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TALK. Feminist education in Italy and beyond. Lea Melandri in conversation with Maddalena Fragnito

2023_Melandri v6 Talk Billetto
2023_Melandri v6 Talk Billetto

ICI London and the Collective Autocoscienza Writing Group are pleased to present the first public talk by Lea Melandri in the UK.

Dedicated to key lessons from her long-standing career as a writer, feminist activist, and Chair of the Free University of Women in Milan, during the talk Melandri will discuss the acclaimed film Scuola Senza Fine (School Without End) directed by Adriana Monti (1983), in conversation with Maddalena Fragnito. Melandri has been one of the first supporters of teaching for housewives through the Italian State funded ‘150-hour courses’ – a key turning point in feminist education, documented in the film. Short clips from this film will be screened during the event.

The talk is in Italian with simultaneous English translation.

This is an in-person-only event. Book your Free Entry HERE

Lea Melandri, born Maddalena Melandri (Fusignano, 4 marzo 1941) is an essayist, writer, teacher, and feminist activist based in Milan since 1967. She is the co-founder and Chair at the Libera Università delle Donne (Free Women’s University) based in Milan. Together with psychoanalyst Elvio Fachinelli, she participated in the non-authoritarian teachers’ movement in 1968, co-founding the magazine L’erba voglio (1071-1978). A leading activist in the women’s movement in the 1970s, Melandri took part in various Milanese feminist consciousness groups, including Gruppo dell’inconscio (the Group of the Unconscious) and Sessualità e Scrittura (Sexuality and Writing). She is the author of several volumes on feminism, including L’infamia originaria. Facciamola finita col Cuore e la Politica. (L’erba voglio editions, 1977, and Manifestolibri editions, 1997); L’erba voglio. Il desiderio dissidente (Baldini & Castoldi editions, 1998); Come nasce il sogno d’amore (Rizzoli editions, 1988; reprinted by Bollati Boringhieri editions, 2002); Una visceralità indicibile. La pratica dell’inconscio nel movimento delle donne degli anni Settanta (Fondazione Badaracco editions, Franco Angeli editions, 2000); Amore e violenza. Il fattore molesto della civiltà (Bollati Boringhieri editions, 2011). English texts and translations include Love and Violence: The Vexatious Factors of Civilisation. Translated by Antonio Calcagno, State University of New York Press, 2020 and Elvira Roncalli ed., The Future of the World Is Open: Encounters with Lea Melandri, Luisa Muraro, Adriana Cavarero, and Rossana Rossanda (State University of New York Press, series in Contemporary Italian Philosophy, 2023). In 2012, Lea received the ‘Feminist Theorist’ title by the Municipality of Milan as part of the Ambrogino d’Oro award.

Maddalena Fragnito is a feminist activist researcher who operates at the intersection of art, care politics, and social movements. She cofounded MACAO (2012), an independent cultural centre in Milan, and SopraSotto (2013), an autonomous kindergarten. She is part of research groups such as Pirate Care (2019) and the Institute of Radical Imagination (2021); she co-coordinates the Arts module of the Master di Studi e Politiche di Genere at Roma Tre; and she is a doctoral student at Coventry University’s Centre for Postdigital Cultures. Among her recent publications are Ecologie della cura: Prospettive transfemministe (Orthotes, 2021) and La scuola ha riaperto come dopo una nevicata. Pandemia, classe, inefficienza strategica (NERO Editions, 2023).

Autocoscienza Writing Group is a London-based collective working with and promoting the work of Italian feminist and writer Lea Melandri. This intergenerational group explores experiential writing as a practice of autocoscienza (Consciousness Raising) using group readings and writing as a tool for collective sharing, analysis, and care. Developed by Melandri in the 1990s, Scrittura di esperienza (Experiential Writing) focuses on the off-topic, the fragment, the embodied, the non-binary, and the affective as feminist methods to deconstruct dominant forms of language and knowledge production. Aligned with trans-feminist and queer politics and practices, the group operates between the Italian and English languages, alongside different art forms. The group was established in May 2022 by Lucia Farinati and Sara Paiola together with Alessia Arcuri, Eleonora Bottini, Valentina Caivano, Filomena Campus, Elisa Fontana, Manuela Galetto e Sara Ortolani. To get in touch with Autocoscienza Writing Group, please write to

Graphic Design: CC Alessia Arcuri

  • Organizzato da: ICI London
  • In collaborazione con: Collective Autocoscienza Writing Group