SenzAtomica – enlightenment for my ignorance

August 6, 1945 90,000 dead in an instant.  Foto credit La Nuova Sardegna
August 6, 1945 90,000 dead in an instant. Foto credit La Nuova Sardegna

The Reason to Dress

On this particular occasion we were near Bologna visiting my husband’s grandmother in the morning, and after lunch, took the opportunity to take an evening stroll through this beautiful city. Strolling in Bologna, you will find that you always end up following the towers, visible from almost every point in the city centre, to the Piazza.



We happen to catch a free “concert” by a Bolognese local, who busts out his electric guitar and amp regularly and performs for passersby in the Square.  People gathered and danced in front of the Castle.




We happen to be there the day before the event SenzAtomica (Without Nuclear) closed.  Here I am going up the stairs to the event.



A journalist and good friend of mine Cristina Provenzano, did PR for this incredible event, so I really wanted to see it.  The exhibit was held in the Sala d’Ercole di Palazzo d’Accursio, the original Bologna City Hall, built during the Renaissance and filled with beautiful halls and decorations.


SenzAtomica featured 52 panels, video, sound and free volunteer guides that explained the fragility of our current global situation.  With 17,225 active nuclear arms present on the planet, we live each day on the delicate brink of extinction.  The exhibit was organized, and completely run by volunteers of the Italian Soka Gakkai, a Buddhist Association that follows the Buddhism of Nichiren Daishonen.


The principal scope of the campaign is the creation of a movement of people against nuclear arms.  By educating they hope to change public opinion and create a peaceful manifestation will change the direction of the planet.  They want to end the era of Nuclear Arms, and I applaud them.

Senzatomica Michele Sereni

I’m not gonna lie, I knew NOTHING about the current situation of nuclear arms.  Cristina told me about this exhibit and I was so ignorant I found it difficult to chat for more than two minutes on the subject.

And another thing.  I went to this exhibit twice in the same night!  The first time we tried to go, my toddler was so fidgety that we couldn’t read any of the panels.  He wanted to run around, hadn’t taken a nap, was hungry and needed to be changed.  They even had FREE BABYSITTERS (once again EVERYONE is a volunteer) who offered to watch him so we could really experience the exhibit.  But, trying to leave a cranky toddler with a stranger in an exhibit with the sound of nuclear weapons going off every ten minutes is NOT the easiest thing to do.   So I read one panel, my husband watched thirty seconds of a video and we left.



Later that evening we ran into Cristina (the journalist) and she convinced us to go back.  This time my husband stayed out and watched our little guy and I went in with a guide.  I highly recommend seeing this exhibit, and possibly any exhibit, with an experienced guide. It was an enlightening experience.

Nuclear Arms for Dummies is what this exhibit should have been called.  The guide was able to condense and simplify the  complicated history of events that lead to the use of the A Bomb, the Cold War and the present political/nuclear situation.

August 6, 1945 90,000 dead in an instant.  Foto credit La Nuova Sardegna

August 6, 1945 90,000 dead in an instant. Foto credit La Nuova Sardegna

Our guide let us enter into the humanity of what happened in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  We were challenged to understand that if we love ourselves and this planet we need to love others and concentrate on ensuring that babies, children and adults have access to the most basic of care and resources.  We are wasting our energy money and resources by funding Nuclear Arms programs when people on this planet live in filth without shelter, water, food and medicine.  We needn’t as a population invest money on annihilating the human race, we need to take care of it.

A very moving exhibit.

The potency of the active nuclear weapons is enough to wipe out humanity many times over.


A little exaggerated, no?


At the end I signed a petition  that is a small but important part of Nuclear Arms removal, and I felt like I had learned something.  I walked in knowing nothing, and walked out with an opinion.  I’d say that SenzAtomica (Without Nuclear) was a success!

This is a travelling exhibit that is currently in Sardegna,  it has also been shown in New York and Milan.  For info feel free to visit their site which is in Italian,  or visit the Soka Gakkai International page on the event written in English.

What do you think?  Am I the only one who knew so little about Nuclear Weapons?  Would you go see this exhibit if it came to your town?



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