Welcome to Orgosolo
Orgosolo is a small, apparently sleepy, town in central-eastern Sardinia. It’s very well-known both in the island and in the rest of the country for its stormy past. This was, in fact, the place where misunderstandings would be solved with blood feuds involving entire families for generations.
Truth or legend, there is a whole oral tradition of tales around Orgosolo‘s past, although this history of violence, lawlessness and complicity is widely shared among other villages in the same territory of Nuoro‘s province, such as Mamoiada and Lula, hometown of Matteo Boe, former bandit who kidnapped seven-year-old Farouk Kassam, son of businessman Fateh Kassam, and for which crime he’s still serving twenty years of prison.
Apart from stories of bandits, murders and kidnappings, Orgosolo is famous also for its murales, a sort of street art graffiti, where local artists paint the walls of the town with stories of its past and with tales reproducing the main events of Italy’s history and world affairs. All graffiti have a strong political background, and are very controversial in the measure that they outspokenly attack historical figures studied and considered as “heroes” by mainstream media and school textbooks.
I’ve been to Orgosolo last year and I took many pictures. In this photo-essay I want to publish some of them, in the hope to give my readers an idea of what is the spirit of this village, semi-hidden in the harshest mountains of the island.
Introducing Orgosolo and pointing it on Sardinia's map, expressing love for the island by respecting its natural beauty
Portrait of a Sardinian shepherd
Polemical murale stating that Italy is a "ragged, naked" fifth economic power
Piedmont troops when they invaded the island reducing the natives to the status of slaves, naming the protesters "bandits" and sacking their lands and resources
On "Cadorna Street", a murale devoted to general Cadorna, to be considered responsible of the slaughter of Italians during World War I
Graffiti devoted to Claudio Varalli, student killed by a member of a far-right party, and Giannino Zibecchi, killed by the "Carabinieri" (the army's police) during a march in memory of Claudio Varalli
Murale in memory of Carlo Giuliani, activist killed by the police during a protest against the G8 held in Genoa in 2001
Painting against dictator Benito Mussolini and in memory of all partisans who fought against Fascism in Italy
Murale against the dire conditions mineworkers were forced to, stating that if they knew how hard working in charcoal mines was, they would have preferred to live 100 years on the run
Graffiti devoted to women's rights and their emancipation and equality both in the private and in the working environments
Murale inviting workers of the arm industries to stop building arms as they are used only to kill other people and other workers
Painting against poverty and the hypocrisy of all the "plans" meant to fight it just by charity and without providing poor countries with the means to develop by themselves
Painting stating "We are all illegal aliens" - devoted to all the people who arrive in Italy by boat daily out of desperation in the hope to escape poverty
A must in all demonstrations for justice, the slogans of the French Revolution promoting liberty, equality, solidarity
Devoted to the Gaza Strip and the massacres carried out by Israeli army against the Palestinian population
In memory of Salvador Allende, Chilean President overthrown by a coup carried out by Pinochet, one of the bloodiest dictators of modern history
To global awakening and renaissance against poverty and injustice
- Botero-style painting devoted to women, mothers and workers
In a land that was invaded by literally everybody, from Italians, to Spanish, to Arabs, it’s normal that its natives are born with the protest in their blood.