Biographical notes of Tina Merlin
Tina Merlin was born in Trichiana (Belluno) on 19 August 1926. During the war of liberation she was a partisan dispatch rider in the “7th Alpini” brigade, which operated in Belluno area. From 1951 to 1967 she was local correspondent of the daily newspaper “L’Unità”. During these years she began her career as a writer with the story published in “Noi donne” in 1957, for which she won an award. Menica – a collection of partisan tales – was published in 1957 (Renzo Cortina Editore Pavia). In the same period she closely followed the Vajont events, before and after the catastrophe on 9 October 1963 when two thousand people died. She was prosecuted and acquitted by the law court of Milan for “spreading false and tendentious news aimed to disturb the public order” due to her article reporting the dangerous situation building up with the construction of the Vajont dam published by “L’Unità” in 1959. After a short period of activity abroad for Budapest Radio (in Italian language), in 1968 she began to co-operate again with “L’Unità ” in Vicenza. She followed the fights of the textile workers in Valdagno, that were documented in the book Avanguardia di classe e politica delle alleanze [Avant-garde of class and politics of alliances] (Editori Riuniti Rome 1969) and of the ceramists in Bassano, described in the book Siamo tutti una famiglia [We all are a family] (Odeonlibri Editrice Vicenza 1982). In 1972 she moved to Milan office of “L’Unità” and to Venice in 1974, where she was editing the regional pages of Veneto. In 1983, after years of searching for an interested editor, La Pietra in Milan published her book Sulla pelle viva. Come si costruisce una catastrofe [On living skin. How to built a catastrophe], later reprinted by Il Cardo Venice, Cierre Verona, ELLE U’ Multimedia Rome and distribuited through videocassette “Vajont 9 October 1963. Civil prayer” performed by Marco Paolini.
She wrote for various magazines: Noi donne, Vie nuove, Rinascita, Patria indipendente, L’uomo e l’ambiente, of which she was director, Veneto emigrazione, Vie nuove dell’agricoltura.
Founder member in 1965 and for many years Board member of ISBREC – Istituto Storico Bellunese della Resistenza e dell’Età Contemporanea (Historical Institute of Belluno Resistance and Contemporary Age – she wrote many articles for its magazine “Protagonisti”, essays and works about the history of Resistance, the participation of women and descrptions of the local society between the war and the post-war period. Always for this Institute, she took part in various public meetings with contributions such as:
Sulle motivazioni della rivolta popolare bellunese all’occupazione tedesca [The reasons behind the revolt of the Belluno people against the German occupation], together with Aldo Sirena; in Tedeschi, partigiani e popolazione nell’Alpenvorland [Germans, partisans and population in the Alpenvorland], Marsilio Venice 1984; Le cooperative autotrasporti partigiane nello scontro politico-sociale del dopoguerra [The partisan road transportation co-operatives in the post-war political-social fight], in Montagne e Veneti nel secondo dopoguerra [Mountains and Veneto people after the second World War], Bertani Verona 1988; La guerriglia delle donne: status, coscienza, contraddizioni [Women’s guerrilla warfare: status, awareness, contradictions] in Aspetti militari della resistenza bellunese e veneta. Tra ricerca e testimonianza [Military aspects of Resistance in Belluno and Veneto. Between research and witness], Belluno 1991; Come si demolirono gli ideali della Resistenza. Proposte di ricerca [How the ideals of Resistance were demolished. Suggestions for research] in Storia contemporanea del Bellunese. Guida alle ricerche [Modern history of the Belluno area. Guide to research] Pilotto Feltre 1985; Aspetti ed episodi del contributo delle donne alla resistenza bellunese [Aspects and episodes of women’s contribution to Resistance in Belluno], in Le Donne nella Resistenza Bellunese [Women in Belluno Resistance] published on 25 April 1992.
She died on 22 December 1991 after one year of illness. In November 1992 the cultural Association bearing her name was established. In 1993, with the help of the writer Mario Rigoni Stern, was published the posthumous autobiography La casa sulla Marteniga [The house on the Marteniga by Edizioni Il Poligrafo Padova] that won a literary award; the present edition was published by Cierre Edizioni in 2001 that the following year reprinted the book Menica with the new title Menica e le altre, and in 2004 printed also a collection of her articles La rabbia e la speranza [The anger and the hope].
In 2003 the Association won in her memory the “International award of water” granted by the National Award of naturistic literature ”Parco Majella” – Sections “Narrativa edita” and “Special award of jury” -; in 2005 “The anger and the hope” won the award for her engagement in safeguarding the environment; in November 2011 – the 20th anniversary of her death – was published the first biography, QUELLA DEL VAJONT –Tina Merlin, una donna contro by Adriana Lotto (Cierre Edizioni Verona).