The women of the south

Italian text  by Elena Raimondi - Translated and adapted by Domenico Russumanno
Imagine the women of the past, dressed in black, crucified by rosaries...

...their  hair hidden by a black handkerchief...
...remissible or submissive to ancient patriarchal regimes and customs...

...we imagine them unwilling to speak when words must be spoken, able to listen but not to hear...

We imagine them deaf and mute..

...in the vicissitudes of their daily living...

...raising children...

...bent, working in the fields, hard as stone with themselves.
And as hard as stones, these women have resisted the change of time, and like the plasticity of the tuff they walked on, they have traced the footsteps of circumstances, unshakable, unyielding...

... and, as rocks, they have preserved the continuity of the ever lasting self sustainable circle of life, the mysterious procreation cycle in the static nature of existence. 
We remain conditioned by the idea that as woman of the South she willingly delegated her role, overshadowed, marginalized by tribal mechanisms, and in the ongoing debate, the stereotype continues.
But... living in silent or to suffer patiently without yielding has never really been a symbol of submission.

It is they who handed down jealously guarded family values, creating inlays in everyday life, respectful of hidden wisdom. They walk tall, discretely proud, they go forward, solitary with their dignified silent. 

And from the sadly melodious Southern fatality, from the poignant veiled choral of struggling voices, glimpse of an unspoken silent transpires, a musical one, and not by chance, made up of unusual sounds, no longer conceived and perceived by us, but where is still easy to hear the echo in fairway distances.

Undertones crossing the Mediterranean, far and wide, creating resounding waves, swapping, interlacing, piling, and most often amalgamated by primordial cults linked to the rituals of fertility.

From Dionyesian music breaks free the female powerful harmony, the dignity of the woman who emerges from the depth abysses of her repressed feelings of her southern life. 

The woman's beauty is glimpsed in the sensuality of the dances, the natural approaching of the bodies, the maliciously furtive touching of the eyes.

Ancient rhythms recreate moments of long gone rituals, steeped in the human suffering, the power of the mind that tends to cross the mind, inebriating her thoughts with the power to undo ancient patriarchal rules and for a few lasting electrifying moments make herself absent of any reasoning.

The 'Pizzica' releases the pride of women's silence, the deep respect that the women of the South have had toward their own existence, hidden but always present, quietly continuing to spread the memory of the past, like a root that lives and feels the sounds of the earth.

In the mirror of real life, stories are told daily, impossible love, heroic deeds, human struggles, the common and personal feelings become a moment of universal synthesis, expressing states of suffering and complex feelings, giving voice to bitterness, to the feeling of loneliness and abandonment, to the tiredness of abuse, to forbidden love.

Acknowledgments - Credits 
Some of  the images were kindly provided by Calabria Fotografia Sociale - FB
Adapted and translated by R.D, from the original article by Raffaello Aprile (Donne del sud May 2002)  -Trsa

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