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If we look for the meaning of prejudice, we discover that it is defined as an "unfavorable or hostile attitude towards other people which, in addition to the characteristics of superficiality and undue generalization, also presents characteristics of rigidity, generalization ... and resistance to verify its relevance and consistency". When we talk about it in relation to the problems of coexistence with people of other ethnic groups, we define xenophobia and racism. But if racial prejudice is unfortunately present in our societies - and in this sense even more visible and, perhaps, contractable - it is much more subtle and difficult to eradicate what the beautiful exhibition by Laura Correggioli tells us about, deservedly supported by the Equal Commission. Opportunity of Tuscany. These are prejudices against women in their expression, in their being or in what, according to a certain limited way of thinking, is their defect or limitation. Here is the woman who is discriminated against because she had a child early, or because she had too many or, on the contrary, because she didn't have any at all; or the woman who is too beautiful to have made a career only with her own abilities or who is too creative and therefore certainly inconclusive. And we could go on. The common thread always refers to the etymology of the word described at the beginning: hostile, superficial and generic attitudes, but which create great suffering and injustice.

I am therefore extremely grateful to the artist for having had the determination to carry out this project that binds art to social and political commitment in the noblest sense of the term, which is greatly needed in this period.

But Laura Correggioli's will could not have been revealed if she had not met the courage of the women who have offered their faces and their stories in the service of this idea. To the latter, all of us, we must extend our most sincere thanks with the commitment to never make them feel discriminated against again.

Eugenio Giani

President of the Regional Council of Tuscany

Stereotypes and prejudices run through our lives as women and gender equal opportunities, beyond declarations of principle, struggle to find correspondence in reality. Thus also our country lags behind despite the undeniable progress made by women, especially in recent decades, in terms of acquiring civil rights or in social and economic models. The violence and discrimination still present in our society are the direct consequence of this retreat which is affected by centuries of male-dominated and patriarchal culture. To spread the principles of equal opportunities and overcome the prevarications that our social fabric is still full of, Laura Correggioli has undertaken an interesting cultural and artistic project that has found the total interest of the Regional Equal Opportunities Commission which I have the honor and the burden of preside. Interest also gained following the presentation of this work, with a high also symbolic value, made by my colleague Siliana Biagini whom I sincerely thank for her great attention and constant collaboration. The artist, in the beautiful works exhibited here, joining words and images faces the theme of identity, its construction and how others see us. The protagonists are "real" women but with significant stories, who have suffered some prejudice related to their way of being for life choices, professional, physical appearance or age. Women aware of the stereotype in which society would like to enclose them. Many innovative images, in a roundup enhanced by the topicality of the topic touched upon: how to build identity in the digital age and how to deal with social problems linked to violence and discrimination.

Rosanna Pugnalini

President of the Regional Commission for Equal Opportunities

Prejudices, these tricks that make strangers known by attaching masks, false beliefs, labels. An all against all, to which no one can save himself and remain unharmed.

For the scientist Albert Einstein prejudices were weak enough to affirm "It is easier to break an atom than a prejudice". Harmful and dangerous is often the result that a prejudice can bring: this is well underlined by Marcel Proust "The idea that we have had of a person for some time covers our eyes and ears" even though Voltaire was well aware that "Prejudice is an opinion without judgment ”and therefore has no basis. Indeed, it is often the "mirror theory" (I criticize in you, what I am) to re-establish the right connections and to fool the self-styled prejudice labelers so that what you criticize sticks to you. The American writer Leo Buscaglia was also well aware of this, saying that he had to “be careful not to take our addictions and our preconceptions with us, otherwise we will only see ugliness. We see what we project ”. Therefore, the only solution to human nature that always tends to prejudice was already offered by Jean Jacques Rousseau for whom "Do not judge and you will never be wrong".

But not in this case: prejudices are at the center of Laura Correggioli's exhibition, who, with a wealth of emotions and an expert eye, loving towards her artistic creatures but also cutting edge towards society, uses prejudices to describe her women through a series of portraits, bright, extemporaneous and truthful, whose masterly and quick brushstrokes - as well as prejudices are quick and strong to arise - describe universes in their own right, telling some stories of women through beautiful images.

