture the attention and curiosity of whoever is listening. It’s the reaction of those who somehow “know”, who’ve heard about them, imagined and dreamt them. It’s no coincidence that for centuries the Galápagos were called the Islas Encantadas.
Georgia’s rugged geography and its tormented history go hand in hand, struggling uphill and lurching downhill, with hardly any time to relax to catch your breath. Just like life, you might say. And as you gradually trek along, it becomes more and more clear that the senses go beyond words. The Georgians’ best trait may be their ability to step beyond their singularity, not consider themselves for their own sakes, but project themselves into the other and be open to the possible.
Can we still travel? At this point, we should ask ourselves if travelling goes beyond tourism. Yes, it does. It transcends it, because in theory it accompanies every form of movement so long as we don’t consider travel merely a desire, but also the result of the bodily, psychological, sensitive and intellectual experience linked to moving in space, regardless of the forms and reasons for the journey. In truth, travel is like a move of the spirit, a particular experience of mind and body. In other words, it’s an experience of the world undermined by tourist infrastructures which they should instead strive to preserve.
In this issue Anna Castelli, Rodolphe Christin, Davide Coppo, Bea De Giacomo, Stephen Gill, Adrianna Glaviano, Ruska Jorjoliani, Leslie Kern, Parag Khanna, Franco La Cecla, Lawrence Osborne, Jacopo Ottaviani, Valentina Pigmei, Luca Trevisani.