Anna Bainotti *

I enrolled with great difficulty in the 3rd seminar of the school of politics Give yourself the word “The policy of the Anti-violence Centers D.i.Re", L'Aquila  17, 18, 19 June.

I felt the heaviness of supporting an increasingly complex everyday life, given by the requests of the women accepted, with their needs for protection and justice and by our very often complicated relationship with the institutions and the territory. To all this, we must add the need to have a space for reflection between us, on the organizational and management model of our Center after twenty years and which has given rise to a process of change, of questioning, of comparisons and clashes, uncertainties, but also new awareness achieved and strengthening of our relationships.

 In this process of change a decisive role has been assumed by the young operators who have been included in the center in recent years and who have brought specific personal needs and requirements. This element has been a promoter of reflections in the group and of analysis on the questions concerning what the Center is for, how we respond to the women welcomed and their children, how we stay in the Center.

With these premises I arrive in L'Aquila and from the first day I feel that there is something different. The welcome of the companions of the L'Aquila refugee center excites me, the presentation reports of the groups raise questions that can be shared and are close to what is being discussed in my center. I would like to participate in all four groups, then I choose group one: Anti-violence centers: spaces for feminist elaboration, training and transmission of our knowledge.

There are many aspects and problems that are faced, some decidedly "new" compared to the path made in recent years by D.iRe. I refer, for example, to the relationship between work and politics which I consider an important indicator of our change and our ability to re-read our history in relation to the external reality in motion, our positioning in the territorial networks, our ability to transmit our knowledge, to grasp and satisfy the needs expressed by the young women who are entering the centers.

Considering anti-violence centers also as workplaces implies clarifying the same concept of work by renaming the idea of ​​income understood as restitution of something given and defining the forms of restitution. In this idea of ​​income, the salary is an element, but other elements concur such as social value, personal and professional recognition, the latter understood not as the possession of a degree but as the ability to combine methods / techniques and practices /policy. Starting to reflect on these aspects also means being aware that today in the centers we are feeding precariousness and we are contributing to the process of "erosion" of women's rights, I am referring to motherhood, illness, etc.

As a "woman of memory" who fought for the recognition and affirmation of women's rights, I feel committed to addressing this issue as fundamental and I thank Federica and Antonella for the stimuli they have been able to give in running the working group.

I also want to thank all the women of D.i.Re which have allowed the realization of this third edition of the school which I consider very important as a space for reflection, but also for the union and strength of women  albeit in the diversity of our histories and realities of the centers.

In conclusion, if I have to summarize my experience of these days, I think of two words with a profound meaning: courage and strength, of the women of the center of L'Aquila and of all the women of the centers D.i.Re to know how to face an increasingly complex and hostile reality, to start naming “difficult” issues such as democracy in the centers or the power of women, to bring out and face contradictions and changes.

Artemisia Association, Florence