Is a concept we borrow from ecology in order to describe the features of the areas where two different ecosystems meet, and a third one is born with new characteristics. For example, when the desert meets the savannah in Africa, or when the fresh waters of the Amazon mix with the Atlantic Ocean’s salt water, new forms of life develop, benefiting from the intake of two merging systems. Likewise, when two different cultures meet in social systems, they create a mixture, new peoples, new civilisations, intersections, exchanges which in some cases generate refusal, exclusion, conflict, abuse of power, violence, intolerance: in contrast to what happens in nature, a resistance, a defense mechanism are introduced with the aim of preserving the status quo. The willingness to encounter different cultures opens up unpredictable scenarios, unexpected resources that in other moments of history gave birth to “cultural metissage”: a model of cohabitation which is different from the individual systems merged into it.

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