Women Spacefarers

The panels – that trace the homonymous books “DONNE NELLO SPAZIO” and “WOMEN SPACEFARERS” - were built with the graphic cooperation of Alec Bartos. The exhibition was presented for the first time in Turin from 2 to 7 July 2013, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Valentina Tereskova, and was also visited by astronaut Mae Jemison during the Annual Conference of the IAA (International Academy of Astronautics).

Women entered the space arena in the prioneer era, when – at the height of the Cold War – the requirements for Soviet missions were dictated by state propaganda: what was important was to be the first in everything and at any cost. Tereshkova’s 48 orbits around Earth received huge media coverage and she became both an instant celebrity throughout the world and the new symbol of Soviet progress in space.

But, despite this early start, the integration of women into space was a cumbersome process that initially had to clash with the machismo prevailing in the 1960s both in the USSR and in the USA.

Although the Soviet Union was the first to have a woman into space, only 6 Soviet or Russian female cosmonauts have overall flown into space to date.

The inclusion of women in the American space program happened 20 years later.

Today, in the Western world, a woman in space has become almost routine – as far as confrontation with a hostile and risky environment like space can be considered “routine”. Women are now fully integrated as ordinary members of this out-of-the-ordinary club that is the Astronaut Corps, and there is no position that female astronauts have not occupied in recent years, either on orbit in the Space Shuttle and on the ISS, or on Earth within NASA’s organization.

The exhibition consists in a sequence of 70 by 100 cm panels prepared by the Artist and ASITAF Member Alec Bartos and presents a brief profile of these "heroines of our time", accompanied by a photograph and a commemorative autographed cover of one of the space mission participated by each of them.

The exhibition was then presented in Verona from 22 to 24 November during VeronaFil 2013. It was then exhibited in different locations including Verano Brianza, hometown of Paolo Nespoli from 15 to 30 September 2014, Terracina (Latina) from 2 to 14 February 2015, Spotorno (Savona) during “Scienza Fantastica 2015” from 26 July to 1 August 2015, Politecnico di Torino , on 7 October 2015, Galleria Accademia in Torino, on 8 March 2016 (Women's Day), Prague , Czech Republic at Eurospace 2016 , from 12 to 15 April 2016), Crescentino (Vercelli) at “PINK AMONG THE STARS ” from 28 May to June 2016, Saluzzo Exhibition of Thematic Philately, from 23 to 25 September 2016, Bologna ItaliaFil 2016, 21 and 22 October 2016, Villarbasse, 25 years of Italian Astronauts in Space, from 25 March to 3 April 2017, Milan, Festival del Volo, from 2 to 4 June 2017, Busalla, Hometown of Franco Malerba Space Festival, from 26 to 30 July 2017), Turin, at ALTEC (14-15 October 2017).