Monday, 19 March 2018

The first Italian Women Publisher Fair

The first Italian Women Publisher Fair was held in Rome from 8th of March to 11th March at the International Women's House at Trastevere in Rome.

The location at the International Women's House was not an accidental choice but due to its history, it means a political choice.
The House in fact represenst the place where the Roman and Italian feminism from the 70's found home. It's nowaday a place where women can find legal patronage, health advises and where many Women associations work to ensure abused, wicked and immigrant Women a place to stay and an help.

So it was clear that the first Italian Women Publisher Fair would be in a such of place.

From an idea by  Maria Palazzesi and with the main publisher as Iacobelli  and the Observatory of the Independent Publishers, Archivia and Leggendaria, the Fair has seen almost seventy publishers from all over Italy. 

From the biggest Italian editors Mondadori or Rosenberg&Sallier to the smaller and independent as L'Orma, or Ortica publisher. To the most popular such as DWF directly from the 70's feminism to the newest as "Le Ginestre" (The Brooms) by Herald publisher. All deal with Women as authors or as topic.

Many were also the book presentations, the previews of the incoming books and many were also the meetings e.g. about the Italian metoo movement #quellavoltache (thattimethat) or about the need to involve Women in publishing.

A success of public which came from all over the country to this first Italian Women Publisher Fair that we hope was just at its start and where Women  have could find a "place of their own".

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Thursday, 8 March 2018

From metoo to wetoogether- The Italian Women's International Day 8th March

Weinstein's scandal of Hollywood wich gave a new born to the metoo mouvement gave also to the Italian Women's International Day the occasion to underline that the community is the strenght of each other. So we have passed from metoo to wetoogeter the new slogan of this year's manifestation organized by Nonunadimeno (Not one less) on 8th March.

Even this year in fact this National manifestation would be the occasion to let understand the value of Italian Women in business but also in their nursing work so that a strike will be held right on 8th March in Italy.

In Italy, in fact, Women who work are paid less than men for the same job and the domestic and care work that are for the most of their own are not considered at all.

This appeal was collected by the best-known Trade Unions which have embraced the Women's strike of today and which involves buses, metro, trains, airplanes and local lines in all Italian cities so that the main ways of transport will be out of order for 24 hours. This decision was due to support the proclamation of the strike called by Nonunadimeno to reaffirm the essentiality of the contribution of Women in society and in economy and to contrast male violence against Women that has never been seriously legislated. 

In conjunction with the demonstrations in squares and streets by Nonunadimeno many initiatives for the International Women's Day designed by associations, institutions, Women's organizations will take place. Book presentations, film screenings, debates, concerts, meetings and exhibitions throughout Italy.

Public institutions also wanted to join the International Women's Day so that,for example, all State Museums are free for Women and this year for the first time ever there will be a Women's publishing Fair at the International Women's House , in Rome.

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Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Mystical Italian Women - Angela da Foligno

Mystical Italian Women

Beata Angela from Foligno (Umbria-Italy) was a woman who lived in the first half of 1200, and who born and died in Foligno, in January on 4th in 1309, where her mystical activity has aroused great devotion and a reflection that come up to our days.

The words of the Blessed are still current and her example of a sinful sinner devoted to luxury and vanity converted to penance and social actions still inspire disciples to her Shrine and still motivate her "Cenacle", currently in operation at the Church of San Francesco in Foligno. It was in fact a woman who based her existence only on the physical aspect, the worldliness and luxury without giving space to other aspects that were not those of appearing and being admired.

Few and scattered are the news about her youth, traceable directly in her memoirs dictated to her relative, Friar Arnaldo of the Convent of San Francesco where still today stands the Sanctuary dedicated to Angela that welcomes her funeral urn whose remains were also venerated by the Popes, like John Paul II in 1993 and more recently by Pope Francis who in 2013 has canonized her.

Of her origins, before the conversion, little is known except what it recalls in her Memories. Lella, in the family was so called confidentially, was born in Foligno in 1248 and certainly belonged to a good family, a family that owned real estate and land parcels. Her mother pushed her to have social ambitions to be conquered through the pleasant aspect, flirtatiousness and vanity as she herself remembers "For all the time of my life I looked for how I could be adored and honored" 1.

Remained orphaned, she was destined to marriage, as was fitting in those times, with a man older than she and with whom she had children. Widowed at the threshold of forty years in 1285 Lella, who had long been tired of her frivolous existence and set only on appearance and worldliness and who repeatedly tried to confess her sins, ashamed, she finally converted, embracing the Third Franciscan Order in 1291 after a pilgrimage to the tomb of St. Francis, but choosing to remain in society and not to withdraw into the convent but to make available to others, women and men, religious and lay people, her experience and her faith, then became Angela.

Her mystical activity earned her the esteem and the affection of the religious and the lay of Foligno and not only, the fame of Angela's spiritual wisdom and her visions and mystical messages soon became an occasion of meeting so much that immediately after her conversion, which took place around 1285, a Cenacle was created around her, a meeting point where lay and religious, met, inspired by her spiritual guidance and her actions, to implement the message of faith of which Angela was an example and an instrument.

