The menstrual cycle festival: the first edition is upon us and we can't wait

The first edition of the menstrual cycle festival: These are three intense days (17-18-19 June, in Milan) made of meetings dedicated to the menstrual cycle and to all those issues that turn around, from gender equality to physical health. Needless to say, we are emotionalissimə: for this we met Valentina, one of the organizers, and we asked her some questions.

If you are or pass through Milan these days, take a jump: it will be worth it!


What spint has youə to organize a festival dedicated to the menstrual cycle?
The idea of ​​the festival was born from the work done with the podcast Eva in red, the first in Italy on the menstrual cycle, available on all free platforms. It was born from: Valentina Lucia Fontana (which I would be), creator and project manager; Alessandra Giglio, actress and writer; Sonia Castelli, psychotherapist; Ottavio Tonti, producer. We realized that talking about menstrual cycle means talking about health, gender equality, politics, sustainability and much more. With the podcast we triggered an awareness that, from the private individual, needed a public space to continue to break down the taboo and the stigma. Then, on our path we met Promo and Errante, two social promotion associations that, together with the graphic design but Maybe study, made the menstrual cycle festival possible, the first in the world.


What do you think they are the main rocks to break down to make the menstrual experience socially accepted?
The Festival events deal with a series of topics all linked to each other: from tampon tax to endometriosis, dysphorical disorder, menarca and cyclical awareness. By organizing them, it was even clearer that there are no "battles" to give priority to. The menstrual cycle is a biological event that concerns more than half of the world population, and it is natural that each of us lives it differently, depending on the genre, of the socio-economic condition and health. In addition, there are people who, by convention and in the practicality of everyday life, are used to managing it without investigating what happens to their body, every month for 40 years. The Festival wishes to trigger a spark of curiosity, so that everyone can choose from where to start their own path of menstrual awareness, depending on their experience and sensitivity.


Have you encountered difficulties related to prejudices in the organization of this festival?

When we started organizing the Festival, we would never have expected the media resonance that he actually had. All the major national newspapers spoke of our initiative describing it as necessary, and this filled us with joy. Obviously, it's not the only reaction we have aroused. Often we have read, under those posts and those articles of spono, less flattering comments. And we tried to understand what the reason for those reactions was, what was the perceived of many readers and readers: the menstrual cycle is still perceived as a private fact, which arouses disgusting or shame (to put it in an elegant way) ... then , yes, we met several prejudices, but precisely the fact that we met them gave us confirmation of the need to organize the menstrual cycle festival.


We really appreciated the social attention that you have reserved during the organization of the Festival. Would you tell us about this initiative?

The menstrual cycle festival is an event that aims to disseminate and is not for profit. However, like all initiatives, it needs to cover lives. The fundraising has followed several roads and the one that brought us more encouraging results was  The crowdfunding campaign launched on Productions from below. Generally, the campaigns based on donations provide for the possibility of giving a "reward" to those who choose to support the project, which is usually a gadget linked to the initiative. In light of what we are experiencing and aware of the privilege of living in a territory of peace, we thought of "rewarding" our supporters with the sending of absorbent to the border with Ukraine. We do not choose to have menstruation and to manage them we need garrisons that have a cost. This can put us in difficulty in periods of peace, all the more in situations of conflict. Which leads us straight to face another one of the most urgent theme, namely the fact that the different menstrual devices are not yet perceived as basic necessities. With this small gesture, the Festival wanted to turn the spotlight on this aspect.


A small preview: are you already thinking about a new edition of the cycle festival? 

The idea is there, we cannot deny it ... but we wait to see how this edition will be welcomed, and then we will think about it! ;)


Alice Carbonara

Valentina Fontana

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