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FUA/SBU CONFERENCE Fall 2016: Oriana Fallaci


FORCE Of the Female Word

1966 FLOOD Restoring Words at the National Library

STATEMENTS In the Fashion World

CLASSIFICATION Decoding Italian Wines













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Florence University of the Arts Where studies transform CULINARY ARTS



into real-world GANZO* is a school but with non-traditional classrooms where the Apicius students and faculty develop seasonal menus and share them with the general public.

INGORDA* The J School campus press creates books on gastronomy, design, travel, and lifestyle in collaboration with FUA students and faculty.

Via dei Macci, 85red tel +39 055 241076

Via dell'Oriuolo, 43 tel +39 055 2633182

FLY* Fashion Loves You supports the FAST fashion academics and collaborates with emerging Italian designers. Borgo Pinti, 20red tel +39 055 2633191 


* Ganzo, FLY and Ingorda are respectively the CEMI of the Apicius, FAST, J School academic divisions at FUA. CEMI stands for Community Engagement Member Institution, and represents integration projects that are a part of FUA’s academic campuses and open to the greater community. It is where students and faculty can put into practice and experiment with their academic coursework.

Don’t use words too big for the subject. Don’t say infinitely when you mean very; otherwise you’ll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite. C. S. Lewis Colors fade, temples crumble, empires fall, but wise words endure. Edward Thorndike To me, the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it’s about, but the inner music the words make. Truman Capote But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought. George Orwell

i have reached the conclusion that those who have physical courage also have moral courage. physical courage is a great test. behind every event of good or evil there is a piece of writing. oriana fallaci

Blending is a semesterly magazine created with and for students of Florence University of the Arts. The magazine is published by FUA’s campus press Ingorda, a member of the Fondazione di Partecipazione Palazzi - FAIE. For information contact Semestrale / Semesterly Magazine Reg. Trib. di Firenze n° 5844 del 29 luglio 2011 Anno 6 – Numero 3 – Autunno-Inverno 2016-17 Year 6 – Issue 3 – Fall-Winter 2016-17 Direttore Responsabile / Editor-in-chief Matteo Brogi Caporedattore / Editorial Director Grace Joh Coordinamento editoriale / Managing Editor Federico Cagnucci ++++++++++++ In redazione / Masthead Redazione / Copy Editors Taylin Bower, Nicole Fish, Jess Pitocco, Amber Wright Team di studenti / Student Magazine Team led by Federico Cagnucci: Talus Andolsek, Isabella Bass-Brown, Nicole Cioppa, Samantha Coppola, Miranda Cummings, Carley Fernandes, Danielle Fretwell, Leon Frick, Steinunn Ros Gudsteinsdottir, Karen Lemus, Madi Lovell, Olivia McClellan, Alyssa McNulty, Katie Miller, Vanessa Peña, Alecxia Riddell, Gioia Sacco

Illustratori / Illustrators Talus Andolsek, Carley Fernandes, Leon Frick, Madison Lovell Pubblicità seconda e terza di copertina Inside Front and Back Cover Advertisement Pages Concept and Design by Paola Carretero Photographs by Thakorn Jantrachot Ringraziamenti / Special Thanks To Massimo Bocus, Nicoletta Salomon ++++++++++++ Editore / Publisher Florence Campus per INGORDA Editore Via Alfonso La Marmora, 39 - 50121 Firenze Sede editoriale / Editorial Headquarters Via dell'Oriuolo, 43 - 50122 Firenze Tel. 055 0332745 Stampa / Printer Grafiche Martinelli s.r.l., via dello Stelli, 2b 50010 Bagno a Ripoli (FI) Il numero è stato chiuso in redazione nel mese di dicembre 2016 This issue was completed in December 2016 Copyright © 2016 by Florence Campus, Firenze All rights reserved. ISSN 2284-063X

Fotografi / Photographers Olivia Mc Clellan, Adelina Fischer, Danielle Fretwell, Madison Lovell, Katie Miller, Jessica Myer, Vanessa Peña, Anastassia Sciaraffia, Alberto Simoncioni, Gina Torre Copertina e pagine di apertura sezione Cover and Section Openers Isabella Bass-Brown

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fall-winter 2016-17

Letter from the Editor 5

FUA annual conference


The Force of Words & Oriana Fallaci 6

Travel. Discover. Learn. Grow 32 Florence in One Word 36 Walking Through Words in Florence 38

COMMUNITY Poetry is Emancipation 10 Poetry is I-Dantity 14

fashion Wearable Expression 44


The Importance of Nurturing Creative Dialogue 50

As Seen on the Streets 16 The Force of Expression in Art Therapy 20 Emotion and Expression: Words, Painting, and Emotion: The Mind Map of Creativity 23


Force of the Female Word 54

food The Classification Conundrum 58

One Dreadful Day in Florence 26 Historical Flood Plaques in Florence 30

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student voice

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The Voice of Gastronomy 62


TALUS ANDOLSEK (USA) is taking a year off from Product Design studies at Wentworth Institute of Technology. Thanks to the guidance of Talus' photographer mother, he developed a substantial portfolio and interned for industrial designers at a young age.



is majoring in Fashion Merchandising and Retail Marketing at Johnson & Wales University, and is passionate about music. She’s recorded with a Grammy-winning producer in LA and hopes to develop a career in the fashion and music industry.

is majoring in Communications with a minor in Mass Communication at Towson University. Thanks to her interests in photography and writing, she hopes to work for a magazine when she graduates.



is a first generation college student majoring in Fashion Merchandising and Retail Marketing at Johnson & Wales University. She actively volunteers, and created the JWU Love Your Melon Crew of which she is the captain.

is majoring in Fashion Merchandising & Retail Marketing at Johnson & Wales University to study the business side of fashion. She enjoys writing and hopes to combine it with fashion for her future endeavors.


LEON FRICK (Germany)

is majoring in Studio Art with a minor in Graphic Design, and loves photography. Her most recent achievement was illustrating for a published children's book, and she hopes to keep gaining the skills leading to future projects.

is currently enrolled in the Visual Communication career program at FUA. Since he comes from a family of publishers, he’s interested in increasing his experiences in the field of publishing.



is a Visual Communication career student at FUA.

is a Fashion Merchandise major and loves following fashion and music trends. She enjoys analyzing designers by looking at different media sources to truly understand what collections are about.



is studying Graphic Design at Robert Morris University, and enjoys photography and designing for weddings and events. Being involved in magazine production in Florence is exciting for developing her future career.

is currently studying at Robert Morris University, where she majoring in Graphic Design. Her other main interest is photography.


VANESSA PEÑA (Venezuela)

is a Fashion Merchandising and Retail Marketing major at Johnson & Wales University. She is interested in Photography and Illustration, and especially the magazine experience to gain insight on a future career.

is studying Communications at Endicott College. She is interested in feature writing and the editing process, and is seeking to extend her knowledge of photography and graphic design.



is currently studying Fashion Merchandising at Johnson & Wales University. She is also interested in journalism and gaining experience in the graphics aspect of marketing.

is a Multimedia Journalism major at Lynn University, as well as a campus tour guide and writer for the university paper. Her dream job is to work for ABC 20/20 and interview fascinating people from around the world.

Letter from the Editor

Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci wrote in 2003, “...behind every event of Good or Evil there is a piece of writing.” This issue of Blending Magazine is dedicated to Fallaci and the force of words, the inspiration for FUA and SUNY Stony Brook’s 8th annual academic conference held in Florence on Dec 2-3. We were honored to host Italian journalists, international scholars, and FUA students and faculty who discussed the role of words in past and present society from the perspectives of journalism and ethics, literature, European and transcontinental narratives, and cultural identities. The articles in this issue emphasize how words wield a communicative power in how disciplines develop and evolve over time and in an international context, whether in the area of fashion, food, literature, or art. The students of the Magazine Editing and Publishing class at FUA who were involved in layout and production share the following special message regarding the “Force of Words” edition: “The FUA student body represents the voice of the younger generation, and there’s nothing more important to us than keeping our readers up-to-date on world issues. 2016 is the 10th anniversary of Oriana Fallaci’s death, we hold near and dear to our hearts the courage and powerful voice she represents.” Happy reading,


Journalist Fiamma Nirenstein opens the second day of conference panels.

FUA Annual Conference


his year’s conference, “The Force of Words. Oriana Fallaci: Florentine, Journalist, Citizen of the World,” was the 8th consecutive edition hosted by FUA and SUNY Stony Brook University. 2016 marks the 10th anniversary of the death of Oriana Fallaci, and the two academic institutions hosted two full days of conference activities on December 2-3 in remembrance of the Italian journalist who dedicated her life to the craft of writing as a journalist, including war correspondence, and novelist. The opening ceremony took place at the historic Gabinetto Vieusseux at Palazzo Strozzi on December 2nd. Keynote speaker Antonio Bandini (Consul General of Italy in New York 200307) and Edoardo Perazzi, Fallaci's nephew contributed to the inauguration with personal memories of Oriana. Morning conference activities featured a panel of Italian journalists including Umberto Cecchi, Riccardo Mazzoni, Gabriella Simoni, and Paolo Ermini, who discussed Oriana Fallaci, commemorated moments of her life, and reflected on her legacy and its impact on international politics, communication, and journalism. For the rest of the conference, sessions took place at the FUA main building in Palazzo Bombicci Guicciardini Strozzi, Corso Tintori 21. Friday afternoon began with FUA student panels from the Intercultural Communication, Travel Writing, and Contemporary Italian Literature courses. Scholars Mary Ann McDonald Carolan (Fairfield University), Nicoletta Salomon (FUA), Rebecca C. Berezin (Westfield State University), and Michael Wray and Helle Sorensen (MSU Denver) concluded the first day with global perspectives on Fallaci and words in contexts of conflict. Saturday’s morning sessions opened with talks conducted by journalist Fiamma Nirenstein. Stony Brook University scholars Wolf Schaefer and Nick Ceramella, followed by Melixa Abad Izquierdo and Beverly L. Kahn from Farmingdale State College, continued the discussion on words and politics and journalism. The final segment of the conference on Saturday afternoon began with Mark T. Abate (Westfield State University) and Marco di Donato (Unimed association of Mediterranean universities). A second group of FUA classes - Islam and Politics, the Italian-American Experience, Cultural Perspectives - highlighted projects by students and faculty, and the final panelists concluded the conference on a creative note with art/literature contributions from Çigdem Üsekes (Western Connecticut State University), Nina Mukerjee Furstenau (University of Missouri), and Emilie Passignat (Università di Pisa). The conference also featured a pre-event on Thursday, December 1st, at the FUA Library in Corso Tintori 21. The book Il fuoco dentro, Oriana e Firenze was presented by its author, Vice Minister Riccardo Nencini (Transport and Infrastructure) moderated by Patrizia Lucignani from the La Nazione newspaper.



