CIBO: Graffiti against hate
In the north of Italy, near Venice, there is a beautiful city, so beautiful that Shakespeare chose it as the setting for Romeo and Juliet, