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Francesca Falchi Back at InScena! With Degen(d)eration. The Ghost of the Tribade

Degen(d)eration - The Ghost of the Tribade and the repression of lesbians during Fascism

Francesca Falchi is back and performing in New York at the InScena! Festival with her new work on lesbians and Fascism, the second part of her project on women and totalitarianism. We interviewed her to learn more.

“Degen(d)eration – The Ghos of the Tribade” (L’Eccezione production), written, directed, and played by Francesca Falchi, is the second act of project; its first act “Der Puff” participated at the InScena!2017 Festival. Carrying on the research on women’s condition during different periods and contexts, Francesca Falchi portrays the situation of lesbians during Fascism pointing out the irony of the binomial wife-mother, dear to the Fascist propaganda, a binomial that did not leave any room for any alternatives. In this work, the video, the sound (music and video by Brigata Steiner, Arnaldo Pontis, and Roberto Belli), the choreography (Donatella Martina Cabras), and the costumes (Alessia Marrocu) became an essential part of the play itself. The text recreates the progressive limitation of freedom (including sexual freedom) of women during the Fascist era starting from the  “Manifesto of Futurist Woman” by Valentine de Saint-Point, and drawing on historical documents such as speeches of Mussolini and della Chiesa heiling to the binomial wife-mother, using the metaphor of “Alice in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll.

How was this project born?

The project on lesbian and Totalitarianism is born at the end on 2010. In 2011, “Der Puff,” which is on lesbians and Nazism, debuted at the Garofano Verde Festival and, the same year, “Degen(D)Eration,” which is on lesbians and Fascism, is a finalist for the drama award Avamposti d’Autore as a shot play. The third stop, on lesbian and Francoism, is work in progress.

What are the strong points of the show? Why should people go watch it?

Dramaturgy first of all. I worked on two levels: the first is the historical level, where the facts of the time and the testimonies of lesbians on their experiences during the regime are intertwined; the second is the surreal level, where I rewritten some parts of Alice in wonderland in a transgender key and inserted them to emphasize the grotesque side of the situation in which the lesbians lived in Italy during the Fascism. And then the sound and visual work curated by Arnaldo Pontis and Roberto Belli (Brigata Stirner): the “scenography” is made up of a series of projections and images that tell the historical events of the fascism period but also the lesbian imagination of the time and music is a contemporary remake of the songs of those years. It is undoubtedly a very special and original show for this mixture, that I can say very successful: and I must thank for this also Alessia Marrocu and her costumes that make the game between reality and “surreality” good.

Francesca Falchi.

What does it mean to you to perform in New York?

I am very happy, also because bringing a show like this to the United States is, as the other time, not only a cultural but also a political act.

What materials dis you use and what kind of researches did you do to write the script?

For this show I mainly used “Out of the norm- lesbian histories in Italy in the first half of the twentieth century”, edited by Nerina Milletti and Luisa Passerini and the essay by Paola Guazzo” Bordering on the norm-Resistances/Existences lesbian and Fascism” and “Women in the fascist regime” of Victoria De Grazia. But we also find parts of Alice in Wonderland, Gnostic Apocalypse and the Futuristic Feminist Manifesto of Valentine de Saint Point

Who are the women you talk about in the show?

Women “out of the ordinary”, forced to be “normal” because being “different” was not added value but a sentence to confinement or jail.

Tell us your experience in the InScena!2017 edition. How did it go in New York and how was your return back to Italy?

Beautiful, exciting and rewarding. I have also proposed that we return once again. The return? Nemo propheta patria. And, frankly, that is all well and good.

Degen(d)eration – The Ghost of the Tribade was performed at the Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance (BAAD) on ma 9th at 7p.m. and will be on stage at the Bernie Wohl Center on May 12th at 7:30p.m.

For more information: InScena!

Translated by Giulia Casati.

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