The diarist Anne Frank was born almost 90 years ago. But she lived for only 15 years, dying in a Nazi concentration camp shortly before it was liberated by Allied forces in 1945. To mark the anniversary of her birth, a new collection of Frank’s writing has been published, and a “novel” version of her famous diary released in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Continue reading →
In an era before the dawn of pesticides and mechanisation, an all-female workforce was employed to “disinfect” and harvest Italy’s rice crops. These Italian rice weeders may be a thing of the past, but they have a remarkable political legacy.
Italy was, and remains, Europe’s largest rice producer. The rice weeders, known in Italian as “mondine”, could be found knee-deep in flooded fields from May until July, across Italy’s “rice belt” which spans the northern regions of Piedmont, Emilia Romagna, Lombardy and the Veneto. In my ongoing research, I study oral histories of rice weeders who worked between 1940 and 1965, collected from several interview projects and documentaries. Continue reading →