According to the European Institute for Gender Equality (2020), Italy has the lowest score in the EU gender equality index in the workplace. By the age of 12, 50% of girls’ career aspirations are influenced by gender stereotypes. A society that promotes only male role models is unacceptable and Milan has learned about the importance of giving equal visibility to both men and women in culture in a nice and creative way. Unfortunately, the city has been part of the problem as well, a situation that changed when Terre des Hommes Italy NGO stepped up with its “DiscovHery Billboards.” In 2021, the city had 121 statues. The problem? Not a single one of them represented a woman.
To change that, the organization that fights for gender equality chose to speak about this phenomenon on IWD 2021, hoping that its initiative developed in partnership with ACNE Milan — the creative collective of the Deloitte family — will convince the city’s municipality to change the urban landscape by adding new monuments that honor females. During this week’s #ThrowBrandThursday, we are going way back to March 8th, 2021, when the main squares of Milan hosted a mini-billboard “exhibition.”
Launched to support the NGO’s #UnaStatuaPerLeBambine (#AStatueForTheGirls) petition — which invited citizens of Milan to put pressure on the city’s authorities to build the first statue representing a female — Terre des Hommes placed these mini billboards in key location across Milan. Developed with the idea to offer a new perspective on the monuments that live in the city, the panels were specially created to host mini sculptures representing ladies who have made history — in the world and amongst younger generations of girls.
The mini statues depicting Nobel-Prize-winner Malala, 14-year-old girl who escaped from her forced marriage Nandhini, and Nobel-laureate Rita Levi Montalcini were strategically positioned in the proximity of male sculptures, overshadowing their counterparts thanks to a game of perspective. So, depending on the angle the viewers looked at the monument, they were able to see the statues of men being replaced by one of these three illustrious women who, just like many men, have rightfully earned their place in one of Milan’s squares.
“We don’t want to replace the statues,” comments Paolo Ferrara, General Manager of Terre Des Hommes Italy. “But to offer the people in Milan a new point of view. We believe that stories such as that of Malala Yousafzai, Nobel Peace prize winner and a symbol of the rights of all girls, or Nandhini, who escaped from her forced marriage, or even Rita Levi Montalcini, source of inspiration for an entire generation of female scientists, are just some of those that deserve a monument because they can inspire new generations towards an equal future”.
A QR code printed on the panels accompanying the statues invited the people of Milan to scan it and discover other stories of women who deserve to have their own monument. The code also enabled passers-by to get involved in the campaign and actually “change perspective” by signing the NGO’s petition to make the authorities build the first female statue in the city.
More than 4,000 citizens signed the petition. With zero media budget, the campaign had a reach of 48M and all with the support of institutional representatives, journalists, influencers, and celebrities. What’s most important is that, a few months after the campaign unfolded, Milan’s Mayor, Giuseppe Sala, revealed the first statue of a female, honoring Cristina Trivulzio di Belgiojoso, an Italian noblewoman who played an important role in the country’s struggle for independence.
Client: Terre des Hommes
Agency: ACNE Milan
Executive Creative Directors: Emanuele Viora, Andrea Jaccarino
Manager: Fabrizio Marvulli
Head of social media: Sabrina Santoro
Art Director: Anna Clara Fanesi
Copywriter: Marco Tomirotti
Account: Paula Galic
Director: Filippo Castellano
Executive producer: Tommaso Fajdiga
Producer: Silvia Fazio
Junior producer: Elisabetta Zecca
Set designer: Benedetta Brentan
Costruttore: Sergio Porta
Digital sculptors: Giovanni Mauro, Roberto Digiglio, Camilla Grassotto