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Il Forum è nato dalla giornalista Marilù Mastrogiovanni ed è organizzato da Giulia Giornaliste e dalla cooperativa IdeaDinamica, con l’obiettivo di “creare ponti, abbattere muri: promuovere una riflessione sul giornalismo delle giornaliste investigative, come presidio di Democrazia, dunque di Pace”.

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by Lucia Goracci
Lucia Goracci wrote for the Forum of Mediterranean Women Journalists the paper we publish below, read at the opening of the discussion panels.

goracci

I do not think there is a female way of telling the wars. The war reporter-whether male or female-responds to the same rules and values as all reporters. Go and see for yourself, look for first-hand news, get as close as possible where things are happening. Stop as long as possible: not just go, but stay.

I don’t even think there is a specific woman’s view of wars. Nor does courage distinguish between the sexes-although of the woman there is always an extra difficulty in saying that she is courageous, we tend, if anything, to say that she takes great risks.

But there is a ” women’s” way of experiencing wars. Wars rain down on them, they almost never decide them, they suffer them. Man fights, woman must repair what war destroys. Saving and rescuing.

So the women in Gaza who lived on the border territories of the strip first warned me during the last war between Israel and Hamas that the Israeli army was about to invade Gaza. They who saw them moving, the soldiers; every signal, every movement had to be interpreted: the ground attack for them would mean an escape from the houses, for which one had to prepare.

War had also rained down on the women of Misrata. They continued to have their children study with the walls of their homes shaking from the bombs. Women in Misrata, Libya, fleeing looting and aggression often with nothing on them. It was touching to see how the embarrassment, the very human modesty in telling the story, was defeated by the desire to let people know.

Women were also the girls from Kobane who volunteered to take the place of the runaway teachers and reopened the school, in the basements of the houses. “You hear them, teacher,” the kids tell us, when the mortars resume howling, “they have started again!” one of these extraordinary girls told me when I visited the school underground in Kobane.

And there is also a dangerous truth to note: every time a regime asserts itself, or an ancien régime attempts coups de tail, it inexorably targets women’s achievements and rights.

There is no war journalism declined in women, then, but certainly for a reporter it comes much more naturally to approach it all. Dwell, not so much on the scenarios, the weapons on the ground, the wars waged, but on the devastating impact that war has on the most vulnerable. Women do not retrogress. And this is not sensitivity, it is ethical sense of journalism. Pushing on an ideal front line of increasingly asymmetrical wars. Some of us have done so, never to return.

Telling wars. Middle Eastern ones and mafia ones. Those between the armoring first world and the aching humanity that stubbornly presses those fortresses to break through. “I have never been so attached to life” as in the midst of the death that war produces, Ungaretti wrote.

It is also conflict the continuous tension between the this side of our established prosperity and the other side of the war of winning a place in life, a second chance. Whether it is consumed in Syria or Lampedusa. And on this front, with their watchful gaze, are many women.

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