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Through the female gaze: Marcella Campagnano and Liliana Barchiesi

Through the female gaze: Marcella Campagnano and Liliana Barchiesi

Art and photography become a voice for women’s rights – in a historical period (1970s) that is fundamental for the self-affirmation of contemporary women.

For Marcella Campagnano and Liliana Barchiesi, photography is a means of constructing relationships, exchange of ideas and new strategies of female expression: in their hands the photographic medium is used to deconstruct the gender stereotypes.

Two documentaries showing the activist and political use of photography as a tool for depicting reality by casting a gendered gaze that explores the differences of gender.

On Thursday, 21st April at 6:00 pm the Italian Institute of Culture in Edinburgh will screen the two documentaries with an introduction by Professor Perry Willson, University of Dundee and followed by a Q&A with Liliana Barchiesi who will be participating online.

The Invention of the Feminine Roles (2020) (10 min.)

Directed by Giulio Bernardi

Marcella Campagnano gave a rare interview in 2020 about her unique photographic work in the ’70ies, with her fellow feminist friends, questioning the roles of the woman in a male-ruled society. “The Ruoli” project dates from a period of participation in the Milan feminist group of Via Cherubini, and was developed through the spontaneous participation of friends and comrades in posing for portraits using the make up, clothes, hairstyles and postures of the social models imposed on women at the time such as those of the bride, prostitute, or housewife. She explores the relationship between image, representation and the construction of subjectivity in a visual vocabulary in which each woman portrayed in her everyday life, photo after photo, acts out her possible identities with irony.

Storia di donne – Immagini 1974/1979 (2008) (17 min.)

Directed by Liliana Barchiesi

Liliana Barchiesi has been an independent photojournalist since the early 70s. As an activist she has documented the street protests in favour of divorce legislation and against illegal abortion. She also depicted the labour world, feminist groups and the role of women in the household. She is most known for her photographic series Casalinghe (Housewives), shot between April and June 1979. Barchiesi photographed women in their homes while carrying out their duties. A pioneer of Italian Feminist art and its movement, Barchiesi gave a glimpse into the everyday lives of these women, inspiring further important discussions on the disparities within patriarchal society. The documentary is a flashback, an opportunity to revisit the events, to the way of being and ‘feeling’, to battles: a little angry, but more often joyful.

Please be aware that the Italian Cultural Institute has limited capacity for in-person events. Please BOOK BELOW.

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  • Organizzato da: Italian Institute of Culture in Edinburgh