di Alessandra Campani e Elena La Greca
“We have been dealing with for many years prevention, even in our respective anti-violence centers of Reggio Emilia and Prato. The opportunity to participate, as consultants of this national project, seemed immediately tempting as it was useful for sharing desires, thoughts and possibilities - certain of a basic sharing among us of the assumptions and priorities of the prevention of male violence on women.
The request that was made to us was not limited to the training plan, but extended to the possibility of designing and creating a didactic tool with the support of a communication agency, Hero srl.
Throughout the design process we have given value to starting from itself. Starting from oneself means starting from one's own body, reinventing its perception, representations and potential even when creatively trying to give shape to an intuition.
The purpose of the project Free (and free) to be in school it is the development of an educating community committed to combating violence against women and young women through actions that foster a true and profound cultural change to eradicate gender-based violence.
To achieve it, two lines of action are envisaged: one organized at a local level which sees the involvement of schools and one at a national level through the creation of a national festival against violence against women.
Le primary prevention measures they play an essential role in the fight against gender-based violence.
At the local level, we have chosen to involve schools as a fundamental component of the life of boys and girls and one of the main contexts in which gender socialization takes place and in which stereotyped behaviors and attitudes can be created, maintained and transmitted.
The project aimed, on the one hand, at increasing the awareness on the part of educators and teachers, who are in daily contact with minors, of the existence of this phenomenon and its cultural roots and on the other the possibility of acquiring further tools pedagogicals of prevention.
In this line of intervention, the training of teachers, educators and educators was promoted, through the creation and dissemination of four animated videos. It is a'experimental activity realized with the support of the operators of the 16 anti-violence centers of the D.i.Re selected, in 20 comprehensive Institutes nationwide, involving boys and girls of the age group between 4 and 7 years.
In the school year 2019/2020, 315 [female] teachers and 7 [male] teachers were involved, for a total of 322 with a part in the experimentation of videos in the classroom with girls and boys; 1856 are the boys and girls (949 boys and 907 girls) who participated in the activities of which 655 of the kindergarten and 1201 of the first two classes of primary school.
The word for priority and transversal choice in all videos is CANDIES. Power, to use an expression of Eleonora Cirant, is a territorial word of the anti-violence centers: male power, female power, power in the relationship, inequality of power, power as self-determination, power of the relationship between women in the practice of hospitality.
The overall objective of this work is to bring out the word power in the double meaning: power, strength, authority and potestas, that is, power as domain, right. We decided to articulate the word power in a combination of meanings, each of which characterizes a video: being able to be and to be able to listen to oneself, to be able to choose and to be able to do, the power of yes and the power of no and finally, the power in the alternative between strength. and power. The purpose is to concretely show other possibilities of action, thought, behavior useful for expanding the cultural imaginary on the male and female precisely to counter male violence against women.
A correct prevention of male violence should greatly expand its boundaries, blow up the framework of violence as a private dynamic to recognize how the relational microcosm is the 'continuum' of a gender conflict that crosses and pervades all the relationships of our society, even those apparently non-violent, and which has its matrix in the social legitimation of a difference between the two genders understood as a hierarchy of values.
How can educators help boys and girls to escape the weight of a symbolic and social order which, through stereotypes, continues to hinder the development of a free existence rooted in their own identity as males and females? In order to educate in respect of difference, it is necessary first of all a shift of gaze, from the outside to the inside: it is necessary to refocus on oneself and on one's being women and men the meaning to be given to educational action. Sexual / gender difference is not a content, an object, to be sought in the behavior of the girls and boys with whom we relate but it is the meaning that each and every one of us attributes in the first place to being a woman, being a man, within educational contexts.
However, the transmission of value and strength by those who educate does not occur automatically: it requires an active and conscious recognition on the part of boys and girls, otherwise the risk is an authoritarian imposition of other ideological models and contents.
In the autumn of 2019 we conducted a training for the operators of the anti-violence centers so that they themselves could then carry out a training with educators, educators, teachers in the individual cities for a direct comparison on the same videos sharing their purpose, potential and working methodology. The activities preceding and following the viewing of the individual videos were many and diversified thanks to the creativity put in place with generosity and attention by the schools.
The forms of power characterizing each single video were recognized by boys and girls as well as it was particularly interesting to note the individual gender attributions given to the various protagonists. In the design phase, of the animated videos, careful and prudent was the choice of the characters entrusted, deliberately, in the animation to geometric figures as well as particular care was dedicated to the choice of the various colors, details and physical characteristics.
The collection of the results of the training / prevention activities promoted at the national level allowed us a rare, and at the same time complex, look at an age group often neglected by anti-violence centers in terms of prevention on these issues. The experimentation has confirmed, in fact, the need for continuous and competent adult training because boys and girls have the words to tell each other and to tell each other, even on such complex issues, which they entrust to teachers, educators and educators and with whom , responsibly, it is possible to expand a collective imagination on the masculine and the feminine.
The training proposal and the subsequent activities, starting from the viewing of the individual videos, made it possible to maintain constant attention on a double level: on the one hand on the theme of power, in the positive meaning described in the introduction, and on the other on the methods of gender attribution of the protagonists (either by physical characteristics or by actions normally assigned to one or the other gender).
The challenge of experimentation has been won for what has been set in motion.
The conviction that sustained us remains the possibility of keeping open the generative perspective of change in the ways of thinking, feeling and acting without which it is not possible to face the spread of prejudice and the winning logic of the oppression of the other or the other. The different and varied perceptions contribute to the transparency, even contradictory, of the social context in which we live by remembering what Lidia Menapace wrote in the text Political Economy of Sexual Difference "Trying to demonstrate that any point of view that aspires to a certain amplitude and general validity - today - must declare its partiality, its own subjectivity: it seems to me that this is the most relevant and indisputable contribution made by thinking about the difference, by thinking of difference ".