RI-TRATTI #spinoff: fanzines in Palermo

Thursday 22 July 2021

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The word RI-TRATTI (in English – Portraits) arises from the combination of words rebirth (in Italian – rinascita) and from the desire to overturn the meaning of the term trafficking (in Italian – tratta), transforming it into an active claim of one’s identity, for becoming the outline of a new path of life. Stories in a metaphorical way intertwine with other stories and become a collective expression of rebirth.

RI-TRATTI does not want to be an artistic and aesthetic representation tout court, but wants to spark discussion, focus on the need to tell a new story, on the full realization of the one’s identity and individuality, courage and the challenges.

Marianna, CESIE art expert and curator of the exhibition tells us why we have chosen zines as a form of expression.

The workshops of HEAL project were sessions of art therapy. Through art therapy you do a work of a research of your own self. Art therapy uses the tools that art makes available, therefore it uses a language that it is an emotional language, an instinctive language, a language which has no superstructures, because it is not verbal. So in this way through the creative workshops, particular personal aspects manage to emerge.

For the realisation of workshops, fanzines were chosen: a tool that encourages the free expression of emotions and that leaves ample room for self-expression through narration by pages.

In general, fanzines are born as an opportunity to spread one’s point of view, one’s own reflections, opinions or marginal experiences, all subjects that are not treated, if not even rejected, by the dominant society.

Art therapy in this sense plays a fundamental role in helping everyone to discover the resources they possess, stimulating the potential for self-regeneration, restoring self-esteem, awareness and well-being.

At the beginning of the sessions we gave each participant a box, a method that was very effective for encoding emotions, memories, desires, personal projects through the choice of objects, photos and other materials. The women were encouraged to choose objects that represent their present and future, their thoughts, experiences and moods and to share the reasons behind their choices, finally making a selection to be transferred to the story within the fanzine.

Finally, we dedicated ourselves to the creation of the fanzines, focusing on the positive desires for the present and for the future, on the skills and awareness of the women.

Although many African women have said that in their culture art is not seen as a linguistic medium for the expression of their emotions, during the workshops they discovered this new form of expression and even had fun freeing their imagination through brushstrokes, creating geometric patterns, mixing collage and painting techniques.

The RI-TRATTI #spinoff exhibition is a teaser of RI-TRATTI Festival.

RI-TRATTI Festival will be held on 23-24 September 2021, at the International Women’s House in Rome.

About the project

HEAL – enHancing rEcovery and integrAtion through networking, empLoyment training and psychological support for women victims of trafficking is co-financed by AMIF – Asylum, Migration and Integration Fundprogramme of the European Commission.


For further information

Read more about HEAL, see the project website, follow us on #2HEAL and Facebook.

Contact Ruta Grigaliunaite: ruta.grigaliunaite@cesie.org.