I do not know if we ever lose our identity. I think we were not born with one in the first place: we are our story and our decisions. The cycle of mystics was a tribute to the Sardinian matriarchal society which was the norm until recently. We have had women who through their knowledge of plants and humanity, have managed to maintain balance in their societies. Unfortunately, this knowledge gradually vanished in Italy for many reasons, but I am convinced that an alternative world could have been possible.
For example, the Accabadora – a woman who was responsible for bringing death to people of any age in the event that they were in conditions of illness, such as to lead family members or the victim themselves to request it – is a figure of the past which comes close to the contemporary ethical debate on euthanasia. She was a woman who took on this responsibility and burden, and today, we ignore it, even though is an important figure and feature of the past.
I always thought it was interesting that archaic societies were capable of similar flickers to maintain balance amongst people, and this often happened in matriarchal societies. I avoid creating an identity in my female subject because of that. The important thing is the story of these figures that I want to tell. If I erase the subject’s identity, I am spotlighting the what, not the who.