Not choosy, big babies, spoiled. Generation Z is a storm of activists, popularizers, politicians. However, to really understand who they are and the future they indicate, you have to be with them in the square. Listening. While protesting for the climate, for a law against homotransphobia, against sexism, for the rights of Italians without citizenship. They do this by chasing precarious jobs or trying to repair a twentieth-century school system that no longer speaks to them: they organize training courses, debates and assemblies. They inform themselves, plan protests on social media and then find themselves on the streets.
They are mainly women, Afro-descendants or LGBT people. That “minority” left on the sidelines often accused of “cancel culture” or excessive “susceptibility” by those who remained crystallized in the twentieth century. Forgotten by politics that doesn’t see them, doesn’t want them, or by society that doesn’t listen to them. But they don’t care.
Eclipses, stories of redemption
“Much more than Zan!” He yells into the megaphone Victoria Oluboyo, his back to the monumental fountain of the Repubblica barrier in Parma which met to protest after the dropping of the law against homotransphobia. Born and raised here but with Nigeria in her face: “I’m 27 and I started dealing with rights when I was fourteen,” she says with a marked Parmesan accent: “To get out of here we can’t think in watertight compartments, we need to understand that every fight is ours ». He works as an administrative assistant in the prefecture of Parma, deals with emergence and asylum seekers: «I am a black woman, I suffer from racism and sexism on my skin. But it’s a different phenomenon than the people I witness. I have an education, I speak Italian, I was recognized as a citizen at 18. I have a privileged position with respect to women seeking asylum who also suffer from classism. There are many battles to be waged, the Ius Soli is fundamental but it is the fight to recognize people that must not be forgotten ». The absence of fear is what differentiates this generation from the previous ones: «The old generations are afraid of an otherness that is also present in everyday life. Normality is thought to be the white, straight, cisgender man but we know real life is elsewhere. They are the minority but our society has been built on them ». The correct narrative is the keystone of change: «Our bodies, as well as those of disabled or LGBT people in the media do not appear. They are shrouded in fog ». Silhouettes, shapes without perspective. “My story is absent. The only space is for migrants ».
He agrees with her Sofia Righetti, philosopher, Paralympic champion, activist: «For disabled people the media continue to reserve the narrative of the tragic hero who, despite his disability, makes it or the pietistic one of a submissive person. There is no dignity and there is no listening to the person. It is problematic: if you live in a healthy environment this imaginary slips on you, otherwise you absorb everything and you become that tragic and submissive person ». A glitter in her nose and blue eyes that sparkle even more, Sofia tells about herself with a light that you don’t know where she comes from, but it is there, always on: training courses in schools and universities on skill discrimination, desexualization and violence against women with disabilities: «In these months when there was talk of the Zan bill, I strongly felt the absence of disabled people from the speech. They said we were exploited, as if we people with disabilities did not have a sexual orientation or a gender identity. Politics has exploited us, infantilizing us ».
From Milan Pride to the protest squares for the “trap”, Sofia Righetti spent the last year alongside the rainbow community: «I feel an ally of the LGBT community. Sister. I have found an incredible sense of unity with LGBT people over the past year. If we study Disability Studies (the discipline that analyzes disability as a social, political, historical and cultural phenomenon, ed) we discover that we have a lot in common: the fact of being considered non-compliant with a pre-established status of the regulatory system. Historically we have always been considered freaks, not to mention the medicalization we have suffered. I have never been ashamed of being who I am, I show it with pride. And all this sense of pride and this thirst for social justice is something I see in the LGBT community ”.
Francesco Cicconetti, 22 years old, from Rimini is a trans man (ftom, that’s what we say when passing from the female gender to the male one). After starting its transition path in March 2017, last July it launched a crowfunding campaign to afford a mastectomy, told on social media, step by step, to raise awareness of a society that forces transgender people into the shadow. especially trans men: “Trans people are seen as supernatural people. It is not the newspaper that is told, or they see themselves with that veil of pity that is always very sad. What I do is try to bring my everyday life and subvert a narrative that does not represent us. I have difficulty defining myself as an activist for the high thought I give to this word, I prefer a popularizer ». It seems like a small thing and instead, in a society that rejects the body of trans people, attacks it by all means, Francesco breaks a 50-year-old narrative. 138 thousand followers, a thousand likes per post: «I’m a trans guy, but I’m a heterosexual white guy, I would never allow myself to talk about issues that don’t cross me. Precisely for this reason I leave space and offer platforms to those who tell about disability, to black people, non-binary trans people. The effect of the Zan bill led us to this: we have created this network that makes us say: we are not alone, we are not alone. We are creating a space that has never been given to us, we do it online because we do not exist in the media, then we find ourselves physically in places. This is a real revolution ».
A system revolution that disagrees, blows into party rooms or lounges that name rights only to wave them like a flag and then throw it at the opponent in turn. Marianna Campanardi, 23, a student of public policy in Milan, has been a member of the Democratic Party since she was 18. In dissent. He recently founded RISE! (Ecologist socialist intersectional network), a success from the first assembly. Seventy young people aged 14 to 25, present, not registered to talk about their rights and future: “It is a national space, it gives voice to issues that cannot be brought out within our party”. A challenge to the deaf secretariat for the new generations: «We want to stay inside politics, change it from within. When we do it as individuals in the Democratic Party we are belittled as young people, women, LGBT people. But we must be what we talk about otherwise nobody believes us ». Campanardi sheds light on an issue: «At the moment there are no non-white people in the Democratic Party, very few people with disabilities or LGBTs. The time has come to pass the microphone ». Nor does he spare criticism in the management of the PD of the Zan bill: «We should have been more radical. There are too many differences between civil and social rights. It does not make sense. Everything is held ».
They will call them beautiful souls, they are a generation that asks for space in a time occupied only by resentment. The future is the only place you can go, there is nothing else. Better to come prepared. Listening.
Source: L'Espresso – News, inchieste e approfondimenti Espresso by espresso.repubblica.it.
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