Open/Close Menu Fondation Alain Daniélou

Alain Daniélou - Rewa Kothi Palace Varanasi - Bénarès, 1944. © Cecil Beaton
Alain Daniélou – Rewa Kothi Palace Varanasi – Bénarès, 1944. © Cecil Beaton

The Alain Daniélou Foundation was founded by the thinker and artist Alain Daniélou together with Honorary President, Jacques Cloarec, in 1969, under the name Harsharan Foundation. Their aim was to establish an ongoing dialogue between Indian and European culture beyond the usual prejudices and limitations of intercultural confrontation. The Foundation’s headquarters are located at the village of Zagarolo near Rome and below Palestrina on a very special hill called The Labyrinth Hill (Il Colle Labirinto), from which Daniélou wrote: “Zagarolo and its Labyrinth, along with Praeneste (now called Palestrina) had once been the most sacred site of the ancient world […] Chance – or was it destiny – led me to a place that had been considered sacred and magical since the most ancient prehistoric times”. The Foundation underwent many changes ever since its creation, but it has always kept its own spirit.
After the demise of Alain Daniélou in 1994, Jacques Cloarec took over the leading role and continued the activities according to the challenges of new contexts and further interactions. Today the Alain Daniélou Foundation has two main areas: Artistic Dialogue, whose director is Riccardo Biadene, and Intellectual Dialogue, which is run by Adrian Navigante. Artistic Dialogue regards it as necessary to promote traditional Indian arts in Italy and Europe, something which is in consonance with Alain Daniélou’s spirit and the deepest motivation. At the same time it has the priority of fostering new ways of expression coming from the Indian Subcontinent such as photography and cinema, since these artistic forms play a fundamental role in consolidating intercultural awareness. For this purpose, Artistic Dialogue organizes music and dance events, experimental projects including research, courses for further artistic training, residency programmes and other activities enhancing the dialogue and focusing on mutual knowledge through cultural diversity.
Intellectual Dialogue, which also includes the whole spectrum of research activities, aims at recovering and reassessing the intellectual heritage of Alain Daniélou in the present context. It also attempts to expand the horizon of cultural exchange based on Daniélou’s central intuitions, which include not only philosophy and the arts but also mythology, anthropology, sociology, depth psychology and religion. The Alain Daniélou Foundation operates not only at its headquarters in Italy, but also in France, Germany, Switzerland and India. In addition to the permanent staff, it has external collaborators, three boards, institutional partners in the European and Indian world and a network of friends worldwide. The quality of its teamwork contributes to enhancing and expanding the interaction between Europa and India. The ultimate purpose of the Alain Daniélou Foundation is to show that Alain Daniélou’s view of life, reflected in the realization of his various talents (sanskritist, musician, philosopher, dancer, painter, translator and artisan), provides an alternative model to deal with the general disorientation of our globalized society and to intensify the meaning of human experience.