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Fiamma Nirenstein - Journalist

Maria Federica Giuliani - President of the Commission for Culture and Sports, Florence City Council

Eugenio Giani - President of the Regional Council of Tuscany

Journalists Umberto Cecchi, Paolo Ermini, Riccardo Mazzoni, Gabriella Simoni

Antonio Bandini - Consul General of Italy in New York 2003-2007

Umberto Gori - FUA Conference Co-Coordinator



Community - rollo may


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y r t e Po In our ever-growing, fast-paced society, poetry is becoming obsolete. In a world of video recaps, comic strips, and 140 character tweets, people want things quick and easy to understand. Plain language plagues our everyday because most people do not strive for beauty when it comes to word choice. oetry demands attention. The words on the page seek uninterrupted focus to be understood. Traditionally, poetry has been a driving force in the literary word. Paradise Lost by John Milton, Beowulf (written by an anonymous author), The Odyssey by Homer, and The Divine Comedy by Florence’s own Dante Alighieri grace the literary world with words of heroism, struggle, love, and triumph. Recent poets like T.S. Eliot and Sylvia Plath used poetry to convey a moment in time and an emotion not well suited to a quick sentence or two. Since the turn of the century, poetry has become a genre of the past, and words have simply become too much effort. The Movement of the Emancipation of Poetry (MEP) is an artistic movement in Florence that pursues the goal of re-instilling interest


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and respect for poetry. Its goal is to fill the gaps of urban life. Poems are typically black words on a white sheet, but with MEP they are words pasted on a wall—on an empty space—turning the ordinary into art. The movement brings artistic dignity to literary poetry. MEP hopes to help remind the passersby of their own feelings. It’s easy to walk past these small collections—people do it every day— but if you stop to look at these poems, they give a new value to the experience of reading. You can fall in love with words again in the most unusual and mundane of places: the sidewalk. The poetry itself is not written by the greats like Dante or Shakespeare, but by modern, anonymous poets for the general public. By posting it all over the city, the poets highlight their work rather


is ion t a ip

c n a Em than their names. While Dante’s The Divine Comedy may be well known, the displaying of this art has been limited. By posting poems on walls and hanging them on gates, MEP is putting the words of authors in an accessible setting. Another idea behind MEP is that by posting poetry publicly and inserting it into people’s everyday life, it becomes something more than a two-dimensional poem on paper. It becomes a part of the living art exhibit that is our lives. Words are simply words until someone reads them and gives them meaning. By giving everyone access to this work, MEP brings poetry back to the common man and fills the already beautiful streets with literary beauty. According to the website, representatives of MEP say they feel the


Photographs and Layout

word "movement" is the most accurate description of their cause because they are constantly changing, growing and transforming their subjects, reflecting art and the ever-changing world. “Poetry is nearer to vital truth than history,” said Leonardo da Vinci. In a city defined by its history, poetry is just another way the Florentine community members come together and support each other. Poetry is a more sophisticated way of communicating; maybe instead of writing a text message, write a poem instead. MEP contributes to the inspiration of onlookers, readers, and passersby to add to the poetry movement. Next time you walk by an MEP poem, take a minute and read it; you may find a new passion, hobby, or your next love letter waiting.


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WHAT IS THE MEP? • Founded in Florence in 2010. • The objective isn’t to glorify poetry but rather make it more visible to the eye. • The aim is to reinstill interest and respect for poetry in people. • Poet authors are anonymous to achieve appreciation of the poetry itself and not the individual writer. However: each poem is signed by a code that uniquely identifies the author of the text. • Members are against working with publishers because they believe you can’t put a price on poetry. • Members regulate themselves to only post on respected areas: never on monuments and street art.


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Ph. Anastassia Sciaraffia

"Mareanima" is one of the many examples of MEP poetry found on Florentine walls. By exploring this street poetry, you can create a visual-literary map of the city.

Mareanima Non trasparenza tutta ma un mare dall'acqua ďŹ evolmente offuscata da granelli di paura che la luce di due occhi -esterniillumina


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...Poetry is I-Dantity


Dante's words on the Florentine walls Beyond the iconic statue of Dante Alighieri in Piazza Santa Croce, the poet's presence can be found throughout the city in the form of words on plaques. From the top left, clockwise, the following images recount where Dante was born and verses from the Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso.

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The Art — salvador dali


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MADISON LOVELL Photographs and Layout

As Seen on the Streets Did you know that there are over 171,000 words in the English dictionary? Or that tthere are about 6,500 languages spoken worldwide? Simple yet powerful, words give us meaning and understanding to life as we know it. Words deďŹ ne us from the thoughts in our heads to the words written on the streets and in almost every aspect between.


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ince the beginning of spoken word, artists around the globe have used the power of words to shape the creative messages they relay whether they are painters, poets, or graffiti artists. Unfortunately for some, g getting a clear message across isn’t take more than just the artalways easy; it takes ist and his or her work for som some messages to be h ea e ard r . be heard. o the most famous types of art that One of has controversially come in to play in the late 20th century is street art. For many pe eop ople, it’s a beautif f ul u form of a rt tthat hat has people, beautiful art shaped the modern day industry industry; rry y; others g the t e peace th pe eace see it as vandalism, disrupting o the streets. Over time this ccontempoon o ntempoof


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rary art form has become more accepted by society and rapidly grown into one of the largest forms of art we know today. Street artists around the world have gained popularity through their artistic talent, creating everything from murals to portraits to poetry, while also giving each and every piece a personal reflection or message that oftentimes relates to social activism or political opinion. op Each piece is created in the hopes of gaining re recognition from at least one person other than themse themselves. As this form of contemporary art ar has grown larger within the industry, so have the artists artis that stand behind it. Famously known for hi his Banks dark humor and political criticism, Banksy

has helped create recognition for not only himself but also for every artist that stands behind him. Originating in England in the late 1990’s, Banksy quickly took over the streets with his incognito persona and motivated attitude to make his voice heard in any way he could. He worked with images, portraits, and words. It wasn’t until he was voted as one of the world’s top 100 most influential people of 2010 that the world accepted the legitimacy of his work and its impact on people worldwide. His work is now featured not only on the streets but in galleries as well. The city of Florence has its own group of street artists that have begun to make their voices heard. A few artists in particular that


you may have seen are Blub and Exit/Enter. These two are featured around almost every corner. Blub, also known as “L’arte Sa Nuotare” (art knows how to swim), has featured his work on the streets of Florence all while hiding his public identity. Over time he has created pieces with famous political figures and Hollywood identities like Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa or Michelangelo’s David, all underwater. Another popular artist featured on the walls of Florence is known as Exit/ Enter. This street artist made his introduction to the streets almost accidentally out of frustration with the lack of opportunity the city has to offer for artists. His work features stick figures often holding a balloon

or climbing up a ladder, reflecting his name, “Enter/Exit.” It gives the impression that life is filled with both open and closed doors, all leading to endless and new possibilities. The city of Florence is filled with hundreds of other amateur artists that have gained recognition on the streets. Their work primarily revolves around messages in Italian, making it even more interesting to have to translate. The underground graffiti tunnel is a place that houses street artists’ work with its limitless boundaries and walls Located in the Piazza Delle Cure neighborhood. One may say people like Banksy have paved the way for acceptance of street artists; one may say people like him have proven the art

form’s ignorance. With every city you visit, whether it be Florence, Italy or elsewhere in the world, street art has made its creative presence known. With the understanding that street art can be defacing to a city’s walls, also consider the understanding of free speech. We all stop without thinking when a colorful figure suddenly appears on the wall of a building we pass every day. We pull out our phones and gaze at it, willing to admire the dedication and talent of the artist behind it. Perhaps street art is simply a creative distraction; it pulls us out of our own heads and makes us listen to the words and voices of others. There is nothing wrong with being a good listener, right?


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The Force of Expression in

Art Therapy KATIE MILLER Layout


Art therapy focus on the conscious and the unconscious, which has help me learn about how I am truly feeling. One lesson that has taught me about my feelings was “Loss.” In class we watched clips about the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, who is known for the tragic events that marked her life and career. Though out her life she kept a journal where she would write and then over the text she would paint of draw to express her feeling further. Our assignment was to do the same. My biological father passed away four years ago. My parents got divorced when I was young and my dad and I did not have a good relationship. I thought that I had come to terms with how I was feeling about his death, but I found out that I hadn’t though this assignment. I started writing about all the things that my dad did to me and I felt a weight being lifted off my shoulders. I thought that I had already let those memories go, but as I was writing I could tell that they were still with me. As I continued to write, I realized that everything I had written was negative. After trying to think of some good memories I realized that I only had one happy memory of my dad. When I finished writing I grabbed my watercolors and began to paint when I was finished I noticed that I had painted green beans. I realized that I unconsciously painted the one good memory I had with my dad. It was when we were together as a family snapping fresh green beans. I thought it was interesting that I linked the image to a happy moment when everything I wrote was sad. To me this symbolizes the forgiveness and letting go of these terrible memories. The weight that I thought had been erased a long time ago has truly been lifted now because of the art that I made over the writing.

