Elena Flavia Castagnino Berlinghieri
A meeting “Donne in Divisa” (Women in uniform) organized by FILDIS and UWE, hosted a delegation of US Navy and US Air Force women and a group of Italian military women belonging to the Armed Forces and the Police.
The event, which is part of the International Women’s Day celebrations, was held at the Syracuse University of Catania – SDS Architettura Università on 28 of March, 2017.
The Naval Air Station (NAS) Sigonella Military, from the NAVSUP Logistic Command and the Remote Pilot Aircraft Group of Air Force aeronautical, and the group of Italian military women belonging to the Armed Forces and Order (State Police, Carabinieri, Guard of Finance) shared their professional experiences during a moderate round table by UWE Vicepresident Phd. Elena Flavia Castagnino Berlinghieri and the Head of Communications at NAS Phd. Alberto Lunetta.
The entry of women into the Armed Forces and the Guardia di Finanza aims to answer the female aspirations and the needs of the Armed Forces. As claimed by the Ministry of Defence, women’s recruitment is in fact the implementation response of a new model of defence, in line with the new tasks and operational scenarios envisaged for the Armed Forces (increase in international missions, peace keeping activities),which is a completely professional and fully integrated tool with those of the European and NATO countries that have, for a much longer time, been female staff in their queues. In this respect, the publication NATO Women in the NATO Armed Forces, published in 2000, is a very useful reference term.
The event, whose purpose is to make the role of women in the armed forces more widely known to the public and to offer ideas for reflection and inspiration on leadership and managerial style, and on how to reconcile work and family, was addressed by Phd. Gabriella Ioppolo, Questore of Syracuse and the delegations of military women of State Police, Guardia di Finanza, Carabinieri, Navy Military and US Military of Sigonella.
Photo credit: Salvo Trommino
It is our great honor to present the project “MARGINS OF AN ELSEWHERE” in a special book edited in Italian and English by UWE Vice-President Elena Flavia Castagnino Berlinghieri and Katerina Papatheu, member of FILDIS Syracuse, It includes poems and images of sculptures, along with texts written by experts who offer additional perspectives for reflection. The project “MARGINS OF AN ELSEWHERE” is in its deepest essence conceived both as synergy of dramatic art, contemporary sculpture, and modern poetry, and as an “ex voto” offering of benediction and invocation for women around the world for defense of human rights—in the name and under the aegis of current international legal protections, not least the Istanbul Convention against gender violence.
Marking the occasion of the classical performances on stage at the Greek Theater of Syracuse — this year concerned with three women’s stories — the event focuses on “gender violence”, past and present, as a response to a “violence of invisibility” of which women are frequently victims. These themes lead in this exhibition of sculptures, a collection of formidable works by Stefania Pennacchio. The work is inspired by the three performances, exploring in a unique variety of shapes the ways in which violence affects women’s lives in every part of the world.
The sense of shared history that binds the ranks of humankind has, in fact, its roots in myth; and myth itself represents a shared social, cultural, and philological “lexicon” — a shared “lexicon” which interprets and expresses the cultural identity of each human being; as no civilization can build itself without anchoring itself in its founding and original myths. In Greek and Latin mythology and art, an entire universe of feminine images gradually flock together to transform a “love story” into a “Gothic plot” made of physicality, hate, horror, and death, finding a natural expression—a natural space—in theatrical and artistic inventive storyline. Story lines ensure that men are at last just “coryphaei”, helpless spectators of a timeless drama, as they respond to violence against women with a curse, indifference, scorn, or other violence. For both the playwrights and their male characters, woman is frequently treated as an animal: she is thrown beyond the border, beyond moral, social, and religious law.
This is a complex project that develops almost liturgically, following a marked path made of sculptures, theatrical performances, and literary salons, conceived as “sacred” moments where the art of shaping the material, along with the poetry and the drama, revolve around the feminine archetype and its relationship with death (Alcestis); with love as individual freedom (Phaedra); and with revenge as personal justice (Electra). Through the rediscovery of these feminine myths, through the ancient and dramatic performed language of theater, and through poetry and sculpture, a language of the senses emerges, combining voice, touch, movement, sound, and sight. Here the exploits of the ancient gods and heroes affect the imagination of modern humanity, to become again an ever-existing model of the human existence, or a bold challenge to our fears and our hopes.