Angela, Lella, was a woman of vivacious intellect, she was recognized stubbornness, temperament, an acute intelligence even by those who knew her before conversion as a woman of society intent on luxury. Angela, who was illiterate, nevertheless became, around the "Cenacolo", a point of reference for the faith of women and men, religious and lay people who drew on her mysticism to operate and improve the society of their time.Angela's influence on sacred things was so great that even though she was illiterate, she was called "Master of Theologians", Magistra Theologorum, and many of her followers were counted as such, including Umbertino da Casale. 

From her mystical confessions comes the 'Memorial' that contains her biographical and spiritual memories that constitutes  the first part of the 'Liber', the manuscript codes on the life of the Saint that with the 'Istructiones', the second part consists of documents, especially family letters of Angela, edited by others, form the "Liber", the most important testimony of life, of conversion and of the mystical message of the Blessed.

The Cenacle of Beata Angela is still active, restored in 1989, is a promoter of spiritual and social initiatives. La Teca with the remains of the Blessed is located in the Sanctuary of Beata Angela da Foligno still in the Church of St. Francis of the Friars Minor Conventual of Foligno in Piazza San Francesco where Friar Arnaldo centuries before received from the voice of the Blessed her Memoirs which transcribed and made known to her followers and to posterity.

The liturgical festival takes place on 3rd and 4th of January in Foligno (Umbria- Italy).

"I who speak to you, I am the Divine Power, and the grace I offer you is such that I want you to be happy to all the men who will see you: not only to these but to all those who will think of you and they will remember you or they will hear you name, and to those who love me the most, the more you can help!" 2


Instructiones, da “Liber”, I, 25.
2Consolante Messaggio confidato dal Signore alla Beata”, “Autobiografia della Beata”, come da approvazione Ecclesiastica, Ed. Chiesa San Francesco, Foligno.

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Sunday, 28 May 2017

Arcangela Tarabotti a nun to defend Women

My meeting with Sister Arcangela Tarabotti, born Elena Cassandra Tarabotti, dates back to more than ten years ago when I graduated on Arcangela thanks to Professor Conti Odorisio, who for those who do not know her is one of the greatest scholars and experts of Women's Studies in Europe.
The passion that came from that meeting is still alive and could not be otherwise seen the character in question. I "fell in love" with Arcangela Tarabotti for the strength of her words which in some of her writings became vehemence in defending female dignity.

Arcangela Tarabotti, born in Venice in 1604 and still little more than a child is destined to the convent by her parents probably because of a physical defect, she was in fact limping, or because the older sister in this way gave the Tarabotti family the opportunity to procrastinate the gifts of the other daughters smaller than Elena, however the fact is that the practice of "forced monacations" was a practice much in use at that time and was tolerated by both the Government and the Curia.

Arcangela took her vows when was a teenager and will remember the rite of passage in her writings still as an adult always speaks of it with a sense of desperation for the condition of "forced", a sense of oppression that will never abandon her in the course of her life, sacrificed inside a Benedictine monastery, that of Sant'Anna. Sister Arcangela, however, will also always remember the betrayal suffered by her parents who had forced her to shut down a cloister for life and in her work "The deceived simplicity" uses the metaphor of an unsuspecting and trusting little bird who instead of fluing in the air is caught in a network and trapped.

File:Chiesa di Sant'Anna di Castello Facciata.jpg
Santa Anna Convent when in 1617
Elena become nun as Arcangela.
Credits: Didier Descouens 
Arcangela retraces its path considering the economic and social aspects that bring so many desperate in convents and monasteries; starting from his condition he finds socio-economic motivations, as we would say today, concerning the entire Venetian Baroque society. Can understand and highlight the reasons that lead the Venetian government and its citizens to a practice so hateful for their daughters but also in the eyes of God, in fact Arcangela also stresses the responsibilities that the Church, despite the Council of Trent, demonstrates in this custom.

Sister Arcangela gives voice to her malaise and discomfort but not only she "avenge" in fact all the unfortunates like her, who does not remember the nun of Monza by Manzoni?, and even more she uses the same verses of the Holy Scriptures to defend women, all women from misogynist attacks that at the time were poured out on women, all of them, as such, that is, inferior beings born only to serve man.

Arcangela Tarabotti has gone down in history as Sister Arcangela but she thought she was just and simply Elena who wanted to be: "A wandering star" and I tried to gather her testimony of a woman and bring her voice beyond her time ...

So for Wikidonne, the Italian project of Wikipedia to reduce the gender gap presents in the encyclopedic entries edited by users, historians, academics, journalists, teachers, writers ... I edited the encyclopedic voice that concerns her while my last contribution is for the blog "Women's History Network" edited by some academics of English universities that deal with Women's Studies: "Arcangela Tarabotti, Elena Cassandra: afeminist Venetian Republic Nun".  

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