I’m Martina and this is my second semester as an IELI student at Hunter college.
I found my self happy and nostalgic when I read the article in the international voices about graffiti and Bansky.
I come from a beautiful Italian island called Sardinia whose culture is very old, in fact, you can look back 1000 years before the year 0 to find ancient forms of civilization with a democratic structure and consequently music and art.
In the 1960s in a small town located in the center of the island named Orgosolo a man from Siena decided to move there to teach the art of murales (graffiti). His name was Francesco del Casino and he inspired many other artists to express different feelings such as anger or pure celebration. Francesco was the first who had the intention of teaching graffiti but wasn’t the first to do one: the very first mural in Orgosolo was painted by a group of anarchists in 1969.
Graffiti in this little town was born as a chance to be heard, by
politically motivated people who found themselves to be “artists.” Today they’d be considered street artists; back then they really weren’t coming from any particular professional background.
The one thing these images have in common is their purpose: social communication.
Back on the late 60s society was changing fast.
You see, there are many similarities with NY if you put the history of graffiti next to this one. The people over there were coming from a century of submission to “banditism”(organized groups of bloodthirsty gangsters in Sardinia), the town was famous for the consistent amount of murders that were constantly committed there rather than any cultural aspect.
But then something else came up and everyone started to breath the air of a revolution that was already going on in the Italian peninsula. The working class discovered the power of protest and they started to raise their voices, protecting their rights from any form of abuse. The same resistance they had to crime was the transferred to other forms of submissions.
Universities were the first to share a subversive response to the problems and they quickly spread it to every other institution to finally reach even the poorest shepherd.
That is exactly how the first mural was painted.
There are many famous ones like the one that depicts Gramsci with Lenin, Marx and Engels with a very strong message to defend the people from the selfish capitalists