The 30 years of Donna Moderna and women’s empowerment

To celebrate its 30th birthday at the service of the female public, the magazine directed by Annalisa Monfreda launches the women’s empowerment project Donne come noi (#donnecomenoi) in collaboration with Oréal.

The project consists of a book, Donne come noi, written by the editorial staff of the weekly and published by Sperling & Kupfer, in which 34 journalists tell 100 stories of Italian ladies of our times who have distinguished themselves for tenacity, competence and courage, from boxer Irma Testa to physicist Fabiola Giannotti, from restorer of the Last Supper Pinin Brambilla Barcilon to manager of rappers Paola Zukar.

The lives of some of the protagonists of the book also live in the theatrical performance Donne come noi, produced by Donna Moderna in collaboration with the Teatro Franco Parenti in Milan: the show, after its Milanese debut in April 2018, was resumed in Rome and Turin in June.

The project is completed by a training course dedicated to women, created by the weekly and offered free of charge in many Italian cities (thanks to collaboration with Mondadori Store) to learn to work as a team, reschedule your career, think outside the box and learn to tell one’s story.

Promoting the pleasure of reading and the taste for culture

Our publishing work revolves around our passion for books and culture. And since true passions are made for sharing, we promote and support initiatives designed to encourage reading, present our authors and their stories to the wider public, stimulate discussion and debate, and entertain our readers, while enriching them at the same time.

Although Italians are often considered a population of non-readers, they are extraordinarily curious and enthusiastic about events created around books and authors. In 2017 we organised over 7,000 events and presentations around Italy to promote the titles published by our imprints. Then there are all the literary festivals and trade shows we support, where we were pleased to participate in the increasingly popular Tempo di Libri 2018 in Milan, and this year we will be back at the Salone del Libro in Turin.

A very special audience for is teachers. We hold made-to-measure webinars on a wide range of subjects and learning issues, and we organise special initiatives such as Dentro l’arte, a 12-seminar series on the dissemination of Italy’s artistic heritage designed for high school art history teachers, aimed at strengthening ties between schools and the museum world.

The Italian language is a part of our heritage and to mark the publication of a new edition of the Devoto–Oli Italian dictionary, numerous initiatives were organised for the wider public. The campaign #leparolechesono (“the-words-I-am”) and the Ritratti di parole (“Portraits in words”) competition invited Italians to paint a picture of themselves in words, going against the grain of the ubiquity that images enjoy on social media today.

After the earthquakes, giving a territory back its soul

It was a sense of duty to serve the community as best we could that guided  us in the wake of the earthquakes that devastated central Italy in 2016 and 2017. Electa contributed by giving new life to the works of art salvaged in Amatrice and Accumoli; Donna Moderna documented life after the tragedy and the reconstruction process for an entire year.

It was to commemorate the efforts made to recover the cultural and artistic heritage of the areas devastated by the earthquakes and reconstruct the relationship between the artworks and the territory that the exhibition Rinascite. Opere salvate dal sisma di Amatrice e Accumoli was organised at the Museum of the Baths of Diocletian in Rome from 17 November 2017 to 11 February 2018, bearing witness to the often unacknowledged heritage of small Italian towns.

Promoted by the National Museum of Rome and Electa and curated by Daniela Porro and Alessandra Acconci, and designed by Stefano Boeri Architetti, the exhibition showcased 34 works from the churches and religious buildings of Accumoli and Amatrice, selected from 3,000 pieces salvaged after the earthquake. They were exhibited together with 21 photographs taken in September 2017 by Paolo Rosselli, lest we forget the enduring tragedy wreaked by the earthquake.

Rather than a traditional catalogue, Electa chose to publish a special volume to pay tribute to the areas straddling Lazio, Marche, Abruzzo, and Umbria rent by the quake, trying to give them back their soul.

The exhibition supported the Art Bonus project, through which tax free donations can be made to protect heritage sites identified by the Italian Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Tourism (MIBACT).

On 3 December, the exhibition hosted the presentation of the book Terremoto – 365 giorni, i luoghi, le persone, based on the Ricominciamo project by Donna Moderna. Ricominciamo was a live longform presented on the weekly magazine’s website, which for an entire year documented the reconstruction process in the earthquake zones through investigative reports, photographs, and videos, thanks to the work of the photo reporter Alessandro Scotti.