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Through the Art Therapy course, I learned to strengthen and grow the connection of my conscious and unconscious. To be aware of oneself on both the surface and inside is very difficult. More personally, it is difficult to accept oneself in a public setting openly and truthfully. For me, this has been the biggest challenge. I have always felt embarrassed or limited when I express my true thoughts or opinions in a room full of strangers. I have always tended to agree with others publicly, even if I do not actually agree with them. In doing so I have ended up hurting myself and pushing my emotions and feelings inside of me in order to appeal to the opinion of others. This rejection of oneself only increases the separation between the conscious and the unconscious, and for me, has caused a confusion and lack of confidence in myself. But through this Art Therapy course I am practicing confidence and acceptance of my true self. In class, I experienced an activity that helped me strengthen this confidence and acceptance, as well as the connection between my conscious and unconscious. This activity was doodling. I found it fascinating that something so simple could release so much emotion and truth. Doodling allows the burden of making a beautiful artwork disappear, which in turn let my mind be free to express without limitations. After doodling, we were asked to write down our emotions. I was surprised to find that my emotions flowed out so easily. I was able to embrace and accept what I was feeling, whether it was happy or sad. For me, acceptance of myself is very difficult, but in that moment, in that room, I was able to confidently express without judgment or limitation.

I've recently been dealing with loads of emotions that I've previously not been prepared to face. I especially have had to come to terms with personal experiences of loss in my life. Although I often think of these losses and difficult experiences as burdens, I recognize that they happened for a reason; they facilitated growth and allowed me to become the person I am today. I can no longer just push them out and ignore them as I previously did. Rather, I'm in touch with the emotions attached to these happenings and I found my ways of expressing them. Writing about my experiences allows me to directly pour forth my sadness, anger, disappointment, hope; this gives me an instant relief. Connecting these feelings and words to images helps me to extend my emotions onto paper in a visual context and to uncover more about my mental state. I'm a person who analyses introspectively; that's how I process many emotions, thoughts, and events. I've never been one to be able to convey these things openly. Learning to communicate through writing and art has created a comfortable and personal space for me, where I can feel free to be expressive without fearing the judgements of others. I've realized how many excuses that I have previously made just so I didn’t have to process what was going on internally. I've now become well acquainted with my inner world and its relation to my artistic process. At this point, I know myself better than ever before and it shows in my art. One experience with which I deeply resonated was an assignment about rain and its relation to loss. I strongly associate rain with the lack of sunshine and, thus, the lack of joy and hope. In the midst of experiencing the pains of loss, it’s very difficult to see any possibility of impending goodness. However, I’ve realized through my many experiences of loss, that I learn most about myself and others during those hardships. I am grown and shaped by these losses, especially. This is very comparable to how the rain nourishes all living things; it cleanses, brings a sense of refreshment, and facilitates tiny plants to become magnificent trees. At some point after the rain, the sun shines again, and it seems brighter than before. I’ve come to realize over and over that this is my relationship to loss, and the sequential experience of personal growth and joy. Artistic expression of this relationship has allowed me to see the complexities that it holds; it has been essential for me to convey the anger, pain, hope, and joy that comes with loss.


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Emotion and KATIE MILLER Layout


I have discovered it is less about realism and more about feeling. I have created dozens upon dozens of portraits, landscapes, and still lives that look as close to the image or scene that I can reach. When these pieces are complete, all I see is imperfection. What I could have done to make it more realistic, better? Over this course I have tried to shake this perfectionist off my shoulder and create art of what is inside me rather than copying exactly what I see in front of me. I use my emotions to create the work and I use words to further express myself. I have created my own artistic world of passion and progress. I open up that world to my classmates. In a safe space, my peers see my artwork and create their own interpretation, adding to the art itself. It is neither a critique nor a showcase, rather a productive way to share and take inspiration from each other. I see classmates that have not had the same artistic training that I have. They know less about perspective, line work, shading. Because of this, they have no artistic techniques holding them down and they are able to let go and be free in their work. I take that inspiration from them and try to be free. Since I have been trying this new method and leaving some of my artistic techniques to the side, I have been able to open myself onto the canvas and create something new, something real. 22 *



Expression Words, Painting, and Emotion: The Mind Map of Creativity

CELLS KATHRYN AYRES Being an artist takes so much more dedication and work than it may seem. Not only do you have to put in the work physically, but also allow yourself to discover and grow your true artist within. This has been something that has been quite a struggle for me. I grew up learning art techniques and composition, learning about the composition of the art. My art teachers have always been focused on what looks good and would make it in an art show. Until this class, I have never really focused on who I am as an artist, but rather on just what my art looks like. While I deďŹ nitely have my instructors to thank for planting the seed of art in me, I have struggled to learn who I am as an artist and how to express myself. During the class, we focus on expressing ourselves through the free movement and color range of watercolor. I have never really painted with watercolor before except when I was a child. This use of watercolor has helped me immensely in discovering and uncovering emotions that I may have buried inside. Something as simple as a paint and brush have brought my inner artist alive and onto my sketchbook. I began to pick up the theme of cells. All types of cells. I have always been fascinated with science, particularly anatomy. When I use this theme of cells, it keeps me connected to my own emotions inside as well as connected to others. For me, it is a representation of the importance of connection between all humans and all emotions. Through this class, I have actively tried to express my true thoughts and feelings even though the people sitting around me are unfamiliar and new. I ďŹ nd it hard sometimes to be completely free and honest. But I think with time, expressing who I am and how I feel will become more natural. I already feel that the class has become more connected just from sharing with each other small parts of ourselves. I hope the more I learn about my own emotions, I can also learn to understand others through this class. And we can help each other through connection and expression.


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RAGE ANNALEE ELMORE In my opinion, being introspective is an essential part of being expressive. You need to know yourself and what you are feeling in order to express yourself properly. I have recently delved deep into the inner tap of my mind to get in touch with my creative side, establishing a personal space of my own through art and writing. This personal space has begun to grow, allowing the artistic and emotional processes take over my expression. Both external circumstances and class assignments have recently called to attention deep rooted "negative" emotions, such as anger and sadness. One particular assignment required me to channel an experience that caused me to feel "rage." I was overwhelmed by and fearful of what I was feeling. I created eleven paintings, often paired with words, when I channeled my anger; I soon realized that this rage could be channeled as energy and fuel and that it wasn’t necessary to be tangled up in the emotion. After receiving some guidance, I took a look inward to discover that the rage I was feeling was not as big as I had expected. Underneath this emotion, I discovered other feelings covered up by the enormity of my reaction: sadness, hopefulness, and love were also there. I began to see that I am many different emotions, experiences, and reactions at any given moment. I also am capable of choosing my appropriate means of expression. Art and writing have become my appropriate forms of expressing strong emotions. The emotions are contained in a well of internal resources that compel me into action. I often choose what medium to use based off of what I'm feeling. If the emotion is "soft," then I usually use watercolor to create "soft" pastel colors; if the emotion is "rough," then I will use acrylic or colored pencils to create bold or "hard" colors. The subject matter, too, can be important to me. Since most of my works recently have been a product of introspective thought, much of my subject matter has been self-portraiture, both figurative and representative. I also try my best to journal when I have strong emotions as a means for processing. When I make decisions in an artwork, I write down what brought me to desire that choice. All of these parts of my artistic process allow me to better handle my emotions by doing even more self-reflecting as I generate the work and make decisions. At this point, the decisions are based off of my inner desires and emotions. When I believe that I’ve expressed myself adequately through the process, I feel relieved and exhilarated. Being able to process these emotions and express them in this way, sharing them visually and communicatively with everyone else, creates a spirit of openness and joy.

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Getting in touch with my emotions was something I was never good at. Then I arrived in Italy and I experienced so many emotions at once. Most of the emotions were negative. I would be sad, frustrated, annoyed, overwhelmed, uncomfortable and tense. I couldn’t really explain why I was feeling all of these emotions, which made it incredibly hard for me to overcome them. While taking this course, I was able to understand that all these emotions are proof that I am only human. It is very human to feel these emotions, especially when I am away from everything that is familiar to me. These emotions that I have felt while being abroad are some of the realest that I have felt in my life. Without this course, I probably wouldn’t have been able to handle my emotions very well. I would use these emotions to get in touch with my inner artist and use them as inspiration. Being able to use my emotions and release them onto paper has been one of the best ways for me to understand myself. I can release any negative energy I have with some watercolors and pens and I will have gained peace as well as a new painting. Some paintings needed words and for the most part I would use words that expressed how I felt. I will put words inside the painting or next to the painting to keep it separated. When the painting was completed, I could see clearly the emotion I was feeling. After some weeks, I noticed that my artwork started becoming more positive and brighter. I was able to release my negative emotions enough that I started to become happier. As my positive emotions started returning to me, I was able to use some of the techniques I learned during this course. I would play music that I really enjoyed to keep myself in a positive mood while I painted. Now I am able to get in touch with more positive emotions and have paintings to show the positivity in my life. Being able to get in touch with my emotions will be something that I can use when I return home and continue to progress.



