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Culture
Punk in Naples in the 1980s

The incredible photos of Diamond Dogs, a historic underground venue located in a cave made of volcanic rock in the Rione Sanità neighbourhood

Halfway through the 1980s in the centre of Rione Sanità in Naples, in the Cavone, located in a cave made of dark, volcanic rock, a venue was born that was destined to hold a key place in Neapolitan, Italian and international cultural history.

Diamond Dogs, whose name is taken from a famous song by David Bowie, was an underground venue that became a melting pot of the key experiences and events that were to bring about a Neapolitan cultural rebirth. Its stone walls were covered in graffiti in various north European languages, it was dimly lit with dark shadowy corners and the DJs would play from the ‘control room’ (a real driving cab from a Mercedes van) from where they would work the crowd into a frenzy. It is a place that has a mythic quality in the memories of everyone who took part in that incredible season, but which is perhaps unknown to younger generations.

― Diamond Dogs, Officina post industriale 1984—1987 Napoli

Because of this, in March 2015 the Municipality of Naples organised an exhibition at the Palazzo delle Arti in order to show the power of Neapolitan culture. Today, those mythical days can be relived through the photographs of Toty Ruggieri. During the three years that Diamond Dogs was open (from 1984 to 1987), this photographer practically lived there and documented every aspect of what went on. Yard Press has published Diamond Dogs, Officina Post Industriale 1984—1987 Napoli, a book which is essential reading for anyone who is studying the counterculture of the late 20th century, who wants to know more about the period or who keeps the future of this city and, indeed the whole country, close to their heart.

Federico Flamminio
19/10/2016