A federalist activist engaged on the entrance line within the very first organized group of federalists in Rome throughout the Nazi-fascist occupation, Luisa Villani Usellini, amongst different issues, contributed to the writing of the primary problems with the Journal of Italian Federalists Unita Europea the clandestine writing of which she even welcomed into her house. Regardless of the risks incurred underneath the fascist regime and the opposition encountered even within the federalist political milieu, she continued tirelessly to defend the thought of a “European revolution” from the underside up, to construct a Federation making certain the well-being and the peace of all: Utopia? All achievements in historical past, earlier than they existed, have been known as ‘utopias’ “.
Author, painter, educator, political activist, adorned with the Army Cross for her position within the Resistance, Luisa Villani Usellini remains to be an unknown determine. This problem of FédéFemmes is predicated on an interview with Antonella Braga, a researcher specializing in antifascist and European federalist thought, who make clear the profession of Luisa Villani Usellini, notably within the historical past of European federalism. Writer of the essay Tra storia dell’integrazione europea e storia di Genere. Il contributo di Luisa Villani Usellini (1010-1989) alla battaglia federalista », Antonella Braga is at the moment finalizing the publication of a biographical analysis on Luisa Villani Usellini on the College of Lausanne. Among the many works she has produced is “Ada Rossi” (Unicopli, 2017), handled in Fedechoses no. 189, and the monograph on Ernesto Rossi A Giacobino federalist. Ernesto Rossi pioneer of the Stati Uniti of Europa (ed. Il Mulino, 2007). She contributes to the final publication of Federalist Press on Ernesto Rossi, The Europe of tomorrow and different federalist writings (1944-1948) The Nation within the World – Socialism and Federalism.
Youth and coaching
Born on June 3, 1910 in Milan, her father Giovanni Villani was an officer within the Italian military, promoted to common shortly earlier than the beginning of the First World Battle, whereas her mom, Maria Dalla Croce, an clever and cultured lady, was additionally a daughter. of a profession soldier.
Deeply marked by the tragic demise of her father (dedicated suicide after Caporetto’s defeat in 1917) when she was solely 7 years previous, Luisa was introduced up along with her older brother Carlo based on the values of the Italian “Risorgimento”: a powerful sense of accountability vis-à-vis the household and the “homeland”, conceived as a neighborhood of values and solidarity.
Luisa was educated as a baby in Arona (in Piedmont, on the shores of Lake Maggiore), the place her household had settled in 1915. There, she shaped relationships that have been decisive for her future, together with the friendship born in school with Rita Isenburg. , with whom she shares a ardour for artwork. This long-lasting friendship additionally intersects with the federalist path of the 2 ladies: Rita Isenburg along with her husband Mario Alberto Rollier will host the founding assembly of the Movimento federalista europeo (MFE), Italian part of the UEF, in August 1943. Throughout her years in Arona, Luisa will meet different individuals who will enable her to nourish her ardour for artwork and domesticate her studying of portray.
In 1923 she moved along with her household to Bergamo (Lombardy), the place she accomplished her research on the Vittorio Emanuele II Industrial Technical Institute. Within the years 1926-1928, she took economics classes from Ernesto Rossi (later co-author of Ventotene Manifesto), even when he leads a harmful clandestine life in Bergamo which forbids him any political dialogue along with his college students. Nonetheless, as Luisa’s diary reveals, one thing of Rossi’s educating remained alive in her, particularly the invitation to learn the good authors of European literature together with Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, Shaw, Kipling, and to put on a vital have a look at the nationalist rhetoric of the fascist regime.
From 1928, the notes taken in his private pocket book testify to his beginnings to query nationalist sentiment, behind the notion of fatherland imposed by the fascist regime: “ Love of nation? However in case you suppose that God created males and put them on earth to reside collectively serving to one another, these are phrases that do not make sense. As a result of I used to be born on one facet of the Alps and also you on the opposite, we should hate one another and kill? However no, that is nonsense. What are borders? Why are there borders? It is monstrous “.
After ending her research and transferring to Milan in 1930, Luisa went by a interval of deep disaster: she would have favored to proceed her research within the creative discipline, however the monetary state of affairs of the household and the conventions of the time imposed one other selection.
The double life throughout the fascist regime
In 1935, she married the journalist and author Guglielmo Usellini (1906-1958) and moved with him to Rome, the place he accepted a job as a proofreader and screenwriter on the Ministry of Press and Propaganda. In 1937 their son, Daniele, was born.
The Usellini couple’s house might be frequented by many intellectuals and writers, which solely fuels a sense of unease in Luisa, nonetheless dissatisfied with not having continued her research. She due to this fact tries to commit herself to studying and creative research, begins to color and write once more. Particularly, she publishes two fairly authentic youngsters’s tales: Angels on the rooftops additionally translated and revealed in German, and Battle on castles within the air.
Regardless of this, the sensation of dissatisfaction persists and causes him psychological worries, forcing him to depart Rome for remedy. Furthermore, it was a really troublesome second with the hardening of the fascist regime and the gradual rapprochement of the Usellini couple with the underground anti-fascist actions.