Production & Creative Direction
Art Direction by
Lina Giselle Murillo Martinez
Johana Emmanuelle Kouame
Elena Bi Jiang
Latoya Amsdorf, Lina Giselle Murillo Martinez,Alessandro Gobello
Europe has taught us that our bodies are less human than others for at least 500 years.
We come from Abya Yala, the original name of the Latin America and Caribbean region, we’ve been given ad hoc identities by European colonization as a part of its domination project. Before 1492 the ancestral cosmo-vision didn’t predict the existence of categories such as “women”, “men”, “sodomites”, “indigenous”, “white”,”black”, “mestizos”. Gender didn’t exist, neither did race and heteronormative society.
Colonization is a living process that for over five centuries exterminated Abya Yala’s population and its relative cultures. It’s because of colonization that our black and brown bodies, in the whole global territory both south and north, are criminalized, objectified and fetishized. As women and dissidents of the gender coming from Abya Yala, afro or indigenous-descendant living in the diaspora, in Italy specifically, in Milan, we’re here to reoccupy the spaces that have been precluded to us by colonizers, both inside and outside. This city has been, and still is, a scenario of violence and daily dehumanization, which led us to alienation, to stop walking on certain streets and to live our traumas silently.
With this project, we decided to break the silence and take action towards those and many other spaces in the city.
Milan is only the starting point. Get used to seeing us taking those very streets back. Those in which you have always been so free to exercise violence by fetishing our bodies, cat calling us, insulting us, attacking us, we won’t feel victimized for that. If anything we’ll take back those parts of the city in which we experienced patriarchal, omophobic and racial violence as the heritage of European colonization.
We invite everyone like us to do the same: from now on it’ll be colonizers’ territories to fear the colonized.
Manifesto by Sonia Maura Garcia
Sonia Maura Garcia | She/her
31 anni | Italian | journalist /dj
Porta Romana is the area where a person who used to abuse me lives. This person abused me psychologically and lately physically between 2015 and 2017. A person with whom I was in a relationship with who started fetishing my body for being exotic and my latino culture from day one, especially my Quechuan descendants. At the time I didn’t have the tools to understand the violence which laid beyond certain recurrent behaviors of our relationship. Racial fetishization, manipulations, public humiliations, gaslighting: I suffered for that, but I thought it was the price to pay for staying with someone who “loves you after all”. It was a toxic relationship under so many levels which left me with many wounds whose healing is still in process. For many years, after getting out of it, I felt sincerely scared to walk past the streets adjacent to this person’s home. This feeling never really abandoned me considering that I still get stiff just walking around that area, it’s impossible for me to walk on this person’s actual street. I chose this location to exorcise and claim back every little centimeter of this city after being deprived of it for so many years because of the violence and the abuse. I do it for the sake of the version of myself who at the time was a little bit over her twenties. She didn’t know who she was and, consequently, she didn’t know how to love herself. To re-occupy this space means to hug the little me, to tell her that it wasn’t her fault and just cover her with love.
Freddy Muñoz Viera | They/She/He
I chose Parco Ravizza because of an episode that I’ll hardly forget. It was a Sunday morning, I was coming home after a night out with my friends. I wasn’t feeling so great, I was feeling quite bad actually, so I decided to get off the bus (line 90) two stops before mine to get some fresh air and have a minute for myself, walking. Almost in the middle of the park on the street side I saw a car approaching me, I couldn’t be bothered, it happens a lot that people approach you to ask you for directions, but that wasn’t the case. The initial approach was “hey”. At first I thought it was a friend of mine who lives close to me and usually gives me rides. I noticed it was not him, so I kept walking without giving it much importance. Without me noticing, the car kept following me going like “hey beautiful”, “beautiful where are you going?”. The car kept coming closer, I couldn’t understand what this person wanted from me, I was just walking minding my own business. I just wanted to go home and rest, so I started to walk faster. I was wearing a baggy hoodie, sport shorts, my usual boots and a big pair of sunglasses. I didn’t want anybody to see me. At some point he went like “Come on, how much?”, I immediately understood his intentions. I was very pissed, also because I wasn’t really feeling alright, so I gave him the middle finger with the little energies left in my body. I heard him pulling off, I turned around and saw him getting out of the car. I was so scared something worse than just some verbal offense would happen, so I started running in the middle of the park where he couldn't get to me with his car. He shouted “you fucking f****t”, and that was it, luckily. I wasn’t so close to home, but maybe because of the situation and because of the fear it felt like I managed to get home in a second. I just know that when getting into my bed I asked myself why growing up here in Italy I suffered from these racial and omophobic episodes since I was a kid. That has always been because of who I am, a catcalling which turned into omophobic insults, I was a little surprised, something so surreal but maybe and unfortunately not so much anymore.
