Art and fashion: Italy does not shape its excellence

Italy, a place rich in history, art and culture, home to renowned artists from around the world. Peninsula where there are currently 58 sites included in the list of world heritage sites, making Bel Paese the state with the largest number of UNESCO sites. However, those who are born and raised in the beauties of Italian territory have serious difficulty making study paths to create so much or preserve the existing ones. A true three-year faculty in art history seems to be lacking and to be replaced by “cultural heritage”, “visual arts” and the like, while the treatments and contracts of the fine arts, dramatic arts, music, dance, is often a street owned by the state itself as a secondary. The consequence is the difficulty for certain academies, conservatories, institutions and dignity to survive. Not to mention the social consideration of those who like to do studies related to the art world. So he often falls back – of course for those who have the economic opportunity – on private university centers, expensive and elite academies, where one is assured that one “despite” the chosen path has contacts with companies, targeted internships. , so do not risk “slipping artists”.

If art does not yet have a university

While throughout Europe are the institutions of the fine arts and in all respects university faculties, the academies of one of the richest countries from an artistic point of view always have serious bureaucratic problems, because ideally the theoretical study is much more important than “practical “”. Italian law has slowly and with difficulty recognized only a few institutions, so that students encounter difficulties, while they are often not even considered as university students (consequence, among other things, that they have less protection and benefits) After years of as intensive study as any other faculty, the students of the academies have a diploma instead of a diploma. “Qualification equivalent to a university degree” has existed since 1999, when the AFAM (Higher Education in Art, Music and Dance) was founded, and it took twenty years then until the government recognized the value of some study paths (especially of the old system), even though the recognition of the equivalence of the diplomas of experimental study courses taken before 1999 was still lacking. Nutshell, is first in art, but art in Italy is not a priority. And many professionals in the industry do not have the right awards, and rights.

The funds of many academies are scarce and the teaching staff is constantly falling. The so-called “co.co.co” contracts (coordinated and continuous collaboration) where teachers never have real stability between delays and exhibitors of MIUR, with an embarrassing employment contract. AFAM workers do the same amount of work as normal teachers, they are precarious, they have no parental leave, much less sick days. No accrual of service qualifications, no recognition and payment of extra hours. Students and students are living the consequences: From suspended courses to courses that do not start even if they still pay high taxes, due to the problems of funds and concessions for the sector.

Small and slow steps forward

Finally, in December 2021, a few small steps were taken forward, after years of workers and students showing their dissatisfaction. The expansion of the workforce came after a stagnation of 25 years, with the interministerial decree of the division of the Ministry of University and Research and of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, with the aim of sharing 70 million euros, provided for in Article 1, paragraph 889 of Law of 30 December 2020 n. 178. However, problems such as those described and the biggest problem experienced by students are forced to choose a profession that should be considered at both institutional and academic level as any other faculty, but which struggles to be recognized as such ginn. When the case of social contemplation is overcome, a young man who likes to “study art” is confronted with significant obstacles and disadvantages. If economically capable, the student can opt for private academies, masters and courses, which often require large sums of money both for enrollment and for further study.

A similar story is being told by those who wish to enter the fashion industry. Again, it is known how important fashion is in Italy, but it also represents an underestimated excellence this time. The much appreciated made in Italy Unfortunately, it remains far for those who like to become experts in the field at the level of studies and work in the sector. Craftsmen now seem like creatures from a mythical past, but fashion includes a range of crafting skills. Not to mention how much it, like art, music and cinema, reflects cultural evolutions and is a discipline that is valued and given that dignity. Unfortunately, although things have improved in recent years, studying fashion in Italy is not at all easy. Then, the made in Italy it is not appreciated at least until the choice of high school and only if one goes to a specific address. Instead, as suggested by Carlo Capasa, President of the CNMI (National Chamber of Italian Fashion), it would be good to dedicate at least an hour made in Italy even in high schools. Also because the creative spirit of clothing and accessories was born the so-called “stylist”, as a figure, in Italy, home to many talented and attentive professionals.

Another class formation

However, it is only since the early 2000s that it is possible to understand the importance of the school for those who are interested and willing to enter the sector. So now there is a dense network of fashion schools in the area, which has registered a significant increase especially in recent years. There are not only private but also public institutions that attract young people both for the future employment rate and for a truly connected path to the territory, at the level of craftsmanship and manufacturing. Vocational training finally takes its place after being “properly” landed by the university for many years. The problem, however, is always associated with the difficulty of finding three-year courses recognized by the MIUR, which in any case remain “equivalent” qualifications to the degree. Although there are valid graduate courses in public universities, such as at the University of Bologna, the Polytechnic of Milan, IUAV to name a few, the Italian reference schools remain the private ones that have earned first place in practical training. But excellence institutes like Marangoni, IED, Polimoda and Naba are certainly not accessible to everyone. In fact, access to it is only an elite. Even though there is financial aid and scholarships, private schools remain impossible for many to consider. Tuition fees of up to € 20,000 a year, however, promise excellent training and a proper connection with various companies. In short, it is as if huge sums of money have been invested to secure a future job in such a competitive sector.

But why do private companies in particular have such a positive date in terms of training and employment? One difficulty to consider concerns the real competence of teachers in public courses: The choice of teachers is made through ministerial competitions, in which only graduates qualified to teach. In this way, professional figures are often excluded, which would be a significant example to show and demonstrate the working reality of the sector. Private institutions, on the other hand, are almost always staffed by professionals who are experienced in the fashion world, and that makes all the difference.

At the moment, the Italian government does not want to give real value to education in the fashion world, even though it is one of the sectors that – also economically – enriches the country. The basis could also be cultural, because fashion – wrongly – is seen as far, almost superficial, playful, inaccessible. In Italy, unfortunately, there is still a tendency today to regard fashion as a luxury and not as a neighbor and an integral part of culture. When institutions remain so far removed from the training of professionals in the sector, we forget how strategic and important fashion is not only economic; Fame and love, quality and importance of made in Italy is still high, despite the fact that only recently the love for some technical and craft occupations was found, often also considered as a second division, but to study in the second division it is necessary to be economically very comfortable, even if access to any course of study should never be characterized by economic and social differences.

[di Francesca Naima]

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