Images and words underline their uniqueness, succeeding in the (im) possible undertaking of undressing them from prejudices and giving them back their role.

Sara Taglialagamba

Art historian

Women like many, who want to live their dreams, women who defend their freedom to choose "who" to be, women who do not want to be different from what they feel in the soul and who sometimes suffer, but fight against prejudices and the stereotypes that still prevail in the mental and social culture of our time. Here, this is what I saw in #quellache, the pictorial path of the portraits of Laura Correggioli.

#quellache debuted in Montecatini Terme for a beautiful case, the encounter with his self-portrait "Noli me tangere", exhibited in the Town Hall on the occasion of the Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on November 25, 2017. From there I proposed Laura to set up an exhibition that would highlight the experience of women, to underline the difficulties that unfortunately affect their human, social and personal fulfillment despite the apparent gender equality achieved. In March 2018 the first stage of the #quellache project was organized in the Town Hall of Montecatini Terme with the first ten portraits of women and their stories that speak of stereotypes and prejudices.

Portraits of real women, different from each other but all a symbol of the beauty of the female soul and of how tiring it is to make it emerge, accept, recognize.

I can only say to Laura to continue her pictorial adventure, an example of visual analysis, and I hope that #quellache can become the reference in the art of all of us, because in every painting we find a little of each of us.

Siliana Biagini

President of the Commission for Equal Opportunities of Montecatini Terme

Laura Correggioli turns her exhibition into a manifesto. And a manifesto, to be credible, must be an awareness switch. It is so right from the title, #quellache, a phrase that claims to categorize in a clear, precise and general way realities that are instead multifaceted and unique.

It is of course a provocation that wants to shake from the torpor of indifference. Labels are handy. They claim to summarize complex realities in a few elements. Labels are dangerous. They open the door to distrust and discrimination. Even worse, they push us to believe that our truth about others is the only valid one, turning people into the quote we make of them.

So this path through images and words proposed by Laura invites us to reflect critically on prejudice, especially when it cages women between the bars of social stereotypes. It is a direct, immediate proposal, without filters except that of the pictorial technique chosen by the artist, his stylistic code. His clear and almost surgical outlining of faces and details, without ever falling too far into the pure figurative. Because Laura knows that any image, however faithful it may be, is never reality. A bridge design is not the bridge. And it is on this difference, this gap, that she works. The views we have of others are always partial. And they should never be mistaken for absolute and universal realities.

Here every single female universe is represented through a real container, consisting of a portrait, a life story and a socio-cultural consideration. A mix that is like lightning, capable of suddenly illuminating consciences and nailing us to all the times we have been locked up in a definition or branded with a label. Above all, when we have done it too superficially in turn, giving way or justifying unfounded opinions, pillories, intolerance and prevarications. Every time we have defined a she of our daily newspaper as “#quellache”, we are certain to have her truth in your pocket.

Laura herself goes beyond (not surprisingly) the typical definition of "painting", enriching the canvas, the outlines and the colors with a narrative that amplifies the meanings released in the first place by the canvas. An augmented truth. The words here are not explanatory captions, but additional branches that open new windows. They provoke reflection and range from examples of concrete life to which each of us is a witness or a protagonist.

In doing so, L aura honors what should in fact be an urgency for artists. That "social mandate" which is the implicit delegation that the public grants to the artist, to create works with a symbolic value for the entire community of reference. A social representation of feelings, collective languages and symbolic identity values that, starting from the detail of a work or a thematic path, spaces towards wide-ranging phenomena.

In this exhibition, portrait by portrait, we literally look in the face a series of prejudices, the wrong opinions that are shattered in the face of the actual reality of things, a reality that reminds men of the natural limitation of their experiences and therefore to always evaluate well and fund before shooting (metaphorically and not, as unfortunately the news teaches us) definitive sentences and without appeal.

Monia Baldacci Balsamello

Critic and editorial consultant

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