Toward the Origin of Performing #MeToo: Franca Rame’s 'The Rape' as an Example of Personal and Political Theatre/Therapy

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The chapter identifies the links between #MeToo and other similar previous forms of female struggle against gender violence. In particular, it analyzes a historical case from Italian theatre and television, the performance Lo stupro ( The Rape ), by Franca Rame, written, created, and staged in different contexts and forms since the early 1980s. What emerges most is the novelty of a language which is based primarily on a personal experience shared through a woman’s body that embodies the possibility of resilience. Furthermore, it probes the efficacy as a therapy of this kind of shared experience which can be hosted in different media and is –in the words of Rame’s son, Jacopo Fo- “a theatre that cares for the pain of the actors. And for that of the public, too.”Rame’s example may offer some elements of reflection for a movement that runs many risks, including the danger that “the proliferation and repetition of stories of sexual violence, especially on social media, may make the distribution of online vitriol easy, persistent and vicious, creating a toxic and less safe, not safer, space for women’s expressions of their voices.” Against this risk, Rame’s performance reveals an approach that does not take shortcuts but compels, through a skillful artistic mediation, an authentic awareness, the distillation of the story that “heals,” the story that opens up spaces for the far- reaching power of empathy, which alone can truly change individuals and societies.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospitePerforming #MeToo: How Not to Look Away
EditorJudith Rudakoff
Numero di pagine19
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2021


  • contemporary Italian history
  • media
  • social impact of performing arts
  • television history
  • women's history


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