Two inkjet prints mounted on dibond, 130 х 87 cm each; two wall-sized black and white archival photographs, 2018

Flags, the project by Vladislav Shapovalov, starts from his research in the archives of the Centro di Documentazione della Camera del Lavoro of Biella, a city once famous for its wool production, with an industrial history that in many ways resembles that of Prato.      

Among the many documents, memories and artifacts that narrate the history of the labor movement in the region, two flags in particular caught the artist’s eye, inside a collection of such items used during the demonstrations of the textile factory workers from the mid-1800s to the present.

The two banners do not bear symbols of political or union allegiance, or of the factory they represented, but are composed of many small fragments of fabric embroidered with women’s names and sewn together: an emblematic object of exchange between two factories, shortly prior to the closing of one of them, dating back to 1962.
The embroidered names are those of the workers. In a context of labor where the worker is anonymous and the brand appears along the selvage of the bolt of fabric or on the label of the finished product, Shapovalov’s work offers a rare example of a group of workers presented as active individuals, in a snapshot of the political trajectory of the country, from Fascism to the labor movement of the 1960s and 1970s, with women as the protagonists.

–  Protext! When Fabric Becomes a Manifesto, curated by Camilla Mozzato and Marta Papini, 23 October 2020—14 February 2021, Centro per l'Arte Contemporanea Luigi Pecci, Prato, Italy

List of names:
Green Flag

“To the workers of the Rivetti wool weaving factory of Biella and Vigliano. From the workers of the spinning and weaving factory of Tollegno”

(Gemma, T.V., D.M., Cesarina, A.R., B.R., P.G., D.S., Rosanna, L.F., Luisa, V.R., F.G., Lucia, C.Mariuccia, P.S., S.A., M. Anna, N.B., Q.A, P. Iolanda, C.M., B.F., G.M., M.G., C.A., M. Norma, Olga Laura, L.L., M.G., R.L., P.E., L.G., M.V., C.I., Mirella Bertecco, P.A., C.G., Norina, A.M., C. Mariuccia, M.S., S.G., Coda Caselia Maria, P.L., Maria, E.G., I.T., M. P., I.P., A.A., M.L., Magda Salvetti, Lella Luigina, B.L., Albertina, A.R., Elsa, L.A., R.L., M.P., Giuse, V.G., L.A., P.G., I.L., O.I., C.O., M.Lucia, Lina, T.I., Sala Ines, B. Francesca, M. Dalia, F.G., C.G., A.R., Bottino Rita, Romentino R, M.C., R.S., G.R., R.T., DCI, N. L., F.R., G.P., M.N., C.P., D.Meri, V.F, ZAM, B.G., Eliana, B.M., Negro Angela, L.S., Vittoria Cantone, P.A., M.P., Mosca Rina, A. F., Lorenzon Teresina, Vilma, Loiodice Mari, N.M., F.O., Dolores, C.C., Maria Pozzo, B.R., Bosetti Mari, Maria, G.L., N.L., A.A., R.G., E.C., Maria, L.L., A.M., Pera Piera, M.E., A.V., C.G., DLI, Orso Rosanna, Marchesini Iole, A.A., C.Carolina, C.R., N.R., V.F., B.A., M.Z., Z.Anna, Rosa, Paola, F. Gianna, Gina, L.R.E, Elsa, GA.E., E.M., A.E., L.I., B.G., Bruzadore Gina, L.R., B.F., A.M., A.N., M.A., C.R., Porrino C., Tonetto Elda, A.Rosina, R.M., N.R., M.G., M.A., T.M., A.R., P.A., G.D., B.M.R., B.Elsa, [illegible], C.L., S.M., Viviana, N.C., F.A., B.R., C.E., Giuseppina, M.Adelina)

Blue Flag

“To the workers of the spinning and weaving factory of Tollegno. From the workers of the Rivetti wool weaving factory of Biella and Vigliano”

(Corina, Maria, Gina, Giacinta, B.Maria, R.Norma, Pina, Silvana, Ginia, Clelia, Onorina, Elvira, Maria, Luciana, Lina, Anna P., Ines, Cibin Adriana, Rastello Idina, Mariuzzo Romilda, Gianna, Ramazzina S., Anna, Moro Regina, Ada, Vittoria, Maria, [Illegible], Mirella, Piera, PIA, Giovanna, Hamid El-Kanbouhi, Anna, Franca, Maria, Liliana Vagli, M. F., Teresa, Lucia Elda, Lea, Laura, Celestina, C.G., Orsingher Cecilia, Primina, Nores, Iole, Vallera Maria, Anita, ADA, Stefania, D.S., Lidia, Maria, Anna, Laura, Dirce, Marconato Bertilla, M. Isabella, Silli, Dina, Mary, G.Enrichetta, Giuseppina, Cappelletto Amelia, Matté Teresilla, Mina, Dorina, Rosalba, Edvige, Ramella Maria, Angela, Liliana, Giannina, B.T., T.I., Flavia, Maria, Delfina, Mariuccia, R.C.Maria, R.B. Rosita, Dilva, Libera, Rita, Piera, Edda, Dirce, A.E., N.F., Ravetti Mary, Salvetti Giorgina, Anna, Armida, Merina, Maria, Silvia, Rita, Silva, Rita, Mazzia Ernestina, Iole, Musso Rosa, Anna, Rosa, Carla, Lina, Livia, Ines, Mazzia Gilda, Maria, Bertini Antonieta, Rosso V., Sofia, Lea, Piera, Felicita, Silvia, Carla, Marisa, R. Rita-Anita, Pozzato Vanni, E.B., Elvira, Mara, Bianca, Isa, Rina, Motta Ida, Lia, Deloisa, Morzone Regina, Ada, Bonetti Anna, Angela, Egle Ramella, Lucia, Ester, Bice, Dellavalle Gisa, Nergo Maria, Jole, Eva Edmea, Nice Maria, Dina, Nanda, Vera, M. Edmea, Marisa, T. Anna, Annetta)