This is a story of a journey to the other side. Or better, of a return voyage. A return from the cities, from the tarmac and cement, to the fields, the canals and the farmsteads. Deserted fields and uninhabited farmhouses. Empty silos.
We are in the country, Pianura Padana, Emilia. Where once there were hard-working and various communities of peasants, their animals, vegetable gardens, rows of trees delineating the properties, now there is vast industrial cultivation. Monocolture. Enormous machines. Silence.
Beginning in the 50’s the Emilia countryside suffered depopulation due to the end of a subsistence economy. Industry reached these places and swallowed them up, rendered them sterile. The farmsteads fell into ruin. The vegetable gardens disappeared. The voices, the laughter and the tears, evaporated for ever.
His name is Alessandro Gallerani and he has started the Rurales project: to bring street art to colonize the abandoned places of the countryside. Rural archaeology, a driving force supplied by the activity of writers who have accepted the challenge and who paint murals on the countryside ruins in amazing jams between the weeds and the bricks.
The story of a return journey. The grandchildren of those who had to abandon their own countryside, are returning today to pay homage, with the best tools of their trade, to a piece of Italy which, evidently, intends to continue to exist.