Literature IS GOSSIP - truman capote


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One Dreadful November 4th was supposed to be a day the people of Florence celebrated Armed Forces Day. In the early hours of this day in 1966, residents had no idea about the tragedy they were about to face.

he days before the rain had been pretty steady in the city of Florence. On the night of the third of November 1966 at around 14:30, the Civil Engineering Department reported an unusual high amount of water. Cellars near the Arno started to flood and villagers began calling the police for help; the night was becoming a sleepless one. The water took its first victim early that morning of November 4th when a man by the name of Carlo Maggiorelli died at the Anconella water treatment plant where he was working during this time. Street after street the water continued to rise. At 4:00am, engineers were afraid the dam could break, meaning the water could rise 60 kilometers per hour. By 7:00am, electricity, gas, and water supplies in the affected areas were cut off by the Lungarno delle Grazie. The water kept rising and began to cause damage in its path. The National Library was one of the buildings caught in the water’s rampage. Santa Croce was considered one of the places most affected by the flood. At 12:00pm the flood was at its worst. The water reached up to the first floor of buildings in the city, about four meters (13 feet) high. It was known to be that the water reached up to 6.7 meters (22 feet) high. Later that afternoon the river started to return to normal. Once the water started to go down there was much work that had to be done in the city. The


Average flow rate of the Arno River: 110 m3/s 26 *



Day in Florence KAREN LEMUS


LEON FRICK Illustrations and Layout

impact of the flood was one to remember. Due to the fact that Florence had no idea this kind of destruction was about to happen, there were no emergency measures that could have taken place. There were 101 people who lost their lives during the flood, and many rare books and art masterpieces were also damaged. To this day it is considered one of the worst floods in the city’s history. Many people from Italy and abroad came out to help the city. There was so much damage in the city that even after 50 years there is still some work to be done. After the flood, much work had to be done for restoring books from the National Library, along with many priceless pieces of art. Several of these pieces were badly damaged due to the water being soaked up by the wood. The water damage done to the paintings made the paint chip and crack. One method the restoration helpers used was to put rice paper on top of these paintings to remove moisture. The

rice paper would be combined with heaters to help speed up the drying process. Many of these paintings had to be restored in a place where there would be less dampness; a great number of them were stored in the Boboli Garden Lemon Greenhouse. It is said that 200 of these paintings were restored at this location. The National Library was the main headquarters for restoring the damaged rare books. There were many workers and volunteers that helped to restore the books that were damaged by the flood; a little after six months, the library had one hundred and forty four workers. Three binders, eight binder trainees, two librarians, forty-two workmen, eighty-one student volunteers and eight other library staff members to be exact. Together, all these people did all they could to save as many important books as possible. The damaged books and records had to be washed and disinfected. In some cases these books had to be put back together piece by piece by putting

Flow rate of the Arno River 4. Nov 1966: 4,500 m3/s


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pages together individually and rebinding them. A method used to dry out the books was to put sawdust on top, this would soak up any moisture that was on them. People helping out with book restoration had to quickly implement different methods in order to save the books and records. Some books and records were restored by photocopying, reprinting, or copying by hand. Many of the helpers and workers had quite a few methods of restoring the books. Due to the fact that people from all around the world came to help out, there had to be a specific method to be utilized in a standard fashion. The workers at the Library communicated with these helpers using symbols. The symbols were connected to key phrases that would tell what condition the book was in and how it should be restored. The workers were able save 70 to 100 books a day. After the flood, the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale decided no books would be stored in the lower levels. Many people from around the world saw

the devastation the flood had done in the city. People recognized the rich culture Florence was known for and wanted to help restore the city's damaged items. One specific group of people from various countries that helped get things back to normal was known as the Mud Angels. The Mud Angels retrieved paintings and books from flooded rooms and cleaned up the mud and residue left on the streets. The relief efforts of these angeli, combined with the sharing of restoration techniques and the motivation to save the rich history of the city for future generations, helped Florence make a fast recovery. Fifty years later, the flood is still remembered for the devastation that the Arno is capable of. The flood made the entire world understand just how important saving rare historical artifacts can be. Even though the flood was devastating, it truly highlighted the kindness of people from diverse backgrounds and demonstrated the generosity of human beings. Books and artwork are es-




Civil Engineering Department reported "'an exceptional quantity of water.' "

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3 November 1966


The cut off gas, electricity and water supplies to affected areas.

4 November 1966


sential to tell Florence's centuries-old story, and it is important to look at the past to have a better idea of the future: the motivation of the many volunteers and groups such as the Mud Angels who participated in the restoration of an entire city.


1-2 meters

2-3 meters

3-4 meters

4-5 meters

palazzo pa z vecchio zo veecch v ec chio hio o 5-6 meters

basilica asill ca of santa croce

national all librar library l rary li ry ponte po onte vecchio


Hospital emergency generators (the only source of electrical power remaining) failed.



Piazza del Duomo was flooded.

the water began to lower.


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Travel. DISCOVER. LEARN. GROW. Traveling in today's world is so much more than just seeing the great wonders of the world or checking off how many countries one has been to. It is more linked to stepping out of one's comfort zone, learning about the world, and growing as a person.



Photographs and Layout

raveling has been influenced by the Grand Tour, which started in the 17th century from the travels that young, aristocratic or well-to-do Europeans embarked on as a rite of passage, and always included major stops in the final destination of Italy: Rome, Naples, Milan, Florence, Bologna, Venice, etc. Grand Tour explorations would take months, and transformed the concept of the journey as a discovery of history, politics, culture, art, and ancient civilization. Some world-famous writers directly influenced by the movement were Goethe and Stendhal. Writings in the form


of books and letters represent an important legacy for readers and travelers today, who continue to document their own explorations through journals, social media, and photography. Words have had a significant impact on traveling in the past and continue to influence individuals today. Reading about past experiences before embarking on one's own journey, or setting out for less-traveled destinations in order to shape new thoughts and ideas about them, aided by the current technologies available, are practices that unite all travelers both past and present.


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Ph. Vanessa Peña

Started in the second half of the 1600's and lasted until until the arrival of rail transport systems in the 1840's.

The first person to adopt the term “Grand Tour” was Richard Lassels in Italian Voyage written in 1670.

Traditional stops included France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Italy.

Italy was the final destination, revered for its art, culture, and vestiges of great eras such as the Roman Empire and the Renaissance.

Downside: the Italian myth that travelers were so enamored of often clashed with the everyday realities witnessed, i.e. impoverished peripheries and countrysides, inactive ports.

The Grand Tour gave way to the first documented episode of mass tourism.


From the mid 17th to 18th century, a typical itinerary could take up to three years.

After the mid 1700's, times reduced to a year, 9-10 months, up to two months as experienced by some in the 1800's.

exploree europpe 34 *


Before the rail transport was in place, travelers went by carriage and those who could afford it equipped their mode of transportation with great fanfare.

From the 18th century onwards, travel guides began to appear in print. Vastly different from the modern guide, Grand Tour travelers were “guided” by such publications styled as reports, diaries, and letters.


grand tour in italy •

Italy has always been an important destination for travelers, considering Rome's position as a pilgrimage destination. From the 15th century onwards, Italy became a destination for journeys of erudition and culture.

The Italian leg of the tour offered two options for Europeans coming from the north: Turin and Milan, with stops in Parma, Piacenza, and Bologna, before moving on to Florence and continuing south towards Rome and Naples. Otherwise, travelers could begin in Genova on the western coast and pass through Lucca to reach Florence. Sicily became a Grand Tour stop only in the 1800's.

The reigning “cities of art” were Rome, Venice, Naples, and Florence.

grand tour in tuscany •

Tuscany's central geographic location as the link between Bologna and Rome and historic significance made it a mandatory stop for Grand Tour travelers.

Some made their way to Florence from the sea, via Livorno or Viareggio and subsequently Pisa. Others opted for Lucca via Genova.

Themes offered by the region included the religious (monasteries), ancient civilizations (Etruscan itinerary of Cortona and Volterra), and multiple landscapes for painters. Many travelers also chose Florence or Siena to learn the Italian language.

Photos courtesy of Katie Miller


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FLORE Citizens and Stories

Identity and City



Whether one is a traveler, an explorer, or a resident of a place, they are writing a story. They are capturing and remembering moments in their life. Some of these moments are big, others minuscule. There is a story being built up, and this story evolves everyday. For me, Florence has started an immense chapter in my story. I have become a traveler, explorer, and a resident. While keeping track of my story I have not only realized things about myself, but about this place that I have begun to call home. Reminiscing on the beginning of my journey, there was so much that was unknown. There was a gray area covering my expectations. I had little to no idea what was coming. When embarking on my ďŹ rst steps here, I was still trying to ďŹ gure out what this adventure was going to be for me. I remember thinking, “what will I be saying at the end of this?â€? Now, as I am halfway through, I may know more than I did before but I certainly do not have the unknown ďŹ gured out. I still do not know what is to come. I constantly wonder what I will come out of Florence with, or even without. My story is untold. And I know that I do not stand alone with my untold story. I know that my roommates, my classmates, my professors all have an untold story. I know that the man who serves me coffee around the corner, or the woman who serves me gelato have not ďŹ gured out their story. Maybe one can argue that this stands true no matter what city you live in, and maybe it does. But here, in my version of Florence, it is untold.

Identity: what makes you different and how you stand out. To me, this is what captures the essence of a city like Florence. A city that captures the eyes and hearts of millions of people that just gaze upon and value its beauty on different levels. How does an individual stand out in an environment where people come from all over the world to experience the same thing? It is your deďŹ nition of identity that allows you to stand out. On the train back to my apartment a few weeks ago a strange man asked me, “What is your name?â€? I replied saying, “Christopher. What is your name?â€? He replies, “No‌What is your real name?â€? This experience stands out mainly for two reasons. One, why is this stranger asking me what my real name is, and two, how does he know I possess another name? My American name is Christopher but my tribal name is Kwasi, derived from my home city, Ghana. I don’t broadcast this name because of my fear of being looked at differently, considering I already stand out. But in this city standing out and having a distinctive identity is what separates you from the millions of other people. It is what surrounds you with an aura of exclusivity as you embrace who you are and show it off in a foreign country such as Italy. Identity catches the essence of Florence because within every form of art, every structure and type of architecture, and even in the deliciousness of its food, someone is showing their identity. Artists, sculptors, and chefs all express their identity through their creations and allow people to understand who these artisans are as people. My identity, my two name identity, is what allows me to immerse myself in the culture of Florence. I live within these walls and experience the lifestyle, but I have my own personal culture. I am different, but I am unique. I am a part of the city.

