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Maria Silvia Spolato

Foto donna


1935-2018
Activist of the homosexual liberation movement FUORI in the 1970s. The first woman to publicly declare her homosexuality in Italy.

Artist
Monica Pizzo

Place
Petrarca park, Bolzano

Bio



She was born in Padua, Italy, on June 26, 1935, and died in Bolzano, on October 31, 2018. Mariasilvia was a leading figure in the nascent homosexual liberation movement in the 1970s. She grew up in middle-class environments, graduated in mathematical sciences, and taught for a few years first in high school and then in middle school. On March 8, 1972, she stood in Campo de' Fiori in Rome with a banner on homosexual liberation. The photo of the event was published on March 30 by "Panorama." That was the first public demonstration in which a lesbian had sought and found visibility. As a consequence of this public stance, Mariasilvia was deemed no longer "suitable for teaching." Within a short time, her life fell apart, she lost her job, friends, and family finding herself living on the streets and travelling on trains all over Europe. In 1971 she published the poem PRIMA E(xtra) S(ensorial) P(erception) ERIENZA. As co-founder of F.U.O.R.I.! and founder of FLO, she reported the difficulties of fitting fully into the feminist movement. After many years she ended her wanderings in Bolzano, a city she had visited in her youth. She was taken in by social services and found shelter at Villa Armonia where she passed away peacefully.




She was born in Padua, Italy, on June 26, 1935, and died in Bolzano, on October 31, 2018. Mariasilvia was a leading figure in the nascent movement for homosexual liberation in the 1970s. In these years, openly declaring to be homosexual led to social exile. Raised in a middle-class family, she graduated in mathematical sciences and taught first in high school and then in middle school. On March 8, 1972, a photo of Mariasilvia holding a banner on homosexual liberation at a demonstration in Campo de' Fiori in Rome, was published in “Panorama”. The consequences of this public stance were devastating for her. She lost her job, as she was deemed no longer "suitable for teaching", her partner left her and after some time also her family and friends drifted apart. Mariasilvia was not submissive in nature, and her experiences probably sharpened some of her rebellious and nonconformist character traits. Drifting apart from family and friendships she soon became a clochard. The last years of her life were spent in Bolzano, a place to which she tied memories of her youth, where she is remembered wandering the streets of the city centre with her duffel bag crammed with books and her unmistakable red socks. She was a guest at Villa Armonia in Bolzano, where she passed away peacefully. The one in which Mariasilvia participated was the first public demonstration in which a lesbian had sought and found visibility. The distinctiveness of the lesbian movement still has unprecedented implications in the LGBTQI* panorama and is demonstrated by the deviation of the majority of lesbian circles from certain extremist positions promoted by the national Arcilesbica leadership in the Italian context. In 1969 she published with the publisher Zanichelli a manual of set theory accompanied by exercises, presumably aimed at upper secondary school students. In 1971 she published the poem PRIMA E(xtra) S(ensorial) P(erception) ERIENZA. It was during those years that the F.U.O.R.I.! (Italian Revolutionary Homosexual United Front) to which Mariasilvia devoted extensive interventions. The Front was characterized by a marked international outlook and by being a mixed group of men and women, even though the movement was predominantly male. As founder of the FLO, she made reported the difficulties of fitting fully into the feminist movement. In 1972 she edited “Homosexual liberation movements”, Rome, Samonà e Savelli, with an afterword by Dacia Maraini.

     

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Monica Pizzo
Nasce a Bolzano nel 1967, fin dalla tenerà età mostra senso creativo e particolari doti per l’arte, il mondo artistico, culturale e letterario e una forte empatia nei confronti delle persone in difficoltà. Questa empatia porta Monica a interessarsi attivamente delle problematiche legate al mondo sociale, alle persone in difficoltà, ad intersecare il mondo dell’arte ed il sociale.
A soli 10 anni Monica Pizzo, grazie al suo spiccato senso artistico, si aggiudica il premio come “Disegno e tema dell’anno” al Teatro Gries in Bolzano assegnatole da Gianni Rodari e Italo Calvino e per l’occasione riceve in regalo un libro in cui Rodari scrive “…un futuro tra le stelle…”.
Prosegue gli studi presso l’istituto d’arte Castellini di Como con indirizzo  scultura e disegno.
La passione per il mondo del sociale Monica Pizzo si realizza nell’attività di volontariato nell’Associazione “Caritas” che, in seguito, le permetterà di lavorare con le persone disagiate e di trasmettere loro il suo amore per l’arte con strategie e strumenti diversi.
Da questo momento i due mondi, artistico e sociale, si fondono e iniziano a disegnare un percorso artistico che porterà Monica Pizzo a diventare un’artista riconosciuta e riconoscibile nel mondo dell’arte nazionale ed internazionale.
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