Bandits and Anarchists

Whilst on holiday in Sardinia earlier this year, I spent a day in the fascinating town of Orgosolo. For many hundreds of years, this bandit town – hidden high in the hills of the Nuoro region – was a place to hide the kidnapped and elude the authorities. It would have remained an isolated and ignored hamlet, were it not for its inhabitants’ spirit of resistance and the artistic flair of a local teacher.

In the late ’60s, having successfully resisted the military’s plan to create a base on common land used by shepherds, a group of local political anarchists created a mural in the town commemorating the event. Francesco Del Casino, a local art teacher and communist, worked with disadvantaged youths to turn this isolated piece of art into a trend. Throughout the ’70s and ’80s, huge cubist graphics were created throughout the town – on walls and gates, window shutters and rocks – recounting a host of global social injustices, from Vietnam to Gaza, or calling for Sardinian independence.

The brightly coloured paintings and frescoes have been well-preserved, and artists now travel from across the globe to contribute to the spectacle. Some tell the story of the province’s customs and traditions, the rural way of life; others continue the anti-establishment, socio-political themes of the early works.

To see every mural (there are ~150) would take several hours, but you can pick up a map in the small central town square that helps you navigate the main streets and includes informative descriptions of over 70 works. Here are photos of a few of my favourites…

1 thought on “Bandits and Anarchists

  1. Mrs Jean B Gilmour

    Good morning Vix

    Thank you so much for sending this. I love seeing and reading your blogs; you go to such interesting places and really ‘see’ them. The story and the artwork in this village are fascinating and I love how you’ve captured that in the photos.I Jean xx


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