UNTOL D untold


: not told or made public

IDENTIT Y identity



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: who someone is : the name of a person : the qualities, beliefs, etc., that make a particular person or group different from others




Florence: My Prerogative

City of Paradoxes



Power; a collateral effect of growing up. The power to choose. The power to have control; control of what we say, control of what we do. When finally our capacity to say “Yes” and “No” start to matter. The power to make decisions: important decisions. The most important decision, which we are asked (in my opinion, at a very young age) is, what do you want to do your life? As if you were supposed to know your path before walking it. There is no problem in not knowing what to do, as long as the reason you cannot decide is because your possibilities are endless rather than limited. One of those endless possibilities for me was Florence, and for some reason it was the possibility I felt more drawn to. I think it must have been something about the essence of the city, which is very hard to put into words. I always say Florence is like a painting, not only for the beauty it holds but especially because it is a city that should be experienced physically. You can see a picture of a painting but you will never really feel it unless you look at the real one. Despite this, I will try to explain it. Florence has something that genuinely makes you enjoy the moment you are in, and take it all in. Every time you walk down the street you truly enjoy wherever you are and whatever you are looking at. You enjoy it so much that it makes you keep moving, and it motivates you to stay curious. When you have the right and the opportunity to choose adventure, take it, with all it encompasses. I am surprised to hear people having the power to study abroad but they choose not to do so. They choose not to feel displaced, trapped, and sometimes homesick. They choose not to make a fool of themselves when they need to speak a new language. They choose not to face their fears. They choose not to change, they choose boredom. The problem with adventure is that you cannot only take a sip; it becomes addictive. It is the prerogative of a conformist to follow everything but their passion. The first prerogative of an adventurer is to make a fool of himself. The second one is to be open to change. The third prerogative is to decide where they want to wake up every morning, and Florence is my prerogative.

The term “city” is most commonly associated with fast cars, impossible traffic, bustling streets, business folk, extreme poverty and/ or extreme glamour. Essentially a city is associated with extremities. As a city, Florence negates this expectation. It is exquisite in architecture and beauty, yet somehow it does not overwhelm; it calms and intrigues. Its beauty is not flashy, it just simply is. While walking through the streets of Florence is not like the serenity of the countryside, it has its own kind of serenity. You can walk with no destination and no expectations and still be filled with awe and amazement at the beauty and grace of the city. Florence lacks the whirring breeze of the metro and the haze covering the sky. Zones and colors dictating how to maneuver the city do not mark it, and it is filled with the clanging of the church towers as opposed to the angry honks of cars. For me, Florence is arriving home and being brought to tears by the view of the Duomo. It is unexplainable, that feeling that makes you feel at home, that reminds you of the wonder of the world, or at least of Florence. Florence is like no other city. It is limpid. It is overwhelming, underwhelming, and calming all wrapped into one.

LIMPID limpid


: perfectly clear : clear and simple in style

P REROGATIV E prerogative


: a right or privilege; especially : a special right or privilege that some people have


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MADISON LOVELL Photographs, Illustration and Layout


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It is easy to take streets signs, traffic signals, and store marquis for granted as a necessary part of any cityscape. They are needed to t fi find d your way home, h navigate i t th through h traffic, locate shops, restaurants, and nightlife options. These words blend into the background of life, often with less than a second of thought as you use their functionality and discard the hidden secrets of their design. But what do these signs really say about the life of a city? What meaning can we draw from the form, shape, and function that these important pieces of information provide us? Many of these signs in Florence are centuries old, or reconstructed to look centuries old, to protect the integrity of the past. Many of these signs give insight and clues into what a building used to look like or what kind of historical figures once graced their halls. Other signs are intended to

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catch your eye - ones for the weary tourist finally finding their hotel, a thirsty local looking for a lively aperitivo scene, or signs to help a non-Italian speaking visitor find a point of interest or learn how the city. Clubs, bars, clothing tto navigate i t th it Cl b b l thi stores, government buildings, hotels, and train stations all need signage. They are all vying for our attention; quietly in stone on the side of a building or screaming in neon letters for a restaurant. However, if we really study the small details of these signage choices, Florence becomes a richer city as history literally jumps off the walls through the words found conspicuously on the street. Stone signage on building corners indicate street names, historical places of interest, and recall the history of the city. Some are a little worse for the wear, rounded at the edges, words less forcefully engraved as time takes its toll. Some of these look relatively new, with straight stone edges and


Many of these signs in Florence are centuries old, or reconstructed to look centuries old, to protect the integrity of the past.

a proud, crisp message. But the imaginings of hammer and chisel on stone let the viewer feel the weight of history. These are either original or newly designed to recall the history Florence has seen. TrafďŹ c signals and information signs rely on heavy use of simple graphic pictures to provide visual cues to a large population of tourists and students who don’t speak Italian. Posted on restaurants, ATMs, and buses are signs attempting to visually communicate what many cannot read. Most are even translated in English as a secondary measure of comprehension. Some of these seem garish, cluttering the timeless beauty of Florence, but the necessity cannot be ignored in a city that hosts nearly 13 million visitors each year, including thousands of international students. Store and restaurant signs are plainly stated in small alcoves above entry doors on nar-

row cobblestone alleyways. More often than not, the goods displayed in the window entice the shopper inside rather than the signage out front. Window shopping has a more deďŹ ned meaning in Florence as small streets narrowly wind into others. The signage is simple, to the point, and uncomplicated. After all, it might be a gelateria next year as the tides of demand and economy change. Reading the history of Florence is as easy as taking a walk through the streets. Just stop and think about all the signage that gets categorized as a necessity rather than a slice of history or a clue into the modern day. The personality of Florence and the centuries it has seen is speaking from the walls if you will only stop to notice.


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Fashion FADES, & Style IS ETERNAL — Yves Saint Laurent


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e m o w





Text, Illustrations and Layout


Fashion is undoubtedly a form of expression, but only few designers are willing to mix political views and opinions into this expression. This piece serves as an examination and tribute to fashion’s most unapologetically outspoken designers and the bold use of words in clothing to make a statement. Style is defined as “a distinctive appearance, typically determined by the principles according to which something is defined.” In this sense, individuals, whether or not they realize and/or embrace this definition, speak indirectly about themselves through their personal style and appearance. Some choose to keep quiet, muting and paying minimal attention to personal style. However, some choose a more rebellious route. They utilize style to loudly and clearly portray their personality. They use bright colors, eccentric designs, and even words to spell out exactly what they want to say through art and fashion. Although we may be currently in the midst of the “graphic tee trend,” this is nothing new or innovative; words and expression have been fueling the fashion industry and political world for years. Few designers have this outspoken expression engraved into their being, and those that do have made it their mission to leave a distinctive mark on style.


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KATHARINE HAMNETT is a known English fashion designer who got early media exposure in the mid 1980s. Hamnett started out by getting media exposure for her famous shirts, which are white unisex T-shirts with large black block letter slogans. Her T-shirts bring political exposure to the fashion world because of her ethical business philosophy. Many of her T-shirts bring light to serious issues around the world. Some of her shirts have slogans such as, “World Peace Now,” “Preserve the Rainforest,” “Worldwide Nuclear Ban Now,” “Education Not Missiles,” “Save Africa,” “Use a Condom,” and “50% Don’t want Pershing.” Hamnett’s slogan, “50% Don’t want Pershing,” came out in the 1980s. There is a photograph of Hamnett wearing this shirt and shaking hands with Margaret Thatcher, London’s Prime Minister at the time. This encounter was photographed during the London Fashion Week for the designers at a reception on Downing Street in 1984. This shirt’s purpose was to express Katherine’s political opinion: the opposition of US Pershing missiles based in the United Kingdom towards the end of the Cold War. Hamnett’s T-shirts became political signposts for the issues and events that occurred during her career. Hamnett once said, "Slogans work on so many different levels; they're almost subliminal. They're also a way of people aligning themselves to a cause. They're tribal. Wearing one is like branding yourself." Katherine brought many innovations to the fashion industry and clothing style business, instigating new trends and styles in fashion by addressing both social and environmental issues. One of Katherine’s slogans, “Choose Life,” was directed at raising awareness about suicide and drug abuse. Some of the other issues Hamnett spoke about through her clothing designs were, “Cancel the Third World Debt” in the Autumn/Winter 1990 catwalk show, “Green Cotton by the year 2000" in Spring/Summer 1991, which was presented in a short film starring Naomi Campbell. In response to the Gulf War, Hamnett wanted to create a new way to present a collection. She also promoted the issues of “Save Tibet.” which was for the Dalai Lama, and “Worldwide Nuclear Ban Now.” In Autumn/Winter of 2003, Hamnett showed her collection of womenswear at London Fashion Week, where she had featured T-shirts that said “Stop War, Blair Out” in reference to the war in Iraq and Afghanistan post-9/11. This resulted in worldwide front-page coverage and the founding of the Stop the War Coalition a few months after the show; the largest demonstration was a mass protest in February 2003. The demonstration itself, based in London, consisted of around two million people. During London Fashion Week of Spring/Summer 2004, Hamnett featured Naomi Campbell and other well-known models wearing shirts saying, “Use a Condom” and “Save Africa.” These designs encouraged safe sex and brought awareness to the AIDS epidemic, which occurred predominantly in Africa. Hamnett still works in the fashion industry. She recently teamed up with the UK company YMC (You Must Create) to relaunch her brand with a new twist. The collection includes Hamnett’s signature T-shirt designs, along with pieces from her archive that have been modernized by the YMC team. All the designs are made from organic silk and cotton, which is a huge plus considering Hamnett is big on protecting the environment and making sure the clothes are made in safe working conditions. She plans to launch a Spring 2017 collection, which she will manufacture in Greece using organic cotton sourced in West Africa.

