The villages of Calabria are transformed into open-air museums thanks to the 9th edition of Gulìa Urbana.
Launched in 2012 with the aim of acting on the urban fabric, Gulìa Urbana is a travelling exhibition dedicated to street art, which every year involves national and international artists who are called upon to give vent to all their creativity on the walls of small Calabrian villages.
This year’s edition, which began at the beginning of June and will continue until the end of August, has already begun to bear fruit. The first stage saw four artists working in the municipality of Santa Sofia D’Epiro on works linked to the Arbëreshë tradition. This term, which means “Italian Albanians” or “Italo-Albanians”, refers to those communities of Albanian origin in southern Italy who struggle to survive and maintain their culture and language.
Artez, a Serbian artist, created the work entitled “Woman With Flowers” which shows a young girl holding a vase of flowers typical of the area. With this mural, the artist wanted to emphasise the importance of ties with traditions.
Slim Safont, a young Spanish artist, painted an old man holding a wedding photo in his hands in which he and his wife were dressed in traditional Arbëreshë clothing.
The importance of traditions is also reflected in Claudio Morne’s work showing a dancer from the Italo-Albanian community in Santa Sofia D’Epiro.
Street artist SteReal tackles the theme of gender identity in a mural showing two figures with unidentified genders wearing skirts. This deliberate non-identification is a metaphor for the value of freedom.
These are the four works created during the first stage of Gulìa Urbana, which in the coming weeks will visit other towns in Calabria such as Lamezia Terme, Belsito, Diamante, San Giorgio Albanese and Bianchi, again with the aim of breathing new life into the urban landscape through artistic interventions.