By Martina Tanga

The Italian contemporary artist Pippa Bacca – officially Giuseppina Pasqualino di Marineo – tragically died on this day, March 31, 2008. She was a performance artist and the niece of the conceptual artist Piero Manzoni. Bacca’s mother, Elena Manzoni, was Manzoni’s sister.

 Born in 1974, Bacca had been making art for just under a decade before her death. Performance was her primary medium, although she created incredibly delicate paper cut-outs as well. She was an activist and a pacifist and her work revolved around ecological issues, kindness, and social responsibility. 

Bacca was murdered in the midst of her last project. She was part of a world peace and trust effort known as “Brides on Tour.” She and a friend had departed from Milan on March 8, 2008, travelled through Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, and Bulgaria, and arrived in Turkey on 20 March 2008. The two artists only wore wedding dresses and reported on their website that “That’s the only dress we’ll carry along — with all stains accumulated during the journey.” Bacca went missing on March 31st in Gabze, Turkey. Her violated body was found on April 11, 2008. Police arrested 33 year-old Murat Karataş for the murder. The artists had planned to continue to hitchhike to Syria and then Lebanon, and arrive in Palestinian territories and Israel by mid-April. Their final destination was meant to be Jerusalem. The sadness of this tale is beyond words.

 French filmmaker Joël Curtz direcet a documentary, La Mariée (The Bride), about Pippa Bacca’s story in 2012. It features video archives from Pippa Bacca’s camera that the film team recovered during the shooting of the film. It is important that Pippa Bacca’s story continues to be told, to continue her endeavor for peace and trust across the globe.

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