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CHANEL One particular designer’s work mixing political views and fashion has contributed significantly to the fashion world throughout her career. Gabrielle Chanel, also known as Coco, started her career around 1910 in Paris creating hats under the name “Chanel Modes,” who was one of her favorite actresses at the time. Since then, her company has been nothing but successful within the fashion industry, creating exquisite and elegant clothing, handbags, accessories, perfumes and more. Even after Chanel’s death in 1971, her fashion line has continued to blossom. Since 1983, Karl Lagerfeld has been the artistic director for Chanel fashion, as well as designer of haute couture, ready-to-wear and accessories. The recent Spring 2015 collection of Chanel was both a fashion show and a protest that turned into a feminist rally. The catwalk at the Grand Palais was transformed into a recreation of a Paris boulevard. Many well-known models were in the show which turned into protest, such as Cara Delevingne, Kendall Jenner, Caroline de Maigret, Edie Campbell, Georgia May Jagger, Joan Smalls, and Gisele Bündchen. The models walked the runway and held signs that said "History is Her Story," "Ladies First," "We Can Match the Machos," and "Feminism Not Masochism." There was even a banner held by male model Baptiste Giabiconi saying “He For She,” which brought recognition to Emma Watson’s global UN campaign on feminism. Her entire campaign works to bring men and women together in the fight for gender equality. The song “I’m Every Woman” by Chaka Khan played while the models strutted down the runway. Some of the models shouted into megaphones, chanting to the audience as they walked. The clothing style of this fashion show was ready-to-wear. Models sported a more masculine style of clothing with a twist, rocking tweed suits that burst with eye-catching colors and style. There were also clothes with a more feminine style such as bright floral silks. Although it has been said that this fashion show constructed by Karl Lagerfeld was meant to be humorous, it is not an issue that should be taken lightly. Lagerfeld has been quoted previously saying, “Everything I say is a joke.” Although in his eyes feminism may be unimportant, Lagerfeld went ahead with this faux feminism protest. Was it meant to prove a point at all? Or could it possibly be that the point is not only controversial but also hypocritical? Feminism has become a serious and controversial issue between people from all different backgrounds and upbringings. This fashion show may have been a joke to Lagerfeld, but hopefully there was some seriousness or importance to this faux protest.

Slogans work on so many different ent levels; they're almost subliminal. They're also so a way of people aligning themselves to a cause.


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Initially, I didn't want to make statements but when you see what is happening in the world, you must react

WALTER VAN BEIRENDONCK Belgian fashion designer Walter Van Beirendonck was originally known as part of the elite “Antwerp Six.” The creative artist recently made a statement in the fashion realm following some disturbing public events. Van Beirendonck is widely known for his edgy combination of vibrant colors, cuts, graphics, and statements. As a designer he is not new to the political fashion scene, but more like a veteran whose career was built upon it. What was so significant about Van Beirendonck’s latest collection? It could be the meaning behind his Winter 2015 runway collection; it could be the overbearing praise and recognition the line received. Most likely it’s the irony behind the story and the underlying message that fashion plays an essential role in political statement and expression, which is deeply engraved into the beings of certain individuals. Walter’s initial vision for his upcoming Winter '15 line was to take a step back from his usually loud graphics and focus on simplicity, presenting 15 minutes of pure beauty. It was the events in the weeks that followed that changed this vision, and ultimately gave us the bold collection “Explicit Beauty.” First, in October of 2014, artist Paul McCarthy’s latest sculpture in Paris’

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Place Vendôme was vandalized and later permanently removed for its controversial nature. Following this, the attack on the Charlie Hebdo’s office occurred. At this point, Van Beirendonck realized he needed to showcase his piece on the matter. After all, artistic expression is everything to this man and he would never let terrorists threaten that. The first look down the runway was a pair of simple pastel pleated pants with a plastic see-through tunic featuring the embroidered words: “Stop Terrorising Our World.” As expected, this look was simple, bold, and straight to the point. The following looks featured messages including “Warning: Explicit Beauty,” “Demand Beauty,” and “An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.” Van Beirendonck’s line still matched his original vision. In the fashion world, a plastic tunic is as minimal as you can get. To be able to combine out of the box designs with a concise and powerful message and still have the collection coveted by celebrities and the most daring, bold fashion influences of our time—like Lady Gaga, for example—is a job well done. Following these terrifying attacks and attempts to suppress artistic expression, “Explicit Beauty” served as the harsh but necessary voice of the European fashion world.


MOSCHINO Last but not least is Moschino’s latest Spring/ Summer 2017 line, featuring all things prescription drugs – bold but expected. Saving this designer for last may have been predictable, but this article embodies the company’s foundation and image; it would be an injustice not to give this iconic Italian brand praise and recognition its continuous innovations in the political fashion world. Over the years Moschino has been many things: bold, edgy, playful, colorful, satirical, ironic, and of course, political, all while remaining wearable. This is not easy, yet collection after collection, Moschino’s amazing pieces never let fans down. Throughout the brand’s history we have witnessed words utilized in all different facets; from a cashmere jacket reading “rich bitch,” to straightjackets that read “for fashion victims only,” to simply featuring the brand name on a belt as the focal point of the outfit, words are the backbone of the brand’s identity. Moschino’s latest Spring/Summer 2017 collection is nothing short of controversial, but it would be a disappointment if it wasn’t. The line features clothing and handbags that resemble prescription pill bottles, all the way down to the warning labels and instructions. Playing off of the “Say No To Drugs” campaign, one shirt reads “Say No To Moschi-NO.” The pieces of this collection are bright yellow, impossible to miss in a large department store like Nordstrom, which has pulled the line from their stores after an extensive number of customer complaints. An alcohol and drug counselor from Minneapolis has started a petition to stop the line from being sold, stating: “It would appear that you are unaware that our country is in the midst of a severe epidemic of opioid addiction and overdose deaths.” Moschino has responded to the media stating that there was never any intention to glamorize drug use, rather than to spark conversation about the topic. Regardless of personal opinion, the line has done exactly that.


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The Importance of Nurturing Creative AMELIA ÉCLECTIQUE Dialogue

here could be no doubt that the international fashion-journalism industry is in the throes of its most transient era thus far. The meteoric rise of modern-day technology and social media platforms has seen the language of images undertake an entirely new prevalence. Its initial cause for celebration certainly wasn’t unfounded: coupled with the rapid distribution prowess of Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, these online visuals were a quick-fire means of breaking down multi-lingual barriers. Moreover, designers and makers of all genres could utilize the same platforms to showcase collections for free, ensuring that a potentially limitless customer base could now stumble upon their designs. A newfound impatience for unique yet quickly produced content was instilled in digitally savvy style enthusiasts - their eyes well-adjusted to absorbing and discarding imagery in an instant. The ramifications our shrinking attention spans have had on fashion’s critical-writing scene, particularly and unsurprisingly its physical-print publications, are therefore unquestionable. Yet those considering this photo-centric age as the demise of the written word are undoubtedly mistaken. With our minds perpetually bombarded by “enticing”


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online offers of an increasingly similar appearance, and the articulate Susie Bubbles of the blogging world outnumbered by visual-only weblogs, we are in greater need of authentic fashion discourse than perhaps ever before. The same goes for any creative domain: a picture may speak a thousand words, but only through analysis and exchanging of ideas can one discover its meaning from multiple, equally insightful perspectives. The briefest of glances at Florence’s culturally rich heritage will testify this. Giorgio Vasari’s Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects cemented the Renaissance artist and writer as the founder of art-historical literature. Despite the fact that his biographies are clearly peppered with subjective anecdotes, Vasari’s work has proved indispensable in describing the leading figures of Florence’s Early Renaissance. In addition to this, Boccaccio’s literary masterpiece The Decameron offers key insights into the mindset of 14th century Florentine citizens adding thought-provoking layers to their artistic depictions. Opinions and outlooks are meant to evolve over time each new time period looks at a historical magnum opus with fresh eyes, comparing and contrasting its nuances. To eliminate this organic communication would eliminate part of human nature itself. With this in mind, 2016’s over-saturation of visual postings has garnered both strengths and weaknesses for designers, writers and any emerging creative entities. Most well-used social media sites have become incredibly crowded with individuals looking to project their work, making it increasingly more difficult to pinpoint

instagram post, Dries Van Noten [@driesvannoten] Women’s Spring Summer 2017 Collection

instagram post, Dries Van Noten [@driesvannoten] Psychedelic posters and text reworked by their original artist, Wes Wilson. Menswear Fall Winter 16 at the Opera Garnier

If any social media aficionados still question the merits of the written word over visual language, the roaring success of fashion forums will instantly quell doubts.

your potential collaborators and to be pinpointed yourself. However, given the sameness that currently permeates the social media tribe of “influencers” - alongside the brands they endorse - if you convey your creative approach in an articulate, innovative way, you’ll stand well above the swarming (e-)crowds. This is why expressing a fashion label’s core ethos beyond just images is crucial

Giorgio vasari The lives of the artists [1550]


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to fully connect with consumers. A sustainable womenswear brand is just another womenswear brand until you discover its pieces were crafted from bamboo silk - its natural fibers dyed using the power of an ocean’s high tide. The debut of a new-season collection, from my personal perspective, is best enjoyed in three stages. First, during its grand catwalk unveiling, reveling in the visual details of each piece and drawing your own conclusions as to the inspiration source behind them. After this, digesting the verbal analyses of fashion journalists and critics whose work you truly relish - be it because of their unflinching, unceasing honesty, or because they innately recognize the ties between sartorial and societal evolution. Finally, discovering the designer’s real thought process behind their collection - from immediate influences to last-minute changes. The three end products may have near-identical parallels and interesting diversities - in any case, this objective dialogue is as satisfying for fashion observers as it is for designers, giving new definitions to their work that prompt reflection. If any social media aficionados still question the merits of the written word over visual language, the roaring success of fashion forums will instantly quell doubts. Credited as the uninhibited predecessor of style blogging, these sartorial discussion hubs are void of images altogether - their focus centered on matter-of-fact viewpoints regarding the industry, each shared between incognito avatars. Arguably its most famous incarnation, “The Fashion Spot” boasts almost 10 million postings dated from its 2001 inception onwards. In a world where little can be said or done anonymously, the unabashed attitude of its members comes as a breath of fresh air. Unsurprisingly, designers themselves are keen followers of their discussion threads. As was recently penned in a Business of Fashion (BoF) article, Dries Van Noten and Joseph Altuzarra have openly stated that they read forums for genuine feedback on their work. In the same BoF piece, former “Style” editor Dirk Standen was recalled to have said, “as one PR exec told me recently, the designers he works with are more interested to hear what the anonymous commenters on “The Fashion Spot” have to say about their collections than the mighty critics.” It’s no wonder the same website still has a waiting list to join its coveted rankings. While the manner in which we write, publish, and assimilate words may have noticeably altered in the last several years, our desire to do so will never diminish. Whether richly describing a brand philosophy or exploring the visionary work of a newly-discovered artist, the power of a gifted writer remains the same, regardless of what century you find yourself in: to transport readers into a scenario so evocative, they momentarily forget everything else.

