“MARCH 8th” is the work aimed at celebrating the equality of women in the field of work created by the Spanish artist Elvira Serrano, collaborator for three years of the well-known sculptor from Palermo and professor at the Academy of Art in Palermo, Giacomo Rizzo. The creator of the concept is the art curator, Tiziana Serretta, CEO of the company Tiziana Serretta – Arte, Cultura e Sociale Srls, currently regional president of the Gruppo Donne and delegate for culture of the Confederation of Small and Medium Sicilian Industry (CONFAPI SICILIA). The work, created on the occasion of the celebration of International Women’s Day 2023, represents Hypatia of Alexandria: Greek scientist. Hypatia was the most famous mathematician, astronomer and philosopher of antiquity. Socrates Scholasticus writes that for her extraordinary wisdom everyone respected her deeply. Hypatia was loved by the people because she was never jealous of her knowledge, but always willing to share it with others, and at the same time she was respected by many city authorities. Despite her brilliant and undisputed talents, she was killed March 8, 415 (about 1600 years ago) by a group of fanatics: they did not accept that a woman could stand up to men, without submitting to male power! The work wants to send to the public that observes it 3 messages on the situation of women in the workplace still discriminated against. Forced to fight against the so-called “glass roofs” that prevent her from making a career; the horizontal segregation that very often denies it to approach and establish itself in scientific, technological, engineering and mathematical (STEM) studies, creating that well-known “gender gap” that has important consequences on the future of women and society; The patriarchal culture at the base of all those “gender stereotypes” that often force her to choose between the affirmation of her beauty and femininity and the demonstration of authority and professionalism inspired by male models. The symbolism of the work “8 MARZO” is represented: 1) by the right arm stretched upwards of a post-modern Hypatia engaged with difficulty to break the glass roof above her, causing her that suffering capable of generating a crystal tear on her face; 2) from the hat and dress, inspired by modern fashion and glamour, which evoke beauty, charm and femininity of the ambitious woman who does not renounce her vanity for love of culture and knowledge; 3) from the parchments tightened under Hypatia’s left arm to symbolize that only through the promotion and dissemination of culture can a post-modern society overcome gender stereotypes and discrimination dictated by a patriarchal and masculine society; 4) from the solar system positioned at the foot of Hypatia to remember that science is not the prerogative of the male universe alone.
The work was commissioned by the president of the Confapi Sicilia Women Group to start a traveling exhibition at the most significant industrial realities of the island in order to remember March 8 all year round and bring sculptures and works out of the usual locations to affirm the principle of “democratization of post-modern art”, considered by Tiziana Serretta, a tool to convey social messages and trigger changes aimed at promoting inclusive economic development and tenable. The work is entirely made from recycled materials. The cultural project was sponsored not only by the employers’ confederation, CONFAPI Sicilia, but also by the trade union organization CISL Sicilia as part of the long-standing collaboration for the affirmation of equal opportunities at work. Among the many initiatives, promoted by the two social partners with the associated companies, it is worth mentioning, in addition to this project, the creation of the Digital Observatory against harassment and violence at work: www.6libera.org.