Academic journal article International Journal of Psychoanalysis

'Ruptures', 27th Conference of the European Psychoanalytic Federation Turin, Italy: 10-13 April 2014(1)

Academic journal article International Journal of Psychoanalysis

'Ruptures', 27th Conference of the European Psychoanalytic Federation Turin, Italy: 10-13 April 2014(1)

Article excerpt

Turin, city of new beginnings

The proposal to hold the 27th EPF Conference in Turin constitutes in itself a 'rupture' in the best known image of Italy.

To be fully known and understood, Turin and its culture require a break with conformity and with whatever inclines us to take things for granted and to see them as obvious. Turin has always been a city of new beginnings, a place which has created discontinuities. From the historical perspective, in 1861 it became the first capital of the Kingdom of Italy, a fulcrum for bringing together a series of small fragmented states which considered them- selves to be founded on a linguistic, artistic and scientific tradition woven from a common fabric (we need only think of Dante, Leonardo, Galileo, Verdi, etc.). From a commercial perspective it was the home of the largest and most important heavy-metal industry in Italy, one which stamped a dis- tinctive character on the Italian working class and on the development of the country's economy. Not everyone may know that FIAT is an acronym standing for Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino [Italian Car Factory Turin]. From the cultural and civic point of view, Turin's university and publishing industry have developed a critical intellectual class which is not aligned with power, and which is represented by cultured minorities (Jews, Protestants, Waldensians) who have made fundamental contributions to the development of thought rooted in civilized, communitarian, anti-Fascist val- ues. Turin is the city of Primo Levi, Luciana Nissim Momigliano and Rita Levi Montalcini. It is also a city with close links to nearby Ivrea, in which a great reformer, Adriano Olivetti, made a break with the traditional idea of the factory, transforming it into a community of productive and cultural life. In Turin itself, a courageous publisher, Paolo Bollati, proposed to one of the founders of the Italian Psychoanalytic Society, Cesare Musatti, that he should arrange the Italian translation and publication of Freud's Com- plete Works (Freud, 1966-80) in 12 volumes. This was a high-level cultural operation, both in its thoroughness - including texts which did not appear in the Standard Edition or the Gesammelte Werke because they came to light subsequently - and in its bibliographical detail and intertextual references. Thanks to this publication Freud became an important focal point for the whole of Italian cultural life, not only for psychoanalysts who had been probing deeply into the study of the Freudian corpus, but also for philoso- phers, writers, artists, researchers and scientists. This year, again in the spirit of 'rupture', the same publishing house will release the Complete Works of Freud as an e-book.

Turin hosted an International Bion Conference in 1997 and an Interna- tional Conference on Ferenczi in 2002 in the Lingotto Congress Centre rebuilt by the architect Renzo Piano, where the 2014 conference of the European Psychoanalysis Federation will be held. This building was FIAT's first office, with a track for testing cars on its roof: on the top floor there is still the 'treasure house' of crystals which symbolically evokes the futuristic style of the original factory, and contains the Agnelli Gallery with a selec- tion of works from their personal collection (Canaletto, Matisse, Balla, Picasso, Canova, etc.).

Lastly, we cannot fail to remember with regret and affection that Turin was chosen as both home and psychoanalytic workplace by Parthenope Bion Talamo (Bion Talamo et al., 1999), daughter of Wilfred Bion and so prematurely lost in a road accident.

The Italian Psychoanalytic Society in dialogue with international psychoanalysis

The climate, history and culture of Turin create the ideal setting for a Con- ference which hosts meetings between psychoanalysts from different Euro- pean countries. It will also be an opportunity to learn more about how psychoanalysis has developed vigorously and with a wide range of interests in Italy. …

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