From top to bottom: ceiling fresco in palazzo pitti Photograph by AMELIA ÉCLECTIQUE franz xavier winterhalter the decameron [1837] oil on canvas

ceiling fresco in palazzo pitti Photograph by AMELIA ÉCLECTIQUE

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356 likes amelia_éclectique #palazzopitti #renaissance #frescoes


270 likes amelia_éclectique #boccaccio#thedecameron #franzxavierwinterhalter

While the manner in which we write, publish, and assimilate words may have noticeably altered in the last several years, our desire to do so will never diminish.




Voice - robin williams


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Force of

Female word


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This singalong phrase has been perennially shared with children as a positive message on one hand, on the other it is crucial to examine the force of words in society. The power of the word was originally and traditionally reserved for men – consider the struggle for the modern woman to obtain the right to vote, go to school, own land and a business – but what about women today after gaining historical steps such as suffrage? FUA's recent conference on Oriana Fallaci is a powerful example of a woman who shaped the voice of an entire discipline such as journalism through the power wielded through carefully crafted and at times provocative words. The force of words tells a story, unique to each individual who recounts it. The objective of this article is to spread awareness on young women opening up about their own stories. FUA students share theirs based on experiences and perspectives gained from their diverse backgrounds, and how the female voice has shaped their dreams and hopes for the future.



“Sticks and stones may break your bones but words will never hurt you.””


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NICOLE CIOPPA hails from Westchester, New York, and her family tree have roots originating in Italy. She grew up in an Italian-American household, where she was able to experience powerful women and traditional beliefs. Originally, her parents were against the idea of studying abroad, so she applied on her own through her university. When she was accepted, she confronted her parents about it and after some initial resistance she headed to Florence for the semester. Having never been to Florence let alone Italy, she had high expectations that did not let her down. Now Nicole is completely in love with the city and the culture. When she was a child, her initial dream was to become a teacher but during high school and subsequently in college, she realized that her true passion in life was the area of fashion. As a current fashion merchandising major at Johnson & Wales University, Nicole has busily dedicated herself to the opportunities available in the field.

STEINUNN ROS GUDSTEINSDOTTIR is from Iceland; she goes by Ros for short. When you first meet Ros, she’s quiet, keeps to herself, but her story is remarkable. Her mother taught her that no matter what, “never give up.” Growing up in Iceland, Ros has been surrounded by feminism and strong women her entire life. She has experienced feminist ideals firsthand, including both the good and the bad sides of them. “Feminism is a big keyword for me because I have seen both sides of it. Either you love the word or you confuse it with the radical term 'feminazi.' The real definition of feminism has more to do with equality, such as pay and position in the workplace.” She has grown into womanhood by watching her mother perservere through many struggles in life – epilepsy, breast cancer, and a se-

GIOIA SACCO has gone beyond the norms of the traditional family she comes from. She is one of the first children born into a male-dominated family over the past 50+ years, and she is also one of the first to receive an undergraduate degree. Gioia is originally from Bay Ridge, Brooklyn in New York, her first language wasn’t English growing up as a child. Her family spoke Italian, Spanish, and German, and upon reaching kindergarten she was immediately placed in the English learning program at school. Prior to that, her family made the decision to move out of the city to raise her and her brother in a safer environment when she was three. When asked about her female role models, she shared, “My mother, next to Megyn Kelly and Barbara Walters. But the mean in my family are also important role models. There are just so many of them, and I love them all.” When asked her about Feminism and the Female Word, her response was thought-provoking: “I do not consider myself a feminist at all. I grew up in a big traditional family where the men were the bread winners and the women stayed home and took care of the kids. But my mother did actually break the mold in my family as she was one of the first to establish a successful business, and I remember her telling me 'You can be anything in life you want to be.' When I halfway through my senior year in high school, my parents asked me if I was going 56 *


Nicole's inspirational female voice finds its origin in two very different figures. Firstly, her Italian nonna, who was her closest ally growing up and encouraged her granddaughter to discover her home country. When asked about role models outside of the family environment, Nicole immediate cited Lady Gaga, who was thrust into the limelight for not wanting to become the standard celebrity and whose passions lie in multiple talents such as writing, singing, and producing music. Nicole especially admires Gaga's dedication to her fanbase and her conscious take on the pressures of being a celebrity, from which she draws the strength to take on her artist's creative role and the necessity of satisfying fans. As a woman, Nicole understands the struggle and the oppression many women have experienced because of their gender. Though she has until now considered herself a neutral participant of feminism, learning about Oriana Fallaci's impact on the world has opened her eyes.

rious car accident. Since childhood, Ros has been able to witness struggle and the idea that a dream can conquer all obstacles in your way. “Despite my mother's extreme difficulties, she still wanted to be a singer. She had been a singer ever since she was a little kid. So that really inspired me to go and become what I wanted to become. I didn’t know at the time, when in college, but as I got older I realized I wanted to work with film,” said Gudsteinsdottir. “I have been an extra in movies in Iceland and I just fell in love with it, the environment and everything about it. My mother taught me to never give up and to keep going even when there are many obstacles in your life.” Life is full of whimsical wonders leading to the path we’re meant to be on. Ros has seen the highs and lows of life, and each experience has propelled her to become the woman she is today.

to go to college or get married, and now I’m one of the first people in my family to graduate from college and receive a degree. When reading about Oriana Fallaci in the magazine editing and production class with Prof. Federico Cagnucci, I remember thinking how I hope to make an impact in society as she did.” Gioia always wanted to be on television, and watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was a source of childhood inspiration for her dream job: “I remember on Thanksgiving mornings, everyone knew not to talk to me, as I would take copious notes while being conscious of the love and gratitude in the air on this holiday. Once I started attending Lynn University, I knew that my dreams could become palpable and that nothing can stand in the way of becoming the broadcast journalist I want to be.” For her last fall semester as a junior, she made the decision to study in Florence despite never having traveled outside of the US. She firmly believes that everyone should experience education abroad, especially in Florence, for the beauty of the city and its people. Gioia’s beliefs are a unique mix of traditional and against-thegrain as an Italian American whose own family has demonstrated to her how certain stereotypes can be dismantled. Her ways and spunky attitude have turned her into the woman she is today, and her story shows yet another perspective of how battling one's way through life is essential to make goals happen.



Food - George Bernard Shaw


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The Classification Conundrum VINCENTE GRASSO






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The concept of the wine classification system started as a way to help the everyday consumer understand the differences between wines. It is important to realize that the system helps to identify both the different regions the wine can come from, as well as the quality of the wine.

he Italian wine classification system can seem to be a daunting challenge for the average wine consumer to master. There tends to be many different titles to classify a particular wine and only the highest-ranking title will suffice. The classification system can also contain a variety of paradoxes within the system. With an understanding of the system it is possible to gain heightened knowledge of the wine you are going to enjoy. The first step in being able conquer the Italian wine classification system is to imagine a pyramid. At the bottom of the pyramid, there are the most basic labels a wine could be given. The two most generic titles a wine could be given are an IGT or a DOP. These titles do not necessarily have to be on the wine’s label. However, they could be listed somewhere on the bottle in order to allow the consumer to gain more of an understanding of the product. The DOP stands for Protected Designation of Origin and was created in 1992 to allow all wines being produced in the European Union to have protected places of origin. In Italy, you will rarely see a wine that is listed as a DOP because instead, the newer DOPs wines will be listed as DOCs or DOCGs. Both are older methods of classifying wines and were created by the Italian government in the 1960s. Also at the bottom of classification pyramid would be IGT. The IGT stands for Typical Geographical Indication and is one of the more generic labels an Italian wine could be given. There are very little rules or restrictions in order to be able to produce an IGT wine in Italy. This designation allows vineyards to create their high quality wines without following the strict regulations of the DOCs and DOCGs. For example, in Tuscany there are the IGTs Toscana Rosso or Toscana Bianco. This means the only rules these wines have to follow would be that all the grapes were grown in Tuscany. One of the finest examples of an IGT wine would be a SuperTuscan wine. A SuperTuscan wine typically uses international grapes, but could use native grapes, with old world production techniques. International grapes are grapes that are popular and are grown all over the world such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Native grapes are simply grapes native to Italy such as Sangiovese and Vermentino. Old world techniques would involve using the French oak barrels to age the wine. The SuperTuscan way of producing wine creates some of the greatest wines not only in Tuscany, but in the world. The problem that arises with SuperTuscans is that they create a paradox within the pyramid. SuperTuscans are IGT wines and despite being at the bottom of the classification pyramid, they can be better in quality than the DOC or DOCG wines. There are currently 118 IGTs in Italy, with my personal favorite being a SuperTuscan with the majority of the blend being Sangiovese.



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The importance of these words and labels on these wines is that they affect both the price and perception of the wine itself.

