Just back from Palermo, Sicily, a city (parts of which) are so run-down and neglected over the centuries that the Mafia moved in and ran a war through its streets. Now young people are taking over. Artists are building installations out of the ruins. I think they’ve grown sick of the division.
But Big Business doesn’t give a damn about Palermo and its active, creative, well-educated young people. The city is way outside the Blue Banana of European retail hotspots. The scale of dereliction is so vast, and the street markets so massive, it redefines People Power. There are few McDonalds in the whole of Sicily, and yet there are plenty of attractive retail opportunities in say, Liverpool, a city at the head of the Blue Banana, and looking towards Europe with open arms.
So here’s a young artist in Palermo who appears to be doing something by draping the derelict Piazza Garraffello with global brand names. Uwe Jaentsch.
Wikipedia’s wonderful translation from the Italian sums it up so very well:
“Garraffello Square is a square in Palermo.
The square is located in the district La Loggia or Mandamento Sea Castle in the historic center of Palermo, and is the heart of the market Vucciria.
Since 2008 the square, the theater during the daylight hours of the market is rather hangout at night and open air disco, reggae vibration between Muffn’, Funk, Hip Pop, Hard Techno, Breakbeat, Dubstep and gastronomy characteristic. In the center is the ‘ fountain of the same name located on site in the sixteenth century.”