In 2002 I received a MA in Literature and Philosophy from the Università degli Studi of Milan (Italy), in 2009 a MSc in Social Anthropology from the London School of Economics (UK), and in 2015 a PhD in Socio-Cultural Anthropology from the University of Toronto. My doctoral dissertation was entitled “We Are Witnesses, Not Victims. The Affective Politics of Representation in the Struggle Against Femicide in Italy,” and it was the result of more than a year of fieldwork among feminists from the Salento area of Italy. In my work I focused on the representational aspects of gendered-based violence in Italy, as well as on the “politics of representation” that the feminist women whom I met engaged in order to challenge common and “commonsensical” understandings of women-as-victims. Following Rancière’s understanding of politics as a “reconfiguration of the sensible” (i.e. of both what makes sense and of what can be sensed), I explored a peculiar version of “sensory politics”, and some of the possible entanglements between the ethical and aesthetic dimensions in contemporary political activism.
My second project extends my engagement with Salento, the senses, and representation, by focusing on the re-appropriation and construction of the traditional therapeutic pizzica music and dance (and of their historical, ethnographic, and anthropological renderings) as contemporary healing practices. Since I believe in the social impact of academic research, in 2015 I co-founded Kore Salento, an association that promotes, through collaborations with local activists and networks, public awareness and debates on gender-based issues.