Paint it Black: The Sardinian Village Where Anarchist Graffiti is Encouraged

Welcome to Orgosolo, an unlikely street art hotspot in the heart of Italy’s bandit country.

by Peter Yeung
Oct 5 2018, 6:54pm

The mountain village of Orgosolo in central Sardinia, with its sloping maze of cobbled streets, pecorino cheese, and population of just 4,000, is not what you’d usually expect of a hotbed of political anarchy.

But its position under the snow-capped peaks of Gennargentu National Park, and overlooking the Gulf of Orosei’s emerald seas, has been the envy of many, and put it under near-constant siege. Carthaginians, Romans, Byzantines, Spanish, Piedmontese, and Italians have all had a go at conquering the Orgosolese people over the past three millennia. None succeeded: it only hardened their independence.

In most towns, that history might not be quite so apparent. But Orgosolo’s walls are painted with a technicolour defiance. “The murals represent an answer to a government that does not support us,” says Maria Franca Succu, who owns a tiny shop selling honey in the town centre.

“People are not satisfied because everything is not working as it should. There are problems with health care and education, and unemployment is at the highest rates. The streets of this place are the great bulletin board of ordinary people’s thoughts.”

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