Elisa Sassera: Art as Intercultural Dialogue

By Milena Rampoldi, ProMosaik e.V. – ProMosaik believes in art as a means to promote peace and understanding among peoples, religions, and cultures. In the interview with artist Elisa Sassera, living in three cultures, we would like to show how important it is to extend our horizon beyond our small “world” to aesthetically perceive our world as one, for all of us. For me personally, art is a right, and at the same time an obligatory approach for us all to promote harmony, peace, and human rights. To know more about the artist and her work:  www.elisasassera.com and on facebook Elisa Sassera Arte/ (in Italian). In the next future, Elisa is opening a Reggio Emilia oriented Children Center in Cihangir, Istanbul.
Milena Rampoldi: ProMosaik e.V. is convinced that art and artistic expression are important means to work for dialogue between cultures and religions. What do you think about it?
Elisa Sassera: As an Artist I strongly believe that all forms of Arts are powerful and important tools to express reality, ideas, emotions, to connect and communicate with people of all backgrounds and different cultures, religions, believes and nationalities.

MR: Why is it so important to promote artistic and aesthetic competence from childhood?
ES: Lock of accessibility to the Arts remains a challenge for most kids today, just like it was for me. I know first-hand the benefits of being exposed to Arts and Music at an early age. It opened my horizons and made me dream of a bigger world and it got me out of my comfort zone.

MR: What are the main objectives of your art classes?
ES: The main goal is to be the children‘s Art and Life Inspirer based on my experience as a Reggio Emilia oriented -Visual Artist between Italy, NYC and now Istanbul.
During my Art classes children can learn and experience the Italian culture, language, Visual Arts techniques in addition to the English language.
Having the great opportunity to experience the Arts helped me grow in an incredible way and this is why it is important for me to expose children (including my two trilingual boys) to creativity as much as they can.
MR: What do art and artistic expression mean to you personally?
ES: Art expression is for me the key to see and perceive reality, life and the world in a positive, better and creative way!
MR: How can we work for a peaceful multicultural society by promoting art and artistic expression?
ES: Educating students to the benefits of Visual Arts, Art History and all forms of Art expressions beyond reading, writing and math, teaches them to be creative, curious thinkers and help them to experience the world in a different way.
MR: How important is it to study the history of art in different cultures and historical times to promote aesthetic awareness?
ES: My hope is that more organizations and Institutions will see the value of investing in Arts and Performing Arts programs.
As parents let’s take advantage of everything that’s available and let’s use the power of The Arts to enrich and positively alter the lives of our children.