Patricia Martínez Caicedo | She/her
57 years old | Colombian | Freelance
Colonne di San Lorenzo
Dear Lina, I’ll tell you now something very bad that really hurt and offended me.
What I’m about to tell you happened many times already, but I’ll now talk about the episode which stuck with me the most for the historical moment we’re in.
I just came to Italy. I had many hopes and expectations, not aware of the infinite racism, and cultural discrimination, me and my daughter would have to put up with because of the color of our skin. I suffered and cried a lot, not so much for me, but for my daughters. I never wanted them to experience so much pain.
In 2014, it was daytime and I was on my way home after work. I was walking and I could hear a man walking behind me. I kept on walking without turning around but he kept following me. At one point, he got close to me and very disrespectfully asked me for my fare. I couldn't understand what he wanted from me, so I asked him what he meant with that. He started to stare at me and without any shame nor modesty asked me: “how much for fuck?”. At first he got me speechless, but then I told him to back off and went away.
Lina Marcela Mosquera Palomeque | She/her
32 years old | Colombian | Brand Creative & innovation strategist.
Ponte Alexander Langer - Darsena
I came to Italy 6 years ago, and for the first time I could feel discomfort within my own body. Maybe it was because of the many gazes or the out of place questions on women of my country and its myths. I was living close to that bridge at the time. I choose the bridge as my safe place through which I could get home, I used to cross it with my bicycle trying to buy some time because I knew there was a group of men waiting for me who shouted obscenities at me every day, from when I was getting off the house in the morning until I was coming home at night. So I thought if I took the bridge, sometimes they would miss me entering the house.
But at the same time, I found myself asking other questions on the bridge. Normal citizens asking me uncomfortable questions, like: “How come did you learn Italian and English in your country? Do they drive like we do in your country? Do you want to take a walk?” They were getting close to me just to feed their fantasy (Colombian, woman and black).
My body and the color of my skin is just a sexual fantasy to them. My high education, my value as a person and a woman, take second place.
Jamila Solís | She/her
25 years old| Colombian | Performer
I chose that place because it has a great concentration of eterosexual men pervaded by their toxic masculinity. It was there I felt so observed walking dressed as a drag. Just by going there to take some pictures we all realized it: catcalling, comments, giggles, whistles and horns. It’s one of those places where an eterosexual man thinks he’s in power and in charge to humiliate and judge you without the least restraint, making you feel wrong and unsafe.
Anacaona Feliz Martínez | She/her
61 | Dominican | secretary
Colonne di San Lorenzo
I’ve been living in Italy for the past 30 years. At the time immigration wasn’t as consistent as it is today and a black person was always in the spotlight. I’ve been asked the most unimaginable questions. To begin with they didn’t know where my country was, so they deduced a black person was from Africa. They used to ask me if I could read and write, if people in my country wear long tunics and if I carried out strange rituals.
They were so interested in knowing why I came here and when I told them my husband was Italian they assumed he was old, necessarily older than me. It was impossible for them to think that a young Italian man could marry a foreigner of the same age without any ulterior motive. I’ve experienced this as a very sly form of violence, I perceived it as a big form of non acceptance .
Luckily many things have changed throughout the years; even if at times people still assume that I can be happy just because of the color of my skin, giving space to sexist expressions.