Sara Zanini

We just need to be children again

There’s something that you can’t find on Google or Amazon, something that no Internet or any machine can provide. It’s called empathy. It’s the experience of trying to walk in other people’s shoes for a moment. It’s the experience of understanding other beings’ feelings and thoughts from their point of view. It’s the experience of listening to the other, not in order to convince them that you’re right, but to really understand what they are experiencing and feeling. Any transformative practice should start from that. And what about creation? Creation has no limit, but we can be the limit to ourselves. Everybody can dance, sing, draw, and create. We just need to be children again. What I call “experienced children.” Creating without expectation, without overthinking, without frustration, without competition. No one’s knowledge is worth more than others. And like children do, we should never cease to be amazed and look for amazement around us.

That’s my message to the practitioners. And I really feel now that I’m working with children that in creative practice we should just leave all the limits around us. Of course, it’s good to start from our experience because experience in life is everything, but not as a limit to our creative practice. And especially when you look around yourself and you’re more worried about what people think or why you’re doing something. I mean, it’s important to ask yourself a lot of things because otherwise we’re not thinking of what we’re doing. But it’s important to not use it as a limit and to stop creating. That’s for me important.

The knowledge we have in our hands is as important as the knowledge we have in our minds

Unfortunately, I have the feeling that we live in a society where the brain is more important than hands. So I’m here also, with this goal, to help people to understand that the knowledge we have in our hands is as important as the knowledge we have in our minds, in our books and stuff. Because I come from a world that is full of books. I was studying sociology, I was studying anthropology, reading, studying, asking myself a lot of questions. And I think that when it comes to art, you just let yourself go and there’s a part of yourself that is subconscious and we need to stop trying to control everything.

In the end, we are all human beings experiencing very similar things

I realized that everything around me could be part of what I was creating. Because I think that when you create, you start also from your experience, from what happened around you. In the end, we are all human beings experiencing very similar things. And so what I look to, what I look for in my art is to find a universal message in something that is very personal. I don’t think that you are experiencing exactly the same as I am experiencing, but if we go a little bit in depth and we talk about ourselves, I’m sure that we have experienced a lot of things in common and we can really find some common things in our human experience.

Don’t feel fear. Don’t be afraid

The perfect piece of advice would be don’t feel fear. Don’t be afraid. And especially don’t look around yourself. Just follow your gut. Because sometimes I was following my guts and then looking around. Am I doing it right? Of course being part of a network is good, but also can be a limit sometimes because you’re really worried about what your family is thinking because this is the most important part of your network and then what society is thinking. And then definitely you’re listening a lot to your fears.

About Sara Zanini

Sara is a Ceramic artist and mural painter. She studied Sociology, Anthropology and International Development (Padua University). She also studied Ceramics at the School of Art of Seville. Her experiences in different countries such as England, Brasil, France and Spain contributed in shaping her personal imaginary, both multicultural and permeable. 

CreaTures resources

Pirici, A. (2022). Entanglement [Festival keynote]. CreaTures Festival, Sevilla, Spain.

de Vicente, J. L. (2022) On Considering Ourselves at Every Scale [Festival keynote]. CreaTures Festival, Sevilla, Spain.

Miller, M. (2022) DOMIE [Festival Pechakucha presentation]. CreaTures Festival, Sevilla, Spain.

Jain, A. (2022). You can only be the Revolution. [Keynote]. Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, April 2022

Jain. A., Obrist H.U., Formafantasma, Diawara, M. (2021). Retracing the Roots – Anab Jain in conversation with Hans Ulrich Obrist, Formafantasma and Manthia Diawara. [Panel discussion]. Serpentine Gallery

Gil, Felipe G. (2020). Citizenry and Culture [Symposium presentation]. Cultura y Ciudadanía, Ministry of Culture of Spain.

Choi, J. H. & Light. A. (2020). ‘The co-‘: Feminisms, Power and Research Cultures: A Dialogue. interactions 27(6).