The participation to international festivals of the film “Lunadigàs, or concerning childfree women”, created extraordinary opportunities to collect new testimonies around the world, initially in a rather unscripted way, now – thanks to a work of collection and research in continuous evolution – with a more systematic and active approach. Often the encounters with people eager to talk about themselves, on the wave of the very contagious spill-over effect of the film, have been so unpredictable and unmissable that they had to be recorded on the spur of the moment with the tools available there and then.
Responding to this urgency of telling one’s own stories, we have witnessed first-hand and we continue to realize day after day how exchanging views, meeting and welcoming people interested in the subject, are able to stimulate new awareness, supporting the overcoming of prejudices and strengthening female empowerment.Even outside Italy, the statements of the women collected confirm that not having children is a transversal taboo without distinction of geographical location and social status, so it was almost a necessary step to delve deeper into the processes through which women become aware of their choice, dealing with their own values and those of their own social context.
Such a huge amount of material collected (which will keep growing over time!) finally finds its home with the constitution of the international series of the Live Archive, which is set to explore a new level of insight in the research on reproductive issues on a global scale: a trip around the world, that of Lunàdigas, which touches all continents and questions women – but not only! – at every latitude, highlighting impositions and discriminations experienced by women regarding motherhood (allegedly) deemed biologically natural, within any social fabric.
The exchange of content promoted by Lunàdigas becomes a real collective experience from which a network came to life – national, but finally also international – around issues related to individual freedoms in the field of reproductive choices.
What does the International Live Archive contain?
- Tunis, Fida, 32: “For our culture this is the biggest taboo of all”.
- Istanbul, Alan, 33: “I am a son abandoned by his mother… now as an adult I understand her torment and suffering and I have managed to forgive her”.
- Boston, Sam, 21: “I have a Greek grandmother and an Italian grandmother. The Greek one is really furious that I’m not married and not a mother at 21 yet. ”
- Washington, Sarah, 17: “You’re going to be a wonderful mom, everyone tells me. I want to have children, but I find it strange that anyone has the right to talk to me about it. ”
- Vienna, Anne, 27: “The stigma on women who give birth but do not want to live with their children, is very strong. I’m one of them. ”
- Beirut, Mayan, 35: “IVF in Lebanon is facilitated for women like me who cannot have children. But my question is, do I really want to have children?”
- Quito, Anais, 32: “Motherhood, either it will be desired or it will not be”.
- New York, Betsy, 40: “I think women in academia have more choices, even official data shows that more educated women have fewer children and choose more often not to have children.”
DIRECTORS’ NOTES. Let’s hear it from the authors.
“We want to be absolutely cleat that we intend to use the word Lunàdigas as a title again, which we do not consider past its time, indeed! This term, in fact, confirms itself capable of representing in a positive way the choice of not having children; it seduces and wins women over, filling a linguistic gap common to almost all languages”… in my language, Arabic, we do not have a word that defines us, from today we are also lunàdigas!”
Our idea is to travel the world also through the figures of our correspondents. They are young women who, meeting Lunàdigas, enthusiastically volunteered their active commitment in the collection of testimonies, even occasional ones.
There have been plenty of opportunities: participation to International Film Festivals, screenings at the Institutes of Italian Culture abroad, talks at University Departments dedicated to studies of Anthropology and Visual Sociology and/or Gender Studies, theater and film festivals dedicated to women, female and feminist groups and others, in which – accompanying each time the 2016 film – the opportunity to collect new precious testimonies of women of all ages and backgrounds, belonging to cultures other than the Italian one, has not been missed. The film has been shot in many parts of the world for over three years and we Lunàdigas have always accompanied it with the intent to seek and open a debate – necessary on such an important topic – that would cross the Sardinian and national borders, embracing the ideas and positions of most women around the world.
Many countries have been visited: much of Europe, North America, South America, part of Africa, part of the Middle East. Not only that, the story has been enriched by the testimonies of people from Asia, India, South Africa, China, Thailand, and also opened to a the male perspective – usually less explicit – on the theme of parenthood. In short, a very important and very wide collection, rich in ideas for non-trivial reflections on the choice of having or not having children. I’d like to remember here how little this subject is dealt with, especially in the motivations that underlie it – a part that Lunàdigas finds by far the most interesting – and that are not taken into account in the frequent calls for reproduction increasingly pressing in our West, the richest on the planet. In other areas, as we know, people die from hunger, disease and overpopulation.”