On March 8, Italy celebrated International Women’s Day alongside many other countries. I was shocked to see how much emphasis was placed on this day, from the exchange of the yellow mimosas (a flower that has become “an emblem of Women’s Day”), to the discounted aperitivos, to women’s free admission into museums. The most memorable for me was the Women’s March which took place in and around the center of Florence. Here I witnessed people from all backgrounds and walks of life come together for the collective motivation to celebrate women’s achievements, and continue the fight for equality. Within the sea of people, you could see highlights of pink (a color that signifies femininity but has now become a symbol of the Women’s Movement, especially with the pink “pussy hats”), and bright flags that represented people’s identities — nationally, sexually, or socially. Young girls stood at the forefront of the march, fearlessly chanting and holding up the sign “NOT ONE LESS,” and I couldn’t help but feel comforted that these girls are our future. The boys and men behind these girls understood what it meant to support them. Their subsequent positions did not mean subservience to the females, but solidarity withthe females. In the middle of the march, a group of predominantly male performers put the march to a halt to perform with their unconventional drums. I looked around at the entertained spectators and noticed the expression of the participants’ faces. They were uplifted and liberated as they danced and marched together. This march reminded me of the power that comes from solidarity, unity, and love.
“The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights.” – Gloria Steinem, Feminist, Journalist and Social and Political Activist
Every year, on March 8th, International Women’s Day is celebrated worldwide. But What Exactly is it?
International Women’s Day is a global day honoring the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. The celebration has evolved over the course of a century and is now marked by an annual strike, entitled ‘A Day Without Women’, in which women are encouraged to take a day off work, avoid shopping, and to wear red in order to demonstrate the vital role women play in both the domestic and global economy. Read more
Gail Segal is an American poet and filmmaker, and a film professor at NYU Tisch.
Where is she from?
Segal grew up in the Deep South, and after earning her B.A. in Politics and her M.F.A. in Film, she moved to New York City to pursue filmmaking.
What are some of her recent projects?
In 2015, she published Dramatic Effects: with a movie camera, a book of essays about film.
In 2014, she released Filigrane, a narrative short about three French siblings exploring the United Arab Emirates in hopes of connecting to their late father who was a researcher in the area.
In 2013, she released Meanwhile, in Turkey; a documentary short about the agency of Turkish women in a time of political and social unease, and had her work published in Paradigm, a poetry anthology by Italian poet and translator Alfredo de Palchi.Read more
As part of the Picturing Women: Constructions of Gender in the Acton Collection and Contemporary Societyseries, NYU Florence students are invited to respond creatively to the representations of women in the art of Villa La Pietra’s Acton Collection and to participate in an end of semester Exhibition in the Villa’s Collection alongside professional artists.
Attend one or more ‘Picturing Women’ Artist Workshops held throughout the semester
Take advantage of ‘Open Collection Opportunities’ for students and spend private time viewing the art in the Acton Collection
Respond creatively to the representations of women in the Acton Collection with your own creative work in a medium of your choosing.
‘Open Collection’ Dates and Times:
February 9, 15 and 20, from 10am-5pm
No reservation required.
Deadline for the Submission of Student Projects: April 24, 2017
Exhibition Opening: May 2, 2017
For further information contact Cristina Fantacci at email@example.com or 055 5007 210
Learn more about the series on the Villa La Pietra website here.
See how NYU Florence students responded creatively to the art in the Acton Collection in the Fall 2015 project Food: Signs, Symbols, Significations (and Sex?) Reading Art in the Villa La Pietra Collection here.
The pomegranate is a significant symbol across cultures. The fruit has hundreds of seeds within its hull, causing many to associate it values of fertility and womanhood. In the Greek myth Hades and Persephone, eating the fruit prompts Persephone’s marriage to the lord of the underworld and seals her subsequent fate. This image Persephone is inspired by ideas of emerging adulthood and the irreversibility of time. The disfigured doll represents changes in body as one leaves childhood . The model mirrors the doll’s position, and the two almost embrace each other. They are two halves of a whole, each encapsulating a different part of life like a butterfly in the midst of metamorphosis.
“Social media is very fragmentary, so I think that we write a line of poetry or a tweet very similarly. Those of us who love poetry can find social media to be really easy and really attractive and an interesting way to lean into a poem over time. You can kind of leak a line, and then another, and then they can all come together or just give you the pleasure of writing lines publicly. It’s exposing a lot of people – both poets and those who aren’t – to a kind of ‘knowing fragmentation’ and that’s pretty cool.”
-Eileen Myles, Profile: Eileen Myles, Wonderland., August 4, 2016 link