Handmaids in Milan
Contributed by Wilmarie Rosado Pérez, 2018
Courtesy of Non Una di Meno – Milano
Keywords: Literature, Equality object, Activism, Non Una di Meno
I selected this image because it represents an example of how literature, feminist activism and politics could converge. It also allows me to reflect on how fiction writing has a leading role in imagining other ways of being socially together, on changing perspectives and on articulating cultures of equality.
The image shows a performance made by a group of women from the feminist collective Non Una di Meno in May 2018. They dressed as handmaids in front of the imposing Duomo of the metropolitan city of Milan. Throughout this public performance, the group tried to replicate Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale (1985), in which several ‘fertile’ women under a religious and political dictatorship are utilized as reproductive machines to avoid the inevitable extinction of the population. The performance also aimed to celebrate forty years in Italy since the approval of the law providing the right to abortion and invited people to reflect on the possibility of a bleak future in matters of sexual and reproductive rights for women.