When love beckons to you, follow him,
though his ways are hard and steep.
And when his wings enfold you yield to him,
though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.
And when he speaks to you believe in him,
though his voice may shatter your dreams
as the north wind lays waste the garden.
For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.
Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun,
so shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth.
Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself.
He threshes you to make you naked.
He sifts you to free you from your husks.
He grinds you to whiteness.
He kneads you until you are pliant; (…)
Kahlil Gibran on Love
Women in Between is a web interactive documentary, a virtual journey in the Mediterranean region to explore stories of women that have been victims of violence and social exclusion but yet have found the strength to struggle for empowerment. Their stories will set an example for others that have been victims of a culture based on honor and shame. The honor of the family, the feeling of shame, the social exclusion all leading to violent acts against women and in between love, love for oneself and being in love. The personal stories of women will bring to light broader issues of economic crisis, immigration, domestic violence, femicide, social exclusion, family shame, forbidden abortions, arranged marriages and ostracized single mothers.
Stories of women in form of short documentaries, photo-reportages, animation and multimedia videos, will be presented in a web interactive documentary, where the viewer will be able to navigate in the Mediterranean Sea –through interactive maps and features – and reflect on issues of violence and empowerment presented on six chapters. Each chapter refers to one of the six countries through which we will travel to –Tunisia, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Morocco and Spain. A virtual dialogue of Women in Between bordered countries. At the end of this virtual journey one will have the possibility to act and participate in a more meaningful way against violence. A live mapping of the local and international groups and NGO’s who work on women rights and gender-based violence would give the possibility to women who seek help and also to every viewer who wants to become more involved to find the nearest group and/or action in his/her region.
New media and interactive technologies is nowadays being used widely in journalism and documentary, in order to reach wider audience and create greater impact on social issues. We decided to use this distribution channel because we believe that information and education are two very important factors on the fight against violence. We want to reach wider audience and engage it- especially younger people- in a participatory way. Our aim is not only to inform but also to call for reflection, personal involvement and finally action against violence. This new media narrations can be used effectively to any campaign, educational course, lecture, seminar etc. related to these topics. The web platform will be designed to work in low connections and launched under Creative Commons license so that anyone may have access to its content and permission to share with others.
Since 2011 the Mediterranean region has been under a big economic crisis, which has negatively influenced the social economic scenery. Violence against women and children has increased, especially the domestic violence, which represents the hardest expression of the economic crisis. The increase of unemployment, drastic decrease in salaries, the rise of cost of living are all causes of social tension that ease the reinforcement of patriarchal culture in Italy, the return of conservative right governments in Spain or in the case of Greece the empowerment of Nazis groups (Golden Dawn). On the other side of the Mediterranean sea, the strong destabilization due to the revolutions of 2011 have already strengthened the return of traditional systems (Tunis- Egypt) based on religious control, patriarchal families, freedom restriction for women, while restrictive models have been strengthened.
Women in Between is the first production of the Maboula Collective.