Home Health The first Festival on the menstrual cycle arrives in Milan: “Talking to dissolve the taboo. The ideas? Many have been suggested to us by the citizens”

The first Festival on the menstrual cycle arrives in Milan: “Talking to dissolve the taboo. The ideas? Many have been suggested to us by the citizens”

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The first Festival on the menstrual cycle arrives in Milan: “Talking to dissolve the taboo. The ideas? Many have been suggested to us by the citizens”

There is debate on the Tampon Tax with the consequent battle to lower VAT on sanitary towels, which until recently was 22%, the same as for luxury goods. There is premenstrual syndrome and there are its pitfalls: how to prevent them and – where you can’t – how to manage them and live with them. But also the stories from the war and what it means to have your period under an armed conflict, with a shortage of hygienic devices, medicines and water. It is the first Festival of the Menstrual Cycle, to be held in Milan on 17, 18 and 19 June. Distributed in three locations between Town Hall 7 and Town Hall 9: Urban Cultural Sea, New Armenia and Rob de Matt. The idea was born from the meeting between the authors of Eva in Red, the podcast dedicated to the topic – also in this case, unprecedented – and the associations Errante, Promise and Studio But Maybe. Debates, workshops, theatrical readings. But also conferences on menarche, on menstrual health and hygiene, on gender discrimination, on transphobia. And on diseases such as vulvoldinia andendometriosis. The first is an often underdiagnosed pathology. It is estimated to affect 15% of the female population, of any age. The scenario is starting to change thanks to the contribution of the influencer Giorgia Soleri, who together with the Vulvodynia and Neuropathy of the Pudendal Committee presented the bill for the recognition of this pathology to the Chamber and the Senate. The second affects about 10% of women and girls of reproductive age: about 190 million worldwide, an estimated 3 million in Italy. As reported by the website of the Ministry of Health, it causes sub-fertility or infertility in 30-40% of cases.

Speaking, therefore, to dissolve one of the most monolithic taboos of the contemporary era: “It is connected to blood, and in itself this causes an alert. And it is also linked to the woman’s sexuality, which has always been hidden or little told. We seem to make a split: we never talk about how we get to birth of new human beings, ”he explains Vania Cuppari, president and co-founder of the Errante association. Yet the cycle is, quite simply, the daily routine of life: “We decided to call it the Festival of the Menstrual Cycle precisely because we focused on the entire time span of 28 days, not just the 5 of menstruation “. Among the guests also Francesca Mannocchi, journalist who documented the takeover of the Taliban in Afghanistan and the war in Ukraine, and Elise Thiébaut, author of the book This is my bloodpublished by Einaudi in 2018

To support themselves, the promoters presented the initiative on Productions from below and launched a crowdfunding: “It allowed us to involve citizens in the implementation. Many have written to us to propose ideas and insights. And, given that each donation includes a gadget, we decided to ask whoever wants to buy a pack of sanitary pads to be sent to Ukraine, with the collaboration of the local Rob de Matt ”, continues Cuppari. No resistance from the institutions, he explains, because the realization of the project is the result of a network work created over the years: “And we already knew who to turn to. For example, the councilor Gaia Romani, which has led the battle over the Tampon Tax in recent years “. “The most difficult part of this project was to concretely transpose ideas bearing expectations and values. And also transforming them into something usable: it required a lot of balance from all of us. The attention to this issue had been raised for some time on social networks, but it had not moved from there. We tried to do it ourselves ”. Meanwhile, in Europe, someone has moved forward. Spain will introduce menstrual leave. Three days a month for women suffering from severe menstrual pain.

Photo by Chiara Marigliano: the three creators of Eva in Rosso and, on the right, Vania Cuppari di Errante

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