Franziska Gilli, born in 1987, grew up in Bolzano, Italy, and studied Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Hannover, Germany. In 2014 she interned for half a year as a news photographer at the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Shortly thereafter, a semester abroad led her to the art school ENSAV La Cambre in Brussels, where she pursued a long-term project on interns in and around the EU institutions. Since 2011 Franziska has been working as a freelance photojournalist for major publications in Germany and abroad. In her main projects she likes to focus on themes that revolve around human beings embedded in particular social systems.
Franziska Gill took part in the 2019 Copenhagen Photo Festival: Festival Centre with Bambola (Italian for ‘doll’). Which examines the image of women that has been presented for decades on Italian entertainment tv: an image, characterized by a variety of showgirls. Revealing costumes, heavy make-up and cosmetic surgery form the foundation of doll-like stereotypes which serve as orientation for young Italian women. For many, it is still a childhood dream to appear on tv in a role that hardly differs from that of a dancer at a strip bar.
As a general term for these female characters, the word ‘Velina’ has established itself among the population and even in Italian dictionaries. It comes from the satirical news show ‘Striscia la notizia’, which was celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2018 and has more than 4,5 million viewers every evening. This show has always been a success story for Mediaset, which belongs to Berlusconi’s media empire.
Television still is the main medium of information for Italian citizens. The men on screen explain the world, wear suits and are almost always of a certain age. The women, as a rule, have no significant function, but are young, pretty and scantily clad. Even anchorwomen must master the challenge of presenting not only content, but their own bodies as well. There are practically no alternative images of women on Italian tv, particularly during prime time.