Going back to the pyramid, DOCs would be in the middle of the pyramid and DOCGs would be at the top. The DOC stands for Controlled Designation of Origin and first came about in 1963 when the Italian government wanted to assure the consumer the fine quality of the wine. DOC wines come from a specific region in Italy known for quality wine production and must follow specific guidelines. These guidelines include the grape composition of the wine, as well as the aging requirements for the wine. DOC will most likely appear on the label of a DOC wine. DOCG stands for Controlled and Guaranteed Designation of Origin and was created in the 1980s as a way to differentiate the even finer wines within the DOCs by guaranteeing their quality. DOCGs are always listed by a specific label on neck of the wine bottle that may also include a further designation of the wine. For example, the black rooster found on the DOCG neck label of Chianti Classico wines. DOCGs also have specific rules and regulations, like DOC wines, for theirs and those rules are often stricter than the DOCs. There are typically firmer regulations on which grapes can be produced and longer aging requirements for DOCG wines. These more specific rules for DOCG wines allow the Italian government to be able to guarantee the quality of the wine and put DOCGs at the top of the classification pyramid. Also, it is

possible for an IGT to become a DOC if it has been an IGT for at least 5 years. Furthermore, it is possible for a DOC to become a DOCG if it has been a DOC for at least 10 years. These designations are set in stone and there are no demotions once a region is granted one of these designations. There are currently 332 DOCs and 73 DOCGs in Italy, with my favorite DOCG wine being a Chianti Rufina Riserva. This means the Sangiovese wine was aged an extra year in oak, allowing it mellow out its tannins and create a much softer and succulent wine. There are lots of complexities when it comes to the Italian wine classification system and the preverbal pyramid it creates. The importance of these words and labels on these wines is that they affect both the price and perception of the wine itself. Inherently, the DOCG wines, which are at the top of the pyramid, will be perceived as the finest. Thus, DOCGs are usually the most expensive. It is also critical to understand that although there are both paradoxes and complications within the classification system, it does work and was created to give the consumer the most information possible about the wine. The more someone knows about their wine, the more they’re able to enjoy and appreciate its production which is a cornerstone of Italian culture.


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In the latter half of the 19th century, Pellegrino Artusi altered the culinary universe and made healthy Italian cuisine appealing and accessible to all classes. Artusi lived a long and full life yet he was remembered for his work after retirement, especially his cookbook La Scienza in Cucina e l’Arte di Mangiar Bene (Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well). This text reaches out to the lower class with relatable anecdotes and the mindset that with enough determination and proper instruction, anyone can cook.

n the year 1820, Pellegrino Artusi was born into an upper-middle class family in Forlimpopoli, Italy. As a child, Artusi went to school and later assisted with his father’s business of selling antique colonial items. At the age of 32, he and his family moved to the city of Florence where he went into banking. This abrupt career jump proved to be beneficial; he began to grow fairly wealthy and was able to retire. In his retirement, Artusi finally embraced his well-hidden love of writing and published three books. With his final and most popular book, Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well, Artusi made a risky decision. Since his previous partnership with a publication house had not launched his books into success, he decided that he would print and market all copies of his book himself and earn his compensation as they sold. Luckily Artusi’s final book greatly appealed to his fellow Italians; he was known to have a strong, even humorous, voice which kept the reader captivated. This cookbook was certainly classified as unique. His outlook on gastronomy and fine cooking was that it shouldn’t be specifically for the wealthy and naturally gifted. In the preface of his book, Artusi states: “Unless you aspire to perfection—to be in short, a Cordon Bleu—you do not have to be born with a chef’s hat on your head to become a good cook”. He then goes on to say that the only thing cooking demands is attention and fine ingredients. This perspective on cooking was indubitably absurd for his


era; most lower and middle class persons never had the opportunity to experience fine dining, let alone had access to the magnificent and coveted recipes of the wealthy. Those without personal chefs had only common family recipes that were passed from generation to generation. With his decision to build the bridge from Italian fine dining to the everyday cook, Artusi expanded Italian culture with the written word. Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well is frequently viewed as the official launch of gastronomy in the culinary world. Gastronomy is the practice or art of choosing, cooking, and eating good food. In his cookbook, Artusi delved into the ever-sotouchy realm of cooking for the weak-stomached and how gastronomy could be beneficial. In a beginning chapter, A Few Health Guidelines, Artusi details specific menu options for “those unhappy hypochondriacs,” or those whom he feels are overly fearful of disease. Here he specifies his beliefs on how to avoid malnutrition. Although he is sympathetic, he states that it is merely caution and common sense that will thwart sickliness. He even lectures the reader, saying that it is not necessary to over-bundle oneself in the first and the final weeks of the cold season. He even incorporated a poem to clarify his point, “In April stay appareled, / In May go just halfway, / In June discard your pantaloon, / But give it not away, / For it may serve another day”. Artusi was adamant about embracing your circumstances and not overwhelming yourself with fear of disease. Inevitably, Artusi begins to describe specific foods that would appeal to the “unhappy hypochondriacs,” ranging from broths to meats to ice cream. Not only does he detail what should be eaten, but also when the reader should eat. He claims every meal should be eaten at a particular time in order

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TALUS ANDOLSEK Illustrations and Layout


All I care is that it be judged tasty.

to promote optimal digestion, with meticulous menus created for every month and holiday. By the 13th and final edition, the number of recipes had grown from 475 to 790. Along with recipes targeted towards the weak-stomached, he appealed to all food lovers with a multitude of variations of every meat, salad, and dessert imaginable. During this time period the culture surrounding cooking was minimal and with this book Artusi created a niche market that his community zealously embraced. Despite criticism, he aimed to incorporate recipes from all regions of Italy. However this proved to be fairly difficult due to his personal bias toward the Tuscan and Emilia Romagna regions. Ultimately this did not hurt the success of his book despite that it completely disregarded the southern regions of Italy. He did receive various complaints to which his response was less than concerned; “If an Englishman should tell me that I have not made this dish, which also goes by the odd name of 'piccion paio,' according to the customs of his country, I do not care a fig. All I care is that it be judged tasty.” Artusi was more concerned with the success and exposure of Italian eating than he was with sparing the feelings of particularly sore readers. He knew his book had high risk and he was going to do what he thought was best. During this time Italy was under rule of Umberto I who was particular to fine French cuisine. To appease him there was a myriad of French culinary books released, however they did not have the allure with the lower class that Artusi’s book contained. Not only were the majority of these rival cookbooks were written in French and had to be translated into Italian, they also lacked the charisma and anecdotes that Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well contained. These anecdotes earned him credulity with his target audience. There was one particu-

larly notable anecdote about his mishap with a soup. He had been traveling to visit a friend Domenici. Artusi had a minestrone soup, and felt uneasy after consuming the soup; the idea that it had given him cholera had overcome him. He immediately took a train back to Florence and when he arrived he had heard that there was an outbreak of cholera in the city he had just visited. “And to think that I had blamed the minestrone! After three attempts and having improved upon the dish each time, this is how I make it…” and from there he details his own take on minestrone soup. With his cookbook, Pellegrino Artusi altered the culture behind Italian cooking and healthy eating forever. To this day, chefs around the world consult with this text and it will likely remain relevant for many years to come. His words united the classes of the culinary world. With this cookbook Artusi became the voice of both gastronomy and Italian cuisine.


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We had the pleasure of interviewing Massimo Bocus, professor and Executive Sous Chef of Apicus, the culinary department at Florence University of the Arts. He was able to give us a more recent perspective on Pellegrino Artusi’s influence on the contemporary culinary world. If it has faded, do you think that it has simply lost its relevancy or have his words been so frequently repeated that they became common knowledge? Artusi's cookbook will always be a milestone in the Italian culinary panorama. The book includes dishes that, in some cases, are still present on our tables, so it can definitely be considered relevant. However, in my opinion, what has changed is the way we cook and, mostly, the concept of nutrition and health we have today. The “science” mentioned in the title has changed a lot since then! Among you and your peers, to what extent has Pellegrino Artusi’s cookbooks influenced Italian cooking ? Artusi's cookbook had the great credit of offering a good overview of Italian “popular” cuisine, while most of the previous famous cookbooks were created by chefs and gastronomists as the mirror of aristocratic cuisine. Artusi's cookbook was not the only one that described “the people’s” cuisine, but it was for sure the one that had the greatest diffusion. Artusi put on paper what was passed down orally: it is a fundamental milestone that helps us understand what we ate - and therefore who we were - in that specific moment of history. It influenced Italian cuisine in the sense that it made our gastronomic identity official, something Italians strongly needed during that specific period of our history. Has Artusi’s voice been concealed by new techniques, or has his voice remained prevalent in today’s culinary world? Why do you think so? Without a doubt the last thirty years have marked an incredible technical evolution of culinary arts as well as brought a new nutritional awareness: we have dramatically changed the way we approach food. The point here is not if Artusi's cookbook has remained prevalent. Italian cuisine has deep roots in our cultural heritage. If I had to describe Italian cuisine, I would use the image of a slow sedimentation that, as seen in canyons, builds multiple layers that we detect as a whole: each layer is functional to the following one, and the new one does not conceal the previous one. Tradition is made to change and develop with society. This means that everything we eat today is the result of an evolution that has solid bases in the past and is headed towards the future.

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From a general perspective, which was the role of “words” in the creation of an Italian gastronomic culture? Words were used to pass down recipes and customs. Words were used to recount the incredible banquets of past aristocracy. Words were used in Artusi's cookbook to give voice to cooks and housewives, making them partake in the construction of modern Italian cuisine. I would like to summarize a passage from Artusi that to me represents the soul of his work: “If one doesn’t need to become a famous chef (meaning someone that cares more about appearance than substance), I don’t think it’s necessary to be born with a chef’s hat on the head to be able to cook (referring to the hat as a status symbol), you only need passion, dedication, and precision. Always choose raw materials of the finest quality as this is what will make you more valuable in the eyes of others…” (“Se non si ha la pretesa di diventare un cuoco di baldacchino, non credo sia necessario, per riuscire, di nascere con una casseruola in capo; basta la passione, molta attenzione e l'avvezzarsi precisi: poi scegliete sempre per materia prima roba della più fine, ché questa vi farà figurare.”) A cook should be humble, passionate, dedicated, and use good ingredients. Isn’t this the soul of Italian cuisine after all? These words, despite all the changes and new techniques, will always be true and applicable to this wonderful and creative art. How is communicating with proper words crucial for a culinary arts instructor today? Which are the most crucial words in this field according to your experience? There is only one answer. The most important words an instructor can use are those in which he/she believes in.





n i c i sl



Florence University of the Arts

encourages students

to keep




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BLENDING Magazine Fall-Winter 2016/17  
BLENDING Magazine Fall-Winter 2016/17