In Italy where 20 percent of women (4.3 million) suffer from domestic violence and an overwhelming 40% from psychological abuse, the Cultural Association ‘Friends of Great Russia’ thought of a new, creative way to fight the deep-seated patriarchy. With beauty.
Following the immortal words of a world-renowned Russian classic, Fyodor Dostoevsky, who once said ‘Beauty will save the world,’ the Association, along with ‘Eventi Rome’ and the ‘O.M.P.S.E.C.O.’ created a memorable night ‘From Russia with Art, Beauty, and Music.’ This elegant and peaceful protest, held last Saturday night in the heart of Rome in Via Alibert 5, in the vicinity of the Spanish steps, aimed to draw attention and raise awareness about this dangerous, violent epidemic that has swept over the entire country.
Dedicating herself to promoting the Russian language and culture in Italy, the organizer of the event, Yulia Bazarova, urged all the present guests to take active part in the fight for women’s rights. Especially those women who tend to be the most vulnerable ones in the face of homicidal violence – the ones coming to live in Italy from abroad. From Russia and from former Soviet countries, in particular. With the evident cultural disparity and the lack of family support and connections, Russian-speaking women often feel more threatened and unprotected than Italian women dealing with the same problem.
In her elegant signature style, Yulia Bazarova decided to reunite Russian-speaking women and celebrate the mutual love between Italy and Russia that centuries of intertwined relations have cemented.
Reunited for a good cause, the beauty contestants of varying age groups were all immigrants from the countries that used to form the Soviet bloc. Beautiful in their own unique way, each lady dressed in ethereal gowns instantly captured everyone’s attention. And with the myriad of talents performed on stage, each contestant proved to be so exceptionally gifted, that they made it extremely difficult for the stellar jury to pick the best-looking one.
Beauty, the protagonist of the night, was present everywhere, from the obvious and luring sensuality of Slavic beauty to the works of a famous sculptor, Lisa Atzori (whose works had been exhibited at the Tretyakov Art Gallery in 2015) and a performance of a renowned opera singer Elena Martemyanova. Style, Italy’s second name, cemented the Italo-Russian connection in its own way. While Italian brand ‘Victoria Torlonia’ had specifically designed three-color dresses symbolizing the flag of the Russian Federation, a Russian designer Elena Buldakova handmade the Italian version of the gowns.
The combination of both was so powerful that by the end of the night there remained no questions as to how best we can overcome the problem of abuse or any negativity arising from the sense of estrangement. The older I get, the more I realize that only by promoting mutual love and beauty that we can truly change the world for the best.