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Postcards from Italy: graffiti

NixonGraffitiItaly loves graffiti. From the look of the word, I’d guess they invented it. I like some graffiti. If it’s particularly artful or politically interesting I admire it. Most graffiti is not that. But I think the more you pay attention, the more you start to recognize the good stuff. I’m not there yet, but I’m starting to look and analyze. Here in Frascati you occasionally see the “x loves y”  announcements that typically decorate boulders and underpasses at home. More often though, in and amongst the more common tags, you’ll find some sort of interesting slogan. I think they’re warnings or threats, or maybe food suggestions. I recognize the words for fear, renew, question, always, never, ask, dark, but can’t make sense of the context. The circled A for anarchy (another Italian word perhaps?) is more prevalent than the swastika. I take comfort in that.

The attached photo is the best graffiti I’ve come across so far. Not the tags in the foreground but the faded statement in pink. It illustrates the cockeyed way the world perceives America at times*, but also the way Italians never let anything go. I mean, this graffiti has to have been on that wall since the 70s. Stuff lasts here in Italy. I take comfort in that too.

Sue Lange

*But let me ask you this: Is there any American leader in the past 40 years that some American somewhere hasn’t compared to Hitler? It’s not just the world that perceives us that way, we do ourselves.


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