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World Women's Observatory

Photography exhibition Women's Cry’s


Schermata 2023 05 02 alle 18.54.22

Press conference of the photography exhibition Women's Cry’s opening, at the Vatican

The photographic exhibition "Women's Cry" was inaugurated today in Rome with a Press Conference at the Holy See Press Office and a brief ceremony. The exhibition will be hosted during the month of May in the left colonnade in Saint Peter’s Square in the Vatican.

The initiative was born from the collaboration between the World Union of Catholic Women's Organizations (UMOFC) through its World Women's Observatory, with the Vatican's Dicastery for Communication and the idea and artistic direction of Lia and Marianna Beltrami, with the support of the Handshake agency, which made this exhibition possible.

WhatsApp Image 2023 05 03 at 13.48.23

During the Conference, Paolo Ruffini, Prefect of the Holy See's Dicastery for Communication, spoke, emphasizing how “The images that make up the exhibition “Women’s Cry” has the strength, the power to compel us to stop, to see. To amaze us and to impart dynamism. They are not static. They do not freeze a moment in time. They demand change, first and foremost in the observer. They set something in motion that does not stop. And which is certainly different for each visitor, for each gaze. They challenge us. They offer no answers. But they confront us with our blindness. They tear at the armour of hypocrisy that envelops us. They leave us speechless, but changed. Truly brothers and sisters all. Able to see with the heart”.

 Maria Lia Zervino -General President of the World Union of Catholic Women's Organizations UMOFC-WUCWO, explained how "What is certain is that this exhibition, in the open embraces of the colonnade of Saint Peter's Square, is a sign of how the Church today wants to embrace all the women of the world, believers and non-believers, and give them visibility, to transform, to improve their lives, that of their families, that of their peoples."


The President continued by explaining how "Walking together with the Dicastery for Communication, we realized that these 26 photographs of women, from different peripheries of the planet, with their actions and resilience, show, as in a mirror, phrases from Pope Francis’ Fratelli tutti. So, maybe “Women's Cry” can generate in each of us a transformative synergy, which has human brotherhood as its horizon."

According to Lia Giovanazzi Beltrami - the creator and curator of the photo exhibition, "Each frame tells a drama, but always with a strong sense of hope. That strength of women to move forward." 

According to Beltrami, "Every photo you will see tells a profound story. You will see young girls dancing in the middle of a violent favela in Brazil. They are part of the show Laudato si', The Space of Life on Earth. They will be here on 24 May, dancing among the photos in the show, explaining the redemption project. They will bring the Pope the blue headdress, which you will see in the photo of Maria Ausiliadora, made by the indigenous women of the Amazon in gratitude for his indispensable closeness to survival. 

Because art becomes even more beautiful when it creates a social impact, when emotions generate change."

The different interventions were accompanied and moderated by Cristiana Murray - Deputy Director of the Holy See Press Office.

Petra Dizdar, Presidet&Partner of Handshake Agency, explained that the next stops of the exhibition will touch the cities of Cannes, Venice and New York. The exhibition is also scheduled to be shown in Rwanda. 

Poster gigante

Women's Cry

The exhibition consists of 26 shots taken by a team of eight international photographers who have taken up the challenge of giving voice through a frame to the often hidden cry of suffering of women around the world. 

Neșe Ari, Sebastiano Rossitto, Asaf Ud Daula, Luca Catalano Gonzaga, Vassilis Ikoutas, Ferran Paredes Rubio, Giuseppe Caridi, Caterina Borgato, and Silvia Tenenti, with their photos take us on an intense journey that crosses the gazes of women, girls, children, and the elderly. 

They go from the heart of the Amazon to the favela in northeastern Brazil, from the Greek islands across the Ukrainian borders, from the highlands of Anatolia to then enter India and the countryside of Bangladesh, Southeast Asia.


 It is a well-rounded journey that, in the diversity of places and situations portrayed, is united by stories rich in humanity, pain, but also strength and resilience. 

The images in the exhibition are accompanied by a few phrases from Pope Francis' Encyclical Fratelli tutti, a worldwide aspiration for fraternity and social friendship across borders. 

Women's Cry is part of the international social campaign "Emotions to Generate Change," the place-non-place where art touches the deepest emotions and drives personal and social change.

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