Graffiti in Bologna

Graffiti, with artists

Nearly everywhere I go and look in this ancient city of Bologna, graffiti is sprayed across the walls of parks and monuments, to the insides of busses and even the outside of my apartment.

Most of the time, these graffiti are words in Italian; other times, works of art, and occasionally, one might even notice a few English words spray-painted.

Tobias Jones discusses the graffiti across Italy in his book on Italian culture, The Dark Heart of Italy. While I don’t know what most all of the graffiti has to say in this city, Jones notes that one can often tell a lot about a city’s political undertones through its graffiti.  But why leave all this up?

Especially in a country so focused on aesthetics and tourism, it seems almost ironic and perhaps even detrimental to leave this graffiti up throughout the city.

But, perhaps, in this country where media and politics are tightly under the control of one man, citizens are left with no choice but to voice their opinion on the walls, for everyone to hear.

– James