Red Light Xmas

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Every year I tell myself: This is the last time I go home for Christ­mas. And every year I punc­tu­ally go.
Why don’t I like going home for Christ­mas is because it’s a full time activ­ity. Nobody rests in Christ­mas, if you are rest­ing you are not help­ing! Buy a gift, See the aunt, make a call, tie a knot, rob a bank.. it’s end­less. Christ­mas 2013, How­ever, was unique because it marked the begin­ning of a new city trend: The light­ing festival.

What hap­pened is that this ital­ian town has a young and pro­gres­sive city coun­cil. Its deputy Mayor, Fil­ippo Bul­gar­ini d’Elci, is a 34 years old man with back­ground in com­mu­ni­ca­tion. His idea is sim­ple: Instead of the tra­di­tional Christ­mas lights, the city would invest its 85.000€ bud­get for a glam­orous event . Vis­i­tors can fol­low a route through the city cen­ter and dis­cover his­tor­i­cal palaces adorned by light­ing instal­la­tions. This will attract more tourists and pin the city as the most insta­grammed of #xmas13.

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Now, great Idea. I think it worked, and it can also be that some­one really vis­ited Vicenza because of the light­ing fes­ti­val. But that is where things get a lit­tle weird. It’s called fes­ti­val and as such it should dis­play the work of mul­ti­ple artists. To involve young archi­tects and design­ers guar­an­tees a pas­sion­ate par­tic­i­pa­tion, a vari­ety of entries and it is a way to pro­mote the work of those who, against all evi­dence, are still try­ing to keep the city alive and kicking.

City Coun­cil, instead, com­mis­sioned the entire fes­ti­val to one office alone, and the whole thing turned red.
I have no doubts in say­ing that the great­est suc­cess of the ini­tia­tive is the anger pro­voked to the two most pow­er­ful local com­mu­ni­ties: the clergy and the seniors, who nat­u­rally asso­ci­ated the red lights as sym­bol of sin and hol­i­days in Ams­ter­dam. Fer­tile ground for evil spir­its. The debate was lively in the local news­pa­per, and it’s one kind of vic­tory, for the young deputy expert of communication.

But those who are wait­ing all year for such oppor­tu­nity, well, they have plenty of Cam­pari to forget.

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One thought on “Red Light Xmas

  1. Kowalski says:

    Ahah! doesn’t look that bad any­way.
    It matched the col­ors of the blog..

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94Maggie

on 12+ h. a day, 6/7 days a week

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multitude- multitude

on Survey

2015-04-01 13:27:31

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Conrad Newel

on 12+ h. a day, 6/7 days a week

2015-03-23 18:10:56

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Colt Sievers

on 12+ h. a day, 6/7 days a week

2015-03-23 16:58:10

@Conrad having worked in one of those offices that you mention, I have found your post as much provocative as naive and simplistic. I should make an entire post to explain why... will leave that for later. Thanks, anyway, to keep the discussion alive

Conrad Newel

on 12+ h. a day, 6/7 days a week

2015-03-23 16:45:07

Besides my terrible diction or lack thereof this raises another issue. Should we really feel outrage or sympathy for these interns? After all the ones who can afford to take these kind of jobs are the sons and daughters of the wealthy. What this letter is, is infact symbolic capital and social significance for sale. The rich kid can buy this piece of significance for among other reasons to go to a party and say to his less affluent counterpart, "hey I work for SANAA, or DS+R or whoever. Where do you work again?" Its a status symbol, just like a porsche, or a private jet. Affordable to a selected few that can afford it.