Palestine Wall Graffiti

Dear Reader,

Almost every city has its graffiti. Take a look at Cairo for example, or Belgrade. Even in Rome you find amazing drawings, if you passed by the San Lorenzo neighbourhood you cannot help but notice the enormous and colourful graffitis that tell the story of the Bombing of Rome in 1943.
Bethlehem is only a short drive away from Jerusalem, and yet it is a whole other world. Located in the West Bank of the Palestinian Territories, Bethlehem is foremost the birthplace of Jesus, the cradle of Christianity, home to the olive oil museum, and home to many passing-by artists as well. The wall has served as a freedom call for many artists from all over the world who come here and take advantage of space of the wall to draw a message.
Bethlehem is partly surrounded by a wall. This wall, not too different from the Berlin wall, is a sign of the divisions that afflict the region deeply. Built by Israel along as a separation barrier and within the West Bank, goes along cutting through much of the Territories. Parts of it are still incomplete and most of it is highly disputed by locals and international community.

This tormented town, however, is home to many non-violent (at times) protests that express themselves in graffiti. The beauty of graffitis and street art in general does not lie precisely in the drawings’ artistic level but rather in the meaning it represents. And these graffitis are still there for you on the Palestinian side of the wall, where hundreds of artists, activists, pacifists from all over the world thought of it as the symbolic canvas where they can draw meaningful murals and simply leave a message.

Lets leave politics aside for once and let’s give a chance to photos to speak for themselves…

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A reprise of “La Liberté guidant le peuple” by Delacroix is probably one of the most famous and biggest graffiti on the Separation Wall of Bethlehem, representing the revolution with Lady Liberty guiding her People towards Freedom.
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“Mujeres Artistas por la Paz” or Artist Women for Peace, no idea who did this one but its colours are simply beautiful and filled with hope using the warm sunset colours.
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The first graffiti I looked at that day, another piece by Banksy called “The Flower Thrower”. The seems like a guy involved in a riot, he wears a handkerchief and is depicted armed with a bouquet of flowers instead of a Molotov cocktail. Flowers substitute weapons, symbolising peace and hope in place of destruction.

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“Don’t forget the struggle” – a graffiti in honor of Leila Khaled, former member of the Popular Front of Liberation of Palestine, convicted in the 60’s for allegedly hijacking several airfreights, she is now a member of the Palestinian National Council, thus becoming a national symbol of the struggle for the liberation of Palestine.
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Banksy and its “Girl frisking a Soldier” ironic graffiti. Full of messages: the girl is wearing a pink dress and ponytail, symbolising innocence. The soldier, in olive-green clothing and a machine gun laying on the ground contrasts the innocence of the girl by representing aggression. The girl frisking the soldier symbolises the dehumanization of individuals as they are automatically assumed to be hostile based on their religion or ethnicity showing that cultural barrier prevents us from recognising humanity in others.
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The Mafia Saints of Italy

Dear Reader,

One of my home countries, Italy, is a true gem of culture and surprises altogether. Italy is home to things that happen almost ONLY there.

If you’re traveling to Italy you should know that Religion plays a phenomenal role as powerful people often turn out to be venerated as saints once they pass away. It has happened in Napoli, it has happened in the south of Italy and now it happened in Rome.

Today is the case of Vittorio Casamonica. Vittorio Casamonica was the head of the mafia family and of the homonymous criminal clan. They are big in drug dealing and usury, and unsurprisingly they have never been convicted even though they are known to most people as one of the four main famiglie who rule the drugs and racket underworld of Rome.

Thing is, Dear Reader, Vittorio Casamonica passed away on Wednesday night and his funeral has attracted the viral attention of the media and widespread criticism from people in general. The family never seemed to hide their lavish lifestyle and even for the funeral they paraded their black horses carriages and Rolls-Royce:

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Copyright: La Repubblica
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Copyright: La Repubblica
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Copyright: La Repubblica
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Copyright: La Repubblica
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Copyright: La Repubblica
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Copyright: La Repubblica
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Copyright: La Repubblica

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On August 20th the Italian media gave plenty of coverage on the sumptuous funeral for Vittorio Casamonica. The Godfather music in the background, lavish carriage, Rolls-Royce, helicopter throwing rose petals, all in the San Giovanni Bosco cathedral, south east area of Rome where the clan used to have its biggest activity.

