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As the child grows up, he experiences his own body. He counts his fingers, color them, measure spaces, his speed and his strength. Walk around the house, stumble. And while he understands that he lives in a one-room apartment, over time, he builds himself. He doesn’t use iron and concrete, but his imagination. Who am I and who are the others. The internal world and the external world. While outside he is a scientist, inside he is an artist. He builds bridges with adults and other children. He builds the foundations with the first reports and sometimes they don’t go as he would like. Painters know it, mixing colors badly causes a mess. A little bit of black is enough for white to turn grey. Then the little guy grows up, but he doesn’t stop building, with legos and images. The beauty outside enriches the beauty inside and that internal studio apartment grows. The rooms increase, they become more beautiful, and the internal space is greater. But sometimes that’s not the case. If it’s not so beautiful outside, the space shrinks, becomes impoverished. It can happen that he gets confused and instead of his own thought that of who knows who else sneaks in and even replaces it and that studio apartment is forced to share. It feels like you don’t find your place in the world.

“I dreamed of a house, it was empty and bare…”

Then when legos are no longer so interesting and he falls in love, that one-room apartment is certainly not enough, especially if he would like to, but something inside says that it can’t be done.

And there is the risk of experiencing that possible lack, as a lack. Believing that the bare and empty house is destiny, one’s own immutable affective reality. But that solitude becomes isolation and that space is further reduced, becoming a room. A perfect containment for fear of the world or rather, thinking you can’t face that world and those relationships. Four walls that seem so reassuring or at least more so than people.

Getting out of there is like undressing, feeling naked. Because if those four (internal) walls aren’t there or are damaged and even the roof is missing…everything gets in: rain, wind, cold.

But that room becomes a cage.

“…it was a two-story house, I was downstairs and I didn’t like it”.

Horror movies teach us that the monster is always…in the cellar! But if we found the courage to go down those stairs, are we sure that we would find a strange animal ready to tear us apart?

…or would we find that child who has lost his imagination? And that’s the real monstrosity. He has not been able to say no to the violence of others, raping his own possibilities. And the interest in others and in the world has been lost.

After the lockdown period, many kids decided to continue the quarantine… but not to protect themselves from the pandemic that we’ve all known.

There are those who have felt suffocated locked up forcibly in their homes for a month, while there are those who have divested even more, finding a sort of “happy island” surrounded by bricks. The reality of the quarantine seems to have given him “a relief” from social relationships. And now, far from those days, they don’t seem to want to give up that isolation. Has that interior room lacking in imagination become an external reality?

If on the one hand it is clear that these are pathological situations, in which social withdrawal is one of the symptoms. This growing condition must present us with questions. What does the social, political, cultural panorama offer to young people?

Because if, individually, continuous disappointing and therefore violent relationships can lead a boy to fall ill and lose the will to be in the world. What can happen to one (or more) generations if the disappointment and violence is political/social/cultural?

The growing interest in psychology and mental health shown by the younger generations bodes well. But when, with extreme difficulty, you decide to ask for a hand…

…what idea of ​​the psychologist and psychotherapy is proposed by TV series or by a certain social psychology? In which the mental health professional is represented as someone who consoles and advises and psychotherapy as basically a chat with someone who offers another point of view, rather than a relationship that heals.

Gianluca Ambrosini


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Credits by: Azra Tuba Demir