Georgofili Exibition 2009

Georgofili Exibition 2009 Guide cover

Table of content

  1. Foreword Exposition
  2. Exibition Plan
  3. Historical background
  4. The scientific knowledge, the instruments and the nature observation in Tuscany
  5. The cartography in Tuscany from the Lorena age to nowadays.
  6. The Georgofili Accademy role in the environmental resource management
  7. Environmental routes
    1. In the Upper Mugello and in the Casentino forests
    2. In the Chianti hills
    3. In the Grosseto Maremma
    4. In the Tuscan archipelago
      1. The documentary, cartographic, instrumental and iconographic route
  8. Index cards of the main exhibits

Exibition curated by

Claudio Conese, Bernardo Rapi, Maurizio Romani, Piero Battista


Prof. Giampiero Maracchi

The effect of man on the planet as a whole is increasingly evident even outside scientific circles that for decades have felt the inconsistency of human activities with respect to the laws of nature that regulate the presence of the biosphere on the planet. The increase in population, the massive use of fossil-based energy, the use of increasingly intrusive chemical molecules are all elements that pose a series of questions regarding the medium and long-term sustainability of this development.

To this must be added other ethical and political concerns that apply mainly to industrialized countries such as excess consumption, which makes us lose sight of the distinction between the concepts of necessary, useful and superfluous, the tendency towards an organization of society which again tends to divide into only two categories the very rich and the poor, according to a model similar to that existing before the industrial revolution, and the power of the media that is able to orient the masses erasing any critical capacity. The subjection of politics towards the economy has serious consequences on public governance which prefers to devote itself more and more to the interests of large economic groups and less and less to the needs of citizens, while globalization cuts the ties with the territories to which it belongs and induces a loss of traditional values, developed over the course of history, which undermines the same organizational models of our society, including family ones.

The migration of millions of people in search of an answer to conditions of misery present in their countries of origin, in many cases clashes with the harshness of a reality that deprives them of their own reference points and makes hard a real integration with the cultures that welcome them, often only for the need of a cheap workforce. This also affects the quality of individual work, which tends to become increasingly anonymous and lacking in deep motivations, with the consequent frustration of large masses of workers, driven towards their own destiny only by necessity.

A new phenomenon to which we are witnessing is that of the departure of finance from the real economy, with the consequence that money, which is born as an element of exchange of manufactured goods and services, becomes increasingly freed from material goods. In this way, perverse processes are triggered which generate sudden crises and in a short time deprive savers of economic resources produced over time, from work and from prudent savings, with a progressive loss of confidence in banking institutions that become more and more mere intermediaries of these operations.

As already happened in the Renaissance, in which philosophers, artists, statesmen and scientists developed a reflection that a century later initiated the scientific, technological, industrial and political revolution, it is necessary to develop a reflection that allows us to build a new society, in the which on the one hand consolidates the acquisitions of the last centuries and on the other reduces negative impacts, solving the obvious contradictions imposed by the mechanisms of the market, blind with respect to values and often also to simple common sense.

On the other hand, the nature of man is characterized by great flexibility and this has allowed him to build scales of values and models of behavior completely different from one era to another. The prevalence of the values of the economy in the twentieth century and of the social struggles connected to it, as well as the identification of personal affirmation only with economic parameters, has led to the loss of sight of many other aspects of human life which today tend to re-emerge as a response to a generalized crisis of the economic and political system. To better understand the phenomena of the last century, it is necessary to outline the salient features of the current economic model which is based on industrial production increasingly concentrated in large groups, present in numerous countries, whose decisions are increasingly freed from political power and local social control. This concentration also extends to the banking and financial sector which, even though resorting to private savings, appears so far away that it no longer plays a social role as it did for local credit institutions.

Another increasingly supranational sector is that of natural resources, first that of energy, but also of agricultural products, minerals, chemical and pharmaceutical products. The tools through which consumer choices are driven are represented on the one hand by the means of communication, which are capable due to the mechanism of psychological mimesis to influence large sections of the population, and on the other by the globalization of trade, which sees in shopping centers, terminals where huge quantities of goods from all parts of the world are piled up, with a consequence on lifestyles and consumption.

The consequence of this economic and financial aggregation over the borders of the States creates a sort of parallel power beyond all control, which takes advantage of the psychological and economic mechanisms put in place to reduce the critical and discretionary power of individuals, reaching to influence the policy choices that are increasingly dependent on the players of the global economy and finance.

In this way, the roots of communities in the territories they belong to are lost, which are no longer, as in pre-industrial societies, the main source of livelihoods, with a significant loss of the skills necessary for the autonomous development of models of society that enhance individual experiences and collective, responding to the general criterion of the diversity of cultures whose contact through trade and migration constituted a mutual enrichment.

In essence, a synthesis of the profound transformations that have taken place in the last century can be summarized by the abandonment of rural areas and the concentration in huge megacities of millions of people and therefore by the passage from a mainly agricultural and rural civilization to a mainly urban and industrial civilization.

An exhibition like the one curated by Ce.S.I.A. at the Accademia dei Georgofili it is part of the trend followed by the Academy since its foundation, commissioned by the Grand Duke to deal with the scientific, political and social problems of that time with scientific rigor.

Knowing our past better and those territories that have been its protagonists means building our future in the best way and above all that of the generations to come, for this we must be grateful to the promoters and curators of the exhibition for the effort they have made in this direction.

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