The WeCanIt Research Project

What Is It About?

The website is the public history “spin-off” of the MSCA-IF 2019 Project “We Can Do It! Women’s labour market participation in the maritime sector in the Upper Adriatic after the World Wars in an intersectional perspective” (acronym: WeCanIt; grant agreement no. 894257).

Aims and Methodology

The “WeCanIt” Project’s primary objective is to study quantitatively and qualitatively women’s labour market participation in the maritime sector in the context of 20th-century post-World Wars transitions in the North-eastern Adriatic region. This is done from an intersectional perspective, and the research focuses on the port cities of Trieste (Italy) and Rijeka (Croatia) and the constellation of maritime communities that lie on the coastal strip of land of the Adriatic basin that today crosses three countries – namely Italy, Slovenia, and Croatia.

The Framework

The North-eastern Adriatic region is a challenging and changeling setting for historical inquiry. Its port cities, Trieste in particular, are simultaneously points of concentration and “traffic junctions” of the major historical drives. Trieste will once again play the role of the protagonist. However, Trieste is not enough by itself. Like other major port cities, it draws nourishment both from the traffic axes that cross it and the soil in which it has taken root. In the latter sense, the regional dimension is of fundamental importance. In this regard, it is essential to emphasize that the North-eastern Adriatic region does not coincide with the port cities of Trieste and Rijeka and, in the same way, the two cities are not an effective “business card” for the North-eastern Adriatic region.

The Mission

The mission of the website is twofold. On the one hand, its purpose is to communicate the research results of the “WeCanIt” project to the widest possible audience; on the other, it is to disseminate the above-mentioned analytical approach. In short, its primary goal is to present the multifaceted and multidimensional nature of women’s involvement in the North-eastern Adriatic maritime working and business activities in modern times. As in the North-eastern Adriatic region, maritime labour was women’s business too. Similarly, maritime industry not only involved the big shipping companies based in port cities, but it was also what we could term “provincial maritime capitalism” – where women took the lion’s share – and, last but not least, it encompassed all the working and business activities connected with fisheries in the riparian communities of the region.

The Structure

As for the narrative, focuses on is articulated around three sections:

The three narrative sections can be modulated by addition: all three paths can be enriched with new panels.

The three theme-based paths correspond to the three corpora of data produced in the framework of the research activities of the “WeCanIt” project, and placed in the Social Science Data Archives (ADP) of the University of Ljubljana.

Erica Mezzoli
WeCanIt – University of Ljubljana