Do you know this man?

 

SECURITY ANTHROPOLOGY

Making a good presentation of yourself is never an easy or granted task. We only have got one opportunity to do so and to leave a good impression in our readers. I will try to give you a synthetic, yet detailed, presentation of my life and my work. 

 

A work and a life path that brought me to the the present moment, a life dedicated to the study of humans and dynamics related to security, protection, war, violence, defense and honor. A peculiar job that certainly crisscrosses with my personal life at many levels. 

 

In this article you will know why I chose to create the “Security Anthropology” project and why my life experience and my academic and professional background conducted me to blend social science with security management and personal security studies. I think that humanity is facing a deep crisis and that sooner or later we will loose our independence. Security Anthropology is a project that works to avoid this scenario.

THE PAST: learning through action

 

Every path in life is constituted by few fundamental steps: a beginning, a development and an end, it is the natural balance of things. My life is not different but, it was cadenced by very particular events that marked my person up to the present days. 

 

The past denotes us, it tells something about us, it’s our root, our baseline on the ground of experience. 

 

Imagine me about 27 years ago, a newborn in the month of June. An Italian boy who was born weaker than most of his peers due to several natural and contextual factors. 

 

At age seven my life was shook by some news that showed a different storyline for me, my family moved to South Africa since my father worked for international cooperation for development.  The pale Italian kid who lived in a comfortable and cozy world was over, life changed radically, forever. 

 

A four year long period passed in this new context on the other side of the world. Adaptation played a fundamental role in the process since in some places if you don’t adapt you fail. South Africa is definitely one of those place, especially if you are only a kid. Life was tough in SA, this is a matter of fact, but through tough experiences we learn to rely on our person and to overcome the challenges of life. 

The South African years influenced me and changed in many ways. Everything was new: starting from the environment and the people, all the way to the language, nothing was similar to anything I knew before. I was raised and educated in a very different way if compared with the way of my peers back in Europe. South African schools are strange and fascinating places: devoted to discipline and obedience along with constant self bettering through competition. In such institutions, the boys learn to manage their holistic education while continuously keeping a balance between the mind, the body and the soul. 

 

Study and sport were the most important aspects of our education at the time, personal excellence and constant commitment were our main rules in life. South Africa is a beautiful place, by far the most beautiful land I had the opportunity to visit but it has got, unfortunately, some serious problems such as violence, racism, social unbalances and diseases. 

 

In that country, and especially in Kwazulu Natal, I learned a lot about life and the human condition. I became deeply interested to social sciences and humans of every kind. At the same time, I developed a deep love for animals and a devotion to Nature, something that is still with me today. At that time, I did not know that one day these experiences in Africa would denoted me as an adult, it was just a step in a life for me, a life without total control.

 

My best memories of South Africa regard school, family and traveling. There are also very sad and terrible memories anyway but we will not relate on that. We had the possibility to visit several countries during those years, beautiful and difficult places that modelled my mind to gain a passion for human interactions, cultures and security. I have a clear memory of me looking at the finely painted window in Cordwalles chapel depicting a figure that guided me till today as a protector, Saint George, the dragon slayer. 

 


THE PRESENT:  light and darkness

 

Just as most of you, I am facing a difficult moment due to the international geo-political situation. Human values are deeply shaking at various levels and the new generations are struggling to find virtuous examples and solid referral points in their lives. 

 

Personally, I always struggle to achieve a better version of myself and this is what I have done in the past 7 years especially. After South Africa, my return to Europe was a deep shock because of the dramatic cultural shock I had to face but, as it always happens in these situations, I learned something. 

 

Linguist, analyst, cultural anthropologist, international cooperation and personal security expert. These are some of the titles that people normally use when defining me. I am all of this and at the same time, none of that in the essence. I define myself as a constant student and I hope to maintain this status and mindset until the end.

I have worked for few NGOs as a security advisor for humanitarian security and related topics. My deepest interest regards humanitarian security management, field studies and African studies in particular. Africa and travels still represent an immense importance in my life and this is why I decided to create “Security anthropology”, my personal project and website that fosters information and dialogue between crisis contexts and security management professionals.

 

Professional experiences in my country and abroad keep on denoting me at many levels, my present is a constant evolution even during the pandemic period. We shall not stop. 

 

My interest is to study security from a social/ethnographic point of view. No topic is forbidden and everyone is welcome to contribute as long as professionals and clients keep an interest in being pure and respectful human beings. The rest is secondary in my opinion but control over our person is fundamentally important.

THE FUTURE:  no weapon can shatter the soul

 

Future is not in our hands, our projects and our growth does not totally depend on us since the future is a time without any control. There is, anyway, something we can always control, ourselves. I deeply believe in the fact that having a clear idea of where we want to get and how the path needs to be done can make the greatest difference between failure and success, between surrender and accomplishment. 

 

“No weapon can shatter the soul” is my claim, my constant mantra during my studies and my work in Security Anthropology and for other entities. I believe that we cannot choose our destiny but we can constantly model our life to foster the creation of a better world. In my vision and with my current means, a better world within security management abroad is possible, the key is to constantly look for cooperation between people who will to do so and with professionals who really believe in what they do.

 

I would like to keep on studying and researching about security matters for the next few years up to the point to become a professional security advisor. My dream is to see my project become a unique example of cooperation between different spheres of the security field. An organization devoted to maximize the power of security management by applying social and technical studies to the field. Dreams are amazing but to make them real, we have to wake up. 

 

I deeply want to thank Manrico Erriu and the foundation for hosting me with this presentation. It is a deep moment of pride and honor for me and a great achievement in my life. I recommend any reader who should be interested in my story to visit my website and to contact me for any kind of question or conversation. I thank you all for your kind attention.

 

Website: andrea-silvestri.com 

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