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Clitoris Awareness

Clitoris Awareness Talk & short film


art by Sara Koppel

You can no longer register for this event.

This talk is only for women*, lesbians*, intersexual* and trans* people (including trans* men).

Giovanna Carla Balestra is a queer feminist Italian filmmaker and an activist helping people who own a clitoris understand their bodies and sexuality. Her documentary, Clitorissima, interviews people asking them about their very first sexual experiences with the question, ‘At what age and on which occasion did you have Clitoral Awareness?’, which are beautifully brought to life through the animation of Sara Koppel.

She was inspired to make the film when her 3-year old niece began exploring her body. Giovanna is a rape survivor and identifies as queer, so her family accused Giovanna of paedophilia, assuming that she had molested her own niece. This led Giovanna to take action against the deep abyss of sexual ignorance in her own family and also outside of it through education. 

The screening will be followed by a discussion with Giovanna Balestra with the audience on their own experiences with their bodies and sexuality. 

  • Duration

    90 minutes

  • Language & Subtitles

    in English

  • Entry

    free entry, please register online in advance

Guests Present


  • Giovanna Carla Balestra

    Giovanna Carla Balestra

    Giovanna Carla Balestra was born in Italy and grew up in the lush of Venetian countryside – in Bassano del Grappa, 60 km from Venice. She was educated to inherit the family business in the jewellery industry, became a gemmologist, and worked as gem dealer and jewellery designer for 15 years in the international market.

    When in 1996, her 3-year old niece had Clitoral Awareness, everybody in the family was pretty shocked, and Giovanna Carla was accused by her own sister to be a child molester / child predator / ‘child clitoris instructor’ – because she is a survivor of rape and kidnapping in 1980, because she collects erotic Asian art, and because she is a queer person. Not having any history of paedophile behaviour nor attraction, Giovanna Carla, at the age of 36, wanted to clear herself from the finger pointing in the family and proceeded to interview all female members of her own family with this question: ‘At what age and on which occasion did you develop Clitoris Awareness?’

    Giovanna Carla experienced/discovered the deepest abyss of sexual ignorance, in which her own family was living. Considering the fact that her family was made up primarily of females, Giovanna Carla had to take action. Her findings about her own family absent / distorted / Catholically filtered sexual education pushed her to interview more women of her own circle of female friends with the same two simple questions.

    The stories she collected, first only verbally, then with a pencil in her hands, then with a camera, were amazing, unimaginable, unexpected, never heard before. She knew she had material for a fun documentary! Living in Berlin facilitated her mission. In fact, during October 2013, three different events about sexuality were to take place in town. So after hiring a camera woman and getting accreditation to these 3 events, she put together one hour of amazing, never heard before stories about Clitoral Awareness.

    Clitorissima’s message is meant to inspire young mothers to talk to their pre-schooler daughters about the clitoris and Clitoris Awareness at least as much as mothers talk about sex with boys. Giovanna Carla thought about using animated art media to integrate her filmed material and went on a quest to find the best female animated art artist. Finally, she met Sara Koppel by viewing Koppel’s film ‘Naked Love’.

  • Day

    Tuesday, 15 November 2016

  • Time

    5:30 pm

  • Location

    Schikaneder cinema, Margaretenstrasse 22–24, 1040 Vienna