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How crowdfunding made the Sicilian Island of women a reality

Isola Delle Femmine, a small island has been the private property of an aristocratic family from Capaci. Since 1997 it has been a Natural Maritime Reserve established by the Sicilian Region to protect the local floristic heritage and to encourage the stopover of migratory species managed by the LIPU Italian Bird Protection League. The island was put up for sale for the sum of $3.8 million.

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Four artists have launched an initiative where 350 thousand women will donate $11 (€10) each to reach the figure of $3.8 million (€3.5 million). What will happen to the island once the project is completed?

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Legends about the island

The Isola Delle Femmine is a handkerchief of land off the coast of Palermo. It is dominated by a 16th-century watchtower and there is more than one legend circulating around its name and history. One of which tells of the exile of thirteen young Turkish women, and that the ghost of one of the woman still circles and haunts the beaches.

Or, that the Count of Capaci fell in love with a woman and had her imprisoned on this island so that no other man would touch her which led to her committing suicide. In fact, for two centuries, the Isola Delle Femmine has been the property of the aristocratic family of Capaci.

Island managed by women only

Since 1997, it has been a Natural Maritime Reserve established by the Sicilian Region to protect the local floristic heritage, and also used as an observatory to facilitate the stopover of migratory species, managed by the LIPU Lega Italiana Protezione Uccelli.

Since 2017, the island has been put up for sale by the family for $3.8 million (€3.5 million). By a strange irony of fate, it may be the historical moment of redemption: from a place of imprisonment and exile to a “kingdom” owned and managed only by women.

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The island of women

What is the idea of this crowdfunding project? Four artists: Stefania Galegati, Valentina Greco, Claudia Gangemi, and Marcela Caldas, the idea was to launch a big crowdfunding campaign through the Associazione Femminote, to collect 350 thousand women willing to donate $11 (€10).

The fundraising is open from February 15th on https://www.isoladellefemmine.net/. It will also be possible to meet the artists and donate a fee in person on February, 29th, at the Pantaleone Gallery in Palermo, where there will be the opening of the exhibition She is-land by Stefania Galegati dedicated to the project.

An ecological project

“The project is a symbolic gesture of resistance and heterotopia,” more information can be found on the Facebook page of the Palermo gallery. “It allows to dream and reflect on issues such as the management of the common good and private property, the protection of the territory, feminism and its drifts, openness to failure and weakness.

If the artists will manage to reach the necessary quota and grab the island, they will be the legitimate owners, together with the many other donors. It is natural to wonder, what will become of its destination? Will it remain the outcome of a beautiful artistic happening, with a strong symbolic charge, or will the world try to use it as a cultural destination? The artists have no doubt: the only purpose is to “leave the island alone” and maybe make it an “artistic outpost.”

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(Featured image by Vasily Kotlyarov via Unsplash)

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First published in Artribune, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.

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Angelique Moss is a London-based entrepreneur, writer, and traveller. The world of business, finance, and technology, is her preferred cup of tea. She also writes about the developments and discussions on health, art, luxury and media. A top writer for several Medium publications, she has published hundreds of widely read articles on investing, stocks, global markets, cannabis, and technology for multiple platforms. She is also interested in culture, history, and social affairs.