Today, while the remains of our common past are being destroyed in Palmyra and elsewhere by the hand of oblivion and ignorance, our ancient columns, statues, citadels, and museums often become conventional images of regret and impenetrability for young generations. Thanks to the suggestion of the powerful works of art by Stefania Pennacchio, as well as the vigorous verses by the Greek poet Titos Patrikios, candidate for Nobel Prize in Literature, and the American lyric poet Patti Trimble, the ancient tragedies, human rights, sculpture, and poetry meet in an ideal space.
Mythology, art, and poetry emerge from the motionless showcase of physical and virtual museums to state themselves as our common heritage. And they give voice and redemption to stories that belong to that long genealogy of the “different” and the “excluded”, people who in the ancient and modern world have crossed the borderline, crossed into to world which reason fears, left that other world where power and prejudice, relying on fear, always triumphs. For Stefania Pennacchio, Titos Patrikios, and Patti Trimble the human being corroded by doubt shows an unyielding dissent towards types of supremacy that arrogate a blind power over other human beings, that does not take their the needs into account. Their heroes cross that boundary — even if it leads to solitude or death — because, whatever may happen, crossing the borderline means self-consistency, self-discovery. They project themselves into the “elsewhere”, reminding us how our self-perception creates a real space, a space in which we actually live, a dimension open and ideal.
It is our great honor to present in this volume so many prestigious names of personalities from the institutional, academic, and artistic world: people who show deep sensitivity and high moral commitment on issues of profound social value; working towards the desirable prospect that world justice and equal rights, regardless of sex and religion, could reign in the world.
Let’s strive along with the myth, the art and the poetry to free ourselves from the evil of violence, oblivion, and prejudice. Ancient drama has already shown to us the path.
Elena Flavia Castagnino Berlingheri
Meeting in Italy on 23rd January about “Innovation, tradition and eco-sustainability of woman entrepreneurship”
Since there are many places where gender equality and women’s integration are being debated in EU, we are pleased to announce that on 23rd January 2016, our Vice- President Prof. Elena Flavia Castagnino Berlinghieri was guest at the meeting “Innovation, tradition and eco-sustainability of woman entrepreneurship”. Our Vice-President spoke about the steps we need to take in order to develop our UWE network organisation. The project was launched in the summer 2015 with the occasion of one of the Italian well-known fashion event “TAOMODA Fashion Week” at Taormina and on November 21st was hosted at the International Institute of Higher Studies in Criminal Sciences, an Italian not-for-profit foundation (ONLUS) dedicated to education, training and research in the fields of international and comparative criminal justice and human rights.
The meeting “Innovation, tradition and eco-sustainability of woman entrepreneurship” was organised by AIDDA (Association of women entrepreneurs and business leaders), a non profit association founded in 1961 in Turin and very active in the field of female entrepreneurship. Through its 16 regional delegations representing about 1,500 companies, AIDDA is a point of reference for all women who play leadership roles in Italian companies. In this field it’s our goal to make UWE one of the most trusted and helpful resources concerning gender equality.
Thanks to the Italian National President of AIDDA, Franca Audisio Rangoni, along with the strong support of the vice-President Carla Delfino and the Delegate for Sicily Giovanna Nicotra De Geronimo, the Migrantes Project Dress created and donated to FILDIS Siracusa and UWE by fashion designer Loredana Roccasalva as unique artwork, was presented in front of hundreds women entrepreneurs and business leaders.
This was a great occasion to promote the project within the AIDDA network, to involve more women in determined leadership positions and commitment to advance women’s rights.
As Elena Flavia Castagnino explained the main aim of the Migrants project is giving women refugees in Sicily the hope of a brighter future and work opportunities by combining social, fashion and design on the art of tailoring thanks to specially designed training. As sympathetic woman close to social issues, fashion designer Loredana Roccasalva fully agree and crafted for us a stunning dress by using different fibers and patterns from all over the Mediterranean, she tailored a sort of mosaic-overcoat coupled with a pure-white silk dress with flowers evoking positive outlook and hope to reborn.
UWE Our vice-President explained that we are looking for a Goodwill Ambassador (single association, ONG or institutional body) that would buy the ‘Migrantes Dress’ (price based auction 3000,00 euro) in order to donate the funds for the fashion design and sewing courses addressed to a group of woman refugee in Sicily. By establishing one skills development LAB, which in the start-up phase will be leaded by fashion designer Loredana Roccasalva, UWE would like to provide a group of women with full training in sewing, fashion design and embroidery. We hope to enrich the lives of the women refugees by giving them a chance to learn a new skill and provide them with a recognisable qualification.