di Eugenia Galateri (Lilith: Italian Women's Network
time[s] and space[s] group)
Address of our site: www.comune.prato.it/tempi
(there are same page in English too)
Information and Communication Technology represents a new area for
experimentation especially with respect to the forms of interactivity which
it makes possible. There are new freedoms to exercise, even as individual
subjects: the ease of access to public speech, also in the sense of written
communication which now approaches oral communication and which modifies what
we think of as public and private; physical boundaries dissolved;
non-requirement of specialist knowledge for use, ease of communication and
working within the net, etc.
We would like here to outline some of the steps we have followed in the
project Cooperazione Telematica e Interattivita' (Telematic Cooperation
and Interactivity), which has involved various Network Documentation Centres
In particular we have worked on the construction of web pages on
Time(s) and Space(s) visible on the Prato City Network
The work group responsible for these pages holds monthly discussion sessions
which have produced some of the material presented below; it is made up of
six women and is in addition open to contributions from anyone who wishes to
participate by sending material relevant to our theme.
Our field of research and investigation is interdisciplinary
(philosophy, sociology, religion, town planning, history, cultural
anthropology) and covers both public spaces (organization, time tables,
opening hours) and private spaces (families, time spent on caring for others,
time for ourselves), memory, differences (cultural differences, sexual
differences, age differences), etc.
Taking as our starting point the wealth of wide-ranging bibliographical
material available on the Italian database Lilith, in a series of meetings
in various places we have been thinking about the transformations in the
world of work and economic production, about the need to see linked
the spheres of work as production and of work involved in the care of
ourselves and of others, about possible changes in the social organization,
about how the identities imposed by sexual roles represent restrictions for
both women and men.
Women's reflections and point of view on time can provide an indication of
direction and wider connections for the already wide-ranging debate in which
Italy is at present engaged about the 35 hour working week and the
reorganization of working hours for offices, shops and services in the city.
There is one central point which informs all our work: the wish to draw
attention to the fact that different subjects need different times;
that the individual characteristics of each of us in the different stages
of our lives can represent the focus of women' s research and
investigation in recent years, what we mean by saying that differences
represent a collective fund of wealth which can be drawn upon by all of us,
male and female alike.
We have tried, through this project, to export a knowledge from our
independent women's places to a public space run by a local government.
We have tried to find a way of relating to others, where those who speak
and those who listen (those who write and those who read) present themselves,
not simply as a "social actor", with well-defined roles and identities,
but above all as individual men and women, body and mind, in their own
experience of life as it is lived.
What we want to do and what we feel it is necessary to do, is to share the
vast wealth of information and documentary sources acquired over years of
analysis and research by Italian women and to give it wider circulation.
This is the principal aim of the Lilith Network, which has been searchable
in Internet since 1996 and is hosted by the server (ServerDonna) managed
by the Associazione Orlando in Bologna at the following address:
The seminar on the increase of information exchange possible by means of
computer technology, held in Florence in June 1997, revealed a keen interest
in time(s) and space(s) in towns and cities on the part of many women already
working on the city networks. Here we met some interested and attentive
partners from the Prato City Council: Beatrice Magnolfi, the Councillor
in charge of relations between the Council and the city (Assessore alla
trasparenza), Rosanna Tocco, in charge of the City Network and Franco Neri,
the Director of the Biblioteca Lazzerini Library. These people made it
possible for the Florence Women Cooperative (Cooperativa delle Donne)
and the Ossidiana Association (Associazione Ossidiana) to set up and run
a Time(s) and Space(s) site on the Prato city network, which has
been in operation since September 1997: http://www.comune.prato.it/tempi
The pages of this site were designed to explore a complex interpretation
of the theme and to invite active participation in their development.
They cover, for example, social time, time for (y)ourself, telematic workshop
on city spaces, work times, news-sheet, different cultural models,
details of books and articles.
The bibliographical details of recently published books and articles on the
theme of time(s)and space(s) provide the basis for new acquisitions for the
newly-set up specialist collection of the Biblioteca Lazzarini Public Library
in Prato. The documentary material of the collection can be accessed via
the pages of the city network. The Collection database, TESP,
containing 500 records, many with abstracts, is updated every three months.
It gives information on the material collected over the past seven years and
up to the present by the FILI Documentation Centre (Centro di Documentazione
FILI), which is in part already recorded in the Lilith database, which should
be consulted for further bibliographical information
(above all for un-published material).
Many of the abstracts concern materials produced for numerous conferences,
forums and seminars held in Italy on the organization of time(s) and space(s)
in the city. As well as the pilot experience of the Modena Local Council,
there is also, for example, the forum organized by the
European University of Florence on Gender and the Use of Time, from 1994 to
1995, and meetings organized by other local Councils, political parties and
trade unions. We would like to draw special attention to the Atlante sui
Tempi edited by Sandra Bonfiglioli.
There are also numerous press cuttings from magazines and journals. It is
important to note that this is all material which is normally neither easily
traceable nor easily found and which thus represents valuable indications for
research and in particular for university dissertations.
We would very much like to set up exchanges with other women even outside
of Italy and learn of different approaches to the theme. With this in mind,
we have included on our site some links to pages which deal with cultural
points of view on time and space, beginning with cultural backgrounds which
differ from the European, or western world in general. In our Western
European countries in particular the organization of time(s) and space(s) is
still always based solely on work time(s) defined by market forces of
production. Our daily life, however, includes multiple time(s), space(s)
and work(s), of differing intensity and duration according to the
different stages of our life and our different cultures.
In the next few months we are planning to organize our research and debate
on a concept outlined in a recent study by Carmen Leccardi: new technologies
not only open up new and untried existential conditions , but they also
foreground our concrete uneasiness with respect to the concrete use of time
(for example, we are potentially informed about what we could do, but
at the same time confronted with concrete impossiblities, given our daily
assault, which they thus accentuate, of lack of time to do things.
The Time(s) and Space(s) pages work group meets once a month and is open to
collaboration from anyone (female or male) who feels like contributing
news of events, research, texts or articles of interest to our theme.
The work group responsible for the Time(s)/Space(s) site is made up of a
number of women architects, librarians, documentalists, teachers and
a graphic artist.
The e-mail address of our contact is firstname.lastname@example.org