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Through the female gaze: women and work in Italy since the 1950s



Through the female gaze: women and work in Italy since the 1950s

Through the female gaze: women and work in Italy since the 1950s


Italian Cultural Institute in Edinburgh

8 March-20 May 2022

Monday to Friday,

9:30am–1:30pm, 2:30–4:30 pm


Exhibition curated by Maria Chiara Di Trapani and coordinated by historians Ilaria Favretto (Kingston University), Nico Pizzolato (Middlesex University) and Eloisa Betti (Università di Bologna and UDI).

Italian Cultural Institute in Edinburgh supports this exhibition, which looks at how female photographers have explored work, especially female labour, in contemporary Italy, with over 100 selected images from the work of 12 women artists and two collectives, together with important loans from the Collezione Donata Pizzi and a selection of images from UDI (Union of Italian Women) Archive in Bologna. A constellation of women from different generations are brought together through their shared use of the medium of photography as a means of personal emancipation and political inquiry. The selection includes: Paola Agosti, Marcella Campagnano, Lisetta Carmi, Liliana Barchiesi, Letizia Battaglia, Cristina Omenetto, Collettivo Donne Fotoreporter, Nicole Gravier, Gruppo del Mercoledì, Allegra Martin, Gabriella Mercadini, Michela Palermo, Alessandra Spranzi, Francesca Volpi.

A selection of 64 further images will be on display on a virtual platform, freely accessible on this link

Some artists presented here are well-known to the general public and have been the subject of great international recognition, like Letizia Battaglia, who headed the photo team of the newspaper L'Ora and shot for over a decade the mafia killings in Palermo; or Lisetta Carmi, well known for her trailblazer series I travestiti (1965): on display on this occasion, her series dedicated to the workers in the Port of Genoa, or in the cork factories in Sardinia. The UK public will have the opportunity to see for the first time Paola Agosti's ethnographic reportage Immagini dal mondo dei vinti – Images from a lost world, and the series La donna e la Macchina-The Woman and the Machine (1983) as well the reportages by Gabriella Mercadini, a militant photographer and contributor to Noi Donne and Il Manifesto newspaper.

The exhibition was previously hosted at the Italian Cultural Institute in London from the 4th to the 23rd of December 2021. It received enthusiastic reviews from La Stampa, il Corriere della Sera e Il Giornale dell’Arte and was discussed by the radio programmes Zazà (Radio 3) and I girasoli (Radio Popolare).

Sponsored and funded by Kingston University, Association of Modern Italian Studies, Middlesex University, Italian Cultural Institute (London and Edinburgh), with loans from UDI archive, Bologna; Collezione Donata Pizzi; Cineteca di Bologna; Noi Donne magazine.

Please join us at the Institute for the opening of the exhibition on Tuesday 8 March 2022 at 6.30pm - with the curator (Maria Chiara di Trapani), the organisers (Ilaria Favretto - Kingston, Nico Pizzolato - Middlesex and Eloisa Betti – Univ. of Bologna), Phil Cooke (University of Strathclyde) and Maud Bracke (University of Glasgow).




 poster edimburgo



Date: Da Tuesday, March 08, 2022 a Friday, May 20, 2022

Time: From 10:00 am To 4:00 pm

Organized by : Italian Cultural Institute in Edinburgh and ASMI

In collaboration with : Italian Cultural Institute in London

Entrance : Free


Italian Institute of Culture, 82 Nicolson Street, Edinburgh