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We explore work at the intersection of capacity building, social art and awareness raising to articulate what is possible in creative work with others.
ParamitaLab was born out of the intentional union of four professionals in the fields of education, psychology, philosophy, economics, and politics. Their personal exploration and research into the philosophies of the ancient West, the East, and Anthroposophy led them to create workshops to find a new point of view aimed at the community of human beings. They have developed three axes of work around which the workshops, debates and dispositives revolve. They are: resonance, specific realisation and the six principles of human potential. The verification and research dispositives are designed with theoretical contributions from the physical and natural sciences, psychoanalysis, Eastern and Western philosophy, transformative education and anthroposophy in all its fields.
ParamilaLab was born in Italy and Argentina, as a joint and twin project. In 2017, the first workshops started in Buenos Aires and Florence.
We share the following words of Krishnamurti as an orientation for the logic of our work:
"The world is not something separate from you and me; the world, society, is the relationship we establish or try to establish between us. Therefore, you and I are the problem, not the world, because the world is a projection of ourselves, and to understand the world we must understand ourselves. The world is not separate from us. We are the world, and our problems are the world's problems.”
ParamitaLab understands the human being as a physical, psychological and spiritual unity. The essential values and virtues on which every solution is based are rooted in the spiritual aspect, without this meaning that a specific religious doctrine is required to put them into practice.
Today, ParamitaLab a.p.s. is an independent non-profit organisation. The intersection of spiritual research, science, community, and social arts guides us in the search for deep thought, courage, and joy to renew inner life, outer life and life together.
At ParamitaLab we understand that life is full of crossroads and dilemmas, moments that can be both daunting and challenging. However, we firmly believe that embracing these situations, even when they cause discomfort, is essential for personal and collective growth. Derived from the profound concept of 'Paramita', our name reflects our commitment to standing at a crossroads and accepting some discomfort in order to find a solution. It is also about harnessing the momentum of qualitative growth.
We are not afraid to explore the depths of dilemmas in search of innovative approaches to solving them. Our laboratory is a centre of experimentation and research where we are constantly exploring new tools, methodologies, technologies, and ideas. We strive to develop cutting-edge solutions to complex problems and find the most effective ways to articulate what is possible. At ParamitaLab, we believe that breakthroughs are just around the corner, waiting to be discovered.
What does ParamitaLab offer?
We design dispositifs and containers to explore work at the intersection of capacity building, social art and awareness raising. To articulate what is possible in creative work with others.
As long as the actors are human beings inhabited by language, there will always be a place of divergence, because that is what is human. This is the fulcrum of creativity from which we solve, manage, build and generate new horizons: competencies, understandings and sensitivities. Our proposition revolves around understanding and embracing the inherent complexity of entanglement. In the process, we uncover significant value, growth and fulfilment, facilitating a leap forward for subjects, organisations and communities. We emphasise the importance of identifying and analysing the current state of any group, institution or community, just as climbing a ladder requires finding the first step. Without adding or subtracting, we encourage sincere clarity in recognising and accepting the existing reality.
At ParamitaLab, it is our firm belief that behind every significant step, there is immense potential to be explored and harnessed for the betterment of society as a whole.
How does ParamitaLab work?
ParamitaLab has adopted a light, flexible approach to adapt and regenerate its organisational structure according to the needs of the projects we run. Primarily, this means that we create the structure according to the emerging needs. The core team leads each project, while field teams are established according to specific needs. Project coordination activities, including meetings, planning, monitoring, evaluation and reporting, are ongoing and shared. In addition, highly experienced experts and operators are consulted or brought into the project as required.
Each member of the core team shares a sense of urgency to explore work at the intersection of capacity building, social art and awareness raising, to articulate what is possible in creative work with others. And believe that the inner development of subjects and groups is essential to this.
- Dispositif, in the most Foucauldian sense of the term, indicates an intersection between social urgencies, power relations, techniques and theoretical a priori. Every dispositif disposes of something: that is, it is not without consequences in what happens there. Moreover, it is in the dispositifs that knowledge is produced, which means that it will not be without effect on what we will later read or make sense of.
- Artifice, is a dimension that indicates that something is not already given, but has to be created. Artifice also refers to a savoir faire, a know-how, an artful way of doing things, of creating something where there was none. Etymologically, artifice refers to artefact, to the unnatural, and also to art, to craftsmanship: that which is not mass-produced, but a case-by-case marker. A resource case by case, person by person, group by group. It happens that we often approach things as if they were part of the natural order, as if they were already there, waiting for our intervention. But the problem is more complex, and how we think about it and how we approach it will not be without consequences for the results we achieve.
