On 22 April, the Permanent Secretariat’s Bolzano/Bozen office welcomed the winners of the “Reading Mountains Festival Infopoint 2021” award, organised by the InfoPoint of the Alpine Convention in Domodossola. The twelve young students, aged between 12 and 18, were accompanied by five teachers and two colleagues working at the Infopoint in Domodossola. Under the guidance of their teachers, the students from middle and high school had the chance to discuss and evaluate the meaning, impacts, and purposes of Alpine literature. The winners stood out in the competition thanks to their engaging literary creations.
The Alpine Convention has been celebrating International Mountain Day since 2015, when the first edition of the Reading Mountains Festival was launched. This project was born with the aim of organising events focused on mountains and literature, to showcase the importance of our Alpine heritage. Promoting this activity across the Alps, the Festival highlights the cultural differences and similarities of this unique territory, and at the same time represents a point where mountains and cultures meet.
After a welcome breakfast, the group from Domodossola was invited to visit the offices of the Alpine Convention. The students and their chaperones learnt about the guiding principles for sustainable life in the Alps, aided by a presentation “What is the Alpine Convention and what are its objectives?”. Moreover, the participants became familiar with the topics dealt with on a transnational and multi-sectoral level, the most significant and concrete projects and the latest publications of the Alpine Convention.
In the afternoon, an interactive session was organised in which all participants discussed the different topics examined in the morning. Students and teachers voiced their questions, thoughts and feelings on how to preserve regional cultural identities, heritage and traditions in the Alps, in addition to good practices to limit climate change. Current themes were debated, for instance reducing water consumption, buying local products, limiting deforestation and using solar and hydroelectric energy.
This constructive day in Bolzano aimed to help the students to better understand the impacts of the Alpine Convention on their daily lives and to spread the idea of a common Alpine region. During the event, the students also had the opportunity to focus on the Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) and their connection with the work of the Alpine Convention.
“I am very happy to see all of you young, motivated students, come together to share your love for books, poetry, essays and art. I am grateful to you because your literary creations have enriched our minds and souls!” said Alenka Smerkolj, Alpine Convention Secretary General.
She stressed: “I would like to thank you for the contagious enthusiasm that all of you – students and teachers, as well as inhabitants of the Alps – have shown in communicating and celebrating Alpine literature and culture – not only today but at every Reading Mountains Festival”.
Find more about the Festival at this link.