Film Screening: Scuola Senze Fine – School Without End: Italian Women and the 150 Hour School Diploma Course
Tue 6 Sep, 7pm
SPACE Mare Street
The Feminist Duration Reading Group focuses on under-known and under-appreciated texts, movements, groups and struggles from outside the Anglo-American feminist tradition. It meets on the first Tuesday of every month, at 7pm, at SPACE in London Fields, and is open to all.
For the next meeting on 6 September, in a session developed by Rose Gibbs with Helena Reckitt, we will watch the film Scuola Senze Fine (School Without End), 1983, directed by Adriana Monti in collaboration with students from the 150 Hour Secondary School diploma course.
The 150 Hours Courses were an educational experiment implemented in Italy beginning in 1974, available to factory workers and farmers initially, and expanding to include women a couple of years later. The courses were non-vocational; they were not intended to improve one’s productivity at work, but rather to allow for personal and collective growth. The courses sought to help workers reflect not only upon their working conditions but also on their lives.
Scuola Senza Fine shows how the experiment extended into the lives of women taking the course, most of whom were housewives. The film was produced in collaboration with these students as part of their studies for the class, turning the curriculum's questions about the representation of women into questions about the representation of themselves. Director Adriana Monti put together a group of amateur women to make the film. The group of former housewives had completed a 150-hour secondary school diploma course in 1976 and did not want to stop learning after it ended. With the help of their teacher, they formed a study and research group. Monti shot the film about them from 1979–1981, with the first half of it being made collectively by the group.
In previous meetings of the Feminist Duration Reading Group we discussed the story of Amalia and Emilia, who met as students on a 150 Hours Course. Their friendship, and the role played by narration within it, is a cornerstone of the practice of affidamento, or entrustment, developed by the Milan Women’s Bookshop collective.
If time permits we will read from these texts together, so please bring copies with you.
Now You Can Go
The Feminist Duration Reading Group on 1st December was the first in the Now You Can Go events series exploring feminist art, theory and activism that took place across The ICA, The Showroom, SPACE and Raven Row in December 2015.