What matters to us
- Minimal Logic: In our work, a logic provides us with concepts, one might say invariants, which are repeated by structure in any human group. We are particularly interested in the relationship between the concepts that inhabit the logic and their simplicity. Thinking about the different through simplicity and minimalism.
- Ethical and aesthetic space as practice: On the one hand, aesthetics is our perception of harmony and balance in our relationships, while ethics is our ability to take actions that maintain this balanced and harmonious relationship. While aesthetics is the feeling of harmony, grace and peace with the other, ethics is the active feeling of respect for this. On the other hand, aesthetics is the ability to perceive beauty in complexity. It is the ability to find meaning in the whole.
There is always something beyond what is said. Discourse, etymologically, "com-plica". That is, it introduces folds. It is, in the Renaissance sense, a "complicatio". This complexity, more than scientific, is an aesthetic complexity: like the complexity of a rose or of a melody. It is not possible to understand a rose or a melody by dissecting them. Their meaning lies precisely in their complexity, not in the characteristics of each separate petal or note. Similarly, in collective spaces, in order to intuit meaning, it is necessary to look first at the beauty of the whole. Ethical space is the practice of valuing each unique expression and making space for all voices to be welcomed and heard. This means locating the technical-practical dimension at the boundary between practices of consciousness and modes of existence, between styles of expression and lifestyles. From this understanding, the aesthetic, ethical, political, social and functional components intertwine and take on meaning in the whole and in relation to time, space, field, people and context.
- Art as a medium: Art is a dispositif, a means to achieve and convey a message. It is something to get involved in, to engage with. All people can express themselves through art, just as all people can perceive its expressions: it is a journey of substance, with solutions and paths that guide us. We prefer community spaces that allow the research and sharing of languages, the exchange of ideas and encounters, in order to continue to cultivate trust in art as a medium, as a power.
- A sense of wonder and curiosity: We approach our work with a sense of wonder and curiosity, observing and exploring the ever-evolving elements around us and dedicating our time to fieldwork, personal growth and development. We value diversity and collaboration, recognising that the intersection of different perspectives leads to new and innovative solutions. We believe that co-creation and broad stakeholder involvement are the keys to the collective intelligence needed to achieve authentic and effective change.
- Understanding of interconnectedness: We seek to understand the underlying connections and causes of events, even those that are not immediately apparent, so that we can see the interconnectedness of internal and external factors. We develop a comprehensive understanding of the phenomena around us by examining structures, processes, unfoldings and cultural influences, as well as our own beliefs and actions, and are better equipped to bring about meaningful change.
- Thinking at the intersection: An intersectional praxis, thinking beyond purity. A problematic connection, an intersection of various trends, and classical texts of philosophy are combined with other knowledge to produce a thought at the crossroads. Movements do not follow one another in a row, nor do they cancel each other out. On the contrary, they intertwine, overlap, alternate in different ways. They form networks and intersections where seemingly incompatible thoughts become entangled and intertwined, sometimes without the protagonists themselves being aware of it. As Roberto Esposito says, supposedly archaic ideas survive, "something like a hidden residue that defies the dominant perspective but that therefore continues to 'operate' in the underground of our times". Just as Freud discovered that people say more than they mean without knowing it, so too culture and history seem to have an "unconscious": fears, ideas, dreams, encoded or incrusted in a word or a habit, moving as if under the surface, in a kind of subterranean current that, without our awareness (and without our will), impedes or guides conscious action. Thus, the humanities and sciences, the different fields of knowledge, are not antinomian discourses. Nor are the epochs of their dominance closed periods, each ending to give way to the next. On the contrary, the categories of thought mutate and reappear with different faces. They find their place in the "new paradigms", sometimes disguised by fashionable terminologies and topical dispositifs.
We are a group of people united by a common vision and a common intention: to be sensitive to the problems of the contemporary world and to seek solutions that respect the intrinsic value of the subject, in order to promote the harmonious coexistence of human beings.
Each of us has a unique identity that we bring to the group. We all respect each other's contributions and points of view, and from the union of all of them we can understand how to creatively solve a dilemma or conflict from a new point of view. At the same time we can find meaning and new criteria, generate new knowledge and create better conditions than the existing ones.
Our way of understanding new forms of implementation is based on small group work, where everyone contributes to the whole, from their own identity and abilities, and where everyone is in a receptive and respectful attitude.
We believe that every subject has a necessary part to play in the formation of the whole. Some are not better than others, but everything depends on the common intention. Everyone is a valuable part.