Holocaust Memorial Day 2010 - Un giorno con Lucia at Italian Embassy in Washington, D.C.
On January 27, 2010, the Embassy of Italy and The Italian Cultural Institute of Washington, DC, on the occasion of the Holocaust Memorial Day 2010, present Un giorno con Lucia by Olivia Fincato and Renato D’Agostin. A book based on the encounter with Lucia Servadio Bedarida, the youngest female doctor in Italy who became the first woman physician in Morocco, mindful of 106 years of life. In 1939 Lucia escaped to Tangier because of the introduction in Italy of the racial laws, which affected her whole family. After 40 years of work as a gynecologist in Morocco, she joined her daughters in United States. Her mother and grandmother were deported and killed at Auschwitz. Lucia donated their last letters, written from Fossoli Camp, to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC.
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Lucia Servadio Bedarida was born into a Jewish family on July 17, 1900 in Ancona. In 1922 she graduates in Surgery and Obstetrics at the University of Rome becoming the youngest woman doctor in Italy. After marrying Doctor Nino Vittorio Bedarida in 1923, she works with him side by side at the hospital, first in Turin and then in Vasto. In 1939 she is forced to flee Italy because of the promulgation of the antisemitic racial laws, which were to be applied to her whole family.
«Be aware that you are being followed and they want to get you » people would say to us ».
After numerous and unsuccessful attempts to go abroad, she moves to Tangier, an international area in Morocco that harbours the Jews who flee Europe and allows them to practise their profession. In Tangier, Lucia works as a doctor for more than forty years and assists hundreds of women in giving birth to their babies. «Women come to me on the back of a mule» says Lucia who, being a woman doctor, enjoys the approval of the Moroccan mentality inpractising her profession. In Morocco Lucia spends most of her life. The break with Italy is drastic, communication is impossible. After a few years, heartbreaking news arrives: her mother and grandmother were deported and killed at Auschwitz. Even through these terrible moments, Lucia never loses her faith and keeps up with her mission as a doctor. «I must continue to work as a doctor. Too many people still need me here».
Only at 81 does she resolve to hang up her coat for good and reunite with her daughters, who had been sent to the States at a young age to continue their studies and start a career. She moves to Cornwall on Hudson, a small village one hour from New York City.
Olivia Fincato and Renato D’Agostin meet up with her in her house on the Hudson river banks in March 2006. Lucia welcomes them with enthusiasm and forges with them a bond of deep trust right away. A month after the meeting Lucia Servadio Bedarida dies.
«Experiencing Lucia was an honor, even if for just one day. Lucia leaves a mark on our lives and teaches us that, after all, life can be beautiful and full of surprises at any age, even at one-hundred-and-six».
Olivia Fincato was born in Bassano del Grappa in 1980. She works as a freelance journalist and she collaborates with Italian and foreign publications, being involved in numerous cultural and artistic projects between Italy and the United States. Endowed with great imaginative vitality and profound sensitivity for the human aspect of life, Olivia Fincato found in the research for the expressions of human life the research field which best suits her. The solid cultural background brings her to investigate unusual human universes with a delicate and never intrusive inquisitiveness and unveil them. And this is exaclty what happened on this encounter with Lucia Servadio Bedarida.
Renato D’Agostin, born in 1983 starts his photographer’s career in Venice, Italy in 2001. The city’s atmosphere nourishes and develops his curiosity in capturing life situations with the camera. In 2007 he presents Metropolis at the Leica Gallery New York. In Metropolis, the notions of space and time of the city become transfigured, thus freeing surreal and oneiric images that relate to the emotional bowels of our collective uncounscious, a space that Renato D’Agostin was able to grasp and investigate with the utmost subtlety. Olivia Fincato and Renato D’Agostin founded in 2006 Zeropuntozerozero a multidisciplinary independent publishing studio focusing on cultural, art and photography editorial projects.
)Pictured above, Olivia Fincato by Francesco Isgro)