Exercises in freedom of speech and expression
Civitacampomarano (IT), Valdivia (CL)
The project has happened in 2 cities so far and is planned others postpandemic. The idea is as simple as it gets: With the rise of isolationism, nationalism and in some cases even fascism it is of importance that people, especially young people, learn of non-violent protest and voicing their opinions in public. In this case I like to give the example of the resistance group "Die Weiße Rose" (The white rose) of the Scholl-siblings in Germany. They were a group of students who saw the impending doom that Germany was facing with national-socialism. They decided to get active and distribute leaflets warning of Hitler and the Nazis. Unfortunately they were soon caught and killed.
In German history classe nowadays they are hailed as heros, however students aren't instructed in the ways of how civil disobediance can be successful and how to do so in all clandestinity. No student will learn how to hold a spraycan or create concise slogans to voice one's opinion, even less how to move rapidly and unseen to the authorities. We have witnessing every day how fragile Democracies are, so it is for every individual to know how to counteract these developments by all means necessary, in this case by writing your inner thoughts on walls for everyone to read.
The project was inspired by the streets of Valdivia during the Movement for Social Change in Chile (Estallido Social). Axel Void invited me to participate at Void Home Mural Fest, where I was one artist amongs many inivited Muralists. Just as Axel Void these are great painters of our generation and the idea was simple: since noone could travel due to the beginning of the worldwide pandemic, the invited artists were asked to send in a work done in their place of quarantine. With tight restrictions also in Chile, i managed to invite some of my friends to drop by at my rented apartments house over the course of the day and leave their thoughts on my houses wall. In broad daylight one after the other came and let me know their thoughts.
For the edition 2020 of Civitastreetfest I developped the project with the locals of Civitacampomarano. The thoughts in the introductory paragraphs aren't exclusive to Germany or even Chile. The idea to leave messages on walls for others to read is universal. Unfortunately, in my eaye, graffity is very cryptic and often proposes only abstract solutions, instead of stating clearly what should be the goal of societal development in on owns personal mind. In Civita you can now have a look directly into the heads of the villagers when you drop by this open wall. The population of all ages wrote their wishes, fears, ideas, visions on this shelter for everyone to read.