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Study in Venice

Emma's The Shape of Water experience

Posted On 20-09-2023

Emma is one of the fourteen people who participated in the summer in the first edition of the Arts in Venice Summer School 'The Shape of Water'. Here is her interview and how she describes her experience in Venice.

Hi, can you introduce yourself briefly?
I'm Emma, I started my studies in Arts in Bolonia, then I graduated in Oriental Philosophies with a focus on Japanese culture and I got a Master's Degree in Illustration at the Academy of Fine Arts of Macerata. Now I'm finishing another Bachelor's Degree in Performing Arts and Sciences in Rome and I'm getting ready for a Postgrad in Piano Performance at the Conservatory. Furthermore, I have not finished my Bachelor's in Physics in Trieste but I would like to complete it as soon as I am done with all other programmes.
I have worked in very different areas: as a game tester, theater staff, and in event organization... I love to study and create something of my own, this is why I like to call myself (in a joking tone) Renaissance! I seriously think that catching up with something from the past can only do us good, from the classics we always have something to learn. I strongly believe that collaboration between people who specialize in one field and people who instead go cross-culturally is the key to truly contemporary, innovative and comprehensive research. The way to go is interdisciplinarity, but for me it has to be taken all the way, without losing sight of some boundaries that can serve to orient us in complexity. This, however, must also be approached with courage.

How did you first find out about the Arts in Venice Summer School 'The Shape of Water'?
When I came to Venice in the summer of 2021, with the pandemic still going on, for a week-long ballet internship by Beatrice Carbone, a dancer from the worldfamous La Scala theater in Milan. In those days I realized that something inside me had changed: I had been to Venice before, but that time, I don't know why, some piece of Venice stayed inside me and never left. So I decided to search for other cultural programmes. So I did some reasearch in the websites of some of the main Venetian institutions.

Three words to describe your Summer School.
Fascinating, inspiring and poetic.

Are you happy with the experience you had?
A lot! Clearly because it is akin to my many interests, it is the first program, as far as I know, so multidisciplinary. There are courses like those you find in Arts, for example, but this Summer School is different, it is organized together by different higher education institutions, with very different modus operandi, which had to find a common center of gravity, which is not easy. Also the professors are very knowledgeable, but the most important thing for me is that they are also passionate about what they do. The topics chosen were deeply showed and explained; of course everything can be improved, but as a first edition I would say it went very well.

One lesson/activity that you particularly enjoyed?
Definitely the workshop with artist Giorgio Andreotta Calò. Partly because of my interests in Arts, but there is much more. The workshop was an unusual path, related to the Venice lagoon and I would say also a touching one. Something very artistic and also outside the dynamics of the Academy of Fine Arts, where he teaches. We walked, ate, smelled, breathed some hidden corners of this city of water. We talked, shared and saw unexpected things, like the poetry of Venice's reflection on every wall, even in the deep darkness. It moved us. I would also add that all the professors involved, in my opinion, succeeded not only in conveying knowledge and thoughts, but also desire to do and care in doing so toward what surrounds us.

Something fun or unexpected that happened during the two weeks?
I would say there were many: one definitely when Prof. Riccioni decided to guide us in a canoe through the Venetian canals, very funny! Especially as a kick-off moment for the trip, because no one knew each other and I would say it worked well to break the ice.

What about the group of students?
It was a nice diverse group, both in terms of skills and interests and geographically, with people from European and non-European countries. So the mix came from both the professors and us students, it was really very enriching to be surrounded by so much multiculturalism and multidisciplinarity.

You said this was not your first time in Venice...
Yes, apart from some short stays, last year I stayed for a month or so to attend another nice Summer School at Ca' Foscari University. I also took a few courses at the Benedetto Marcello Music Conservatory and I attended the ballet internship I mentioned earlier.

Where did you find accomodation?
I was lucky and I stayed at some friends' place.

What are your plans after the summer?
After the summer I am seriously thinking of moving to Venice! I would like to gain experience there, studying and working if it will be possible. Venice is unique, beautiful, to be preserved, on which I would like to focus my attention and creativity.