This is how mafia bosses are regarded. Still.

The Reunification of the Koreas

Dear Reader,

Speculations over a future reunification of the Koreas have been going on for decades since the War ended and the two Koreas signed the Armistice Agreement in 1953.
Below is the photo I took during my stay in North Korea of the Arch of Reunification, a symbol of the Korean reunification proposals put forth by Kim Il-Sung. The two women symbolize the two Koreas, and together they are holding a map of a unified Korea.

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The Arch of Reunification else known as Monument to the Three-Point Charter for National Reunification built in 2011. This statue expresses the shared yearning felt by both north and south to unify once more. It is represented by two women dressed in traditional Korean garments holding a sphere with the Korean peninsula map without separation. Photo by Stanito with Canon compact camera.

The idea, a pipe dream for now, has met tremendous difficulties in order to even envisage a possibility of reunification. Not only the two countries have grown considerably different both politically and economically, but also continuous tensions between the two nations have this process more unlikely to happen.
Kim originally proposed a federation of two states where initially the powers would remain as they are today with a foreseeable slow transition. However this proposition has met many difficulties as the proposed unification expressed by Kim would follow a German-unification style with the big question on how the South Korean government would handle such a scenario and what should be done to transform the North Korean economy (of which we know almost nothing due to lack of statistical reliable data).

As far as we know, on paper, both Koreas are firmly committed to the principle of national unification. During official contacts between the governments, both sides mention that the unification should peaceful and gradual and that they should be able to co-exist. Hopeful words in theory but still unlikely in real life, although not impossible.

Chávez, los amigos y los hechos

Y otro líder ultra discutido se fue, Hugo Chávez murió tras 14 controvertidos años al mando de Venezuela. Adorado por muchos, odiado por otros tantos, Chávez lo describen como un defensor de los pobres y de la democracia, enemigo del capitalismo imperialista, defensor del socialismo con tanto de cruz en la mano, pero también es acusado por haber sido el dictador populista más famoso de América Latina.

Continue reading “Chávez, los amigos y los hechos”

Chi ha votato Berlusconi?

l’Italia sbalordisce ancora una volta. L’opinione sui giornali esteri dopo le elezioni fa rabbrividire, pensano che sia un paese in mano a un commediante e uscito dalle mani di un criminale. Basta andare a leggere portate tipo El País, Al Jazeera, NYtimes, ne dicono di tutti i colori. Il video qui sopra é una simpatica parodia inscenata da Hitler quando scopre i risultati elettorali, penso che molto italiani possono dire di identificarsi con la sua reazione.

Continue reading “Chi ha votato Berlusconi?”

Pope Benedict XVI and his resignation

Pope Benedict XVI and his resignation

It is the Vatican’s conspiracy that led Ratzinger to resign. It is Vatileaks’ fault. It is the scandal of the IWR – Institute for Works of Religion – or commonly known as the Vatican Bank. It is because of the pedophilia accusations towards many members of the clergy that tired him. Perhaps it is because Ratzinger wasn’t really popular. It is because he is being blackmailed by the Vatican’s Illuminati. It is because he is suffering from a terrible disease. Maybe it’s because he wants to get married. Finally, it is because he met the aliens and saw a better hope there. Continue reading “Pope Benedict XVI and his resignation”

Politici, Promesse e Quant’altro

Politici, Promesse e Quant'altro

Caro lettore, in genere i venerdì sono belle giornate per chi come me lavora in ufficio: finalmente arriva il week-end e ci si riposa, possiamo dormire fino a tardi, coi venerdì poi vengono aperitivi, feste, teatro col mio coinquilino, cene persiane, ecc. insomma, di cose belle da fare ce ne sono eccome, quindi la giornata comincia tranquillamente con un sorriso: 🙂 Continue reading “Politici, Promesse e Quant’altro”

É tornato, attenzione!

É tornato, attenzione!

Ieri, una giornata che io pensavo sarebbe stata liscia e tranquilla, qualcuno di cui non faró il nome mi ha inviato la foto che vedete qui sopra. Stavo bevendo un buon té e mi é scappata una risata. Continue reading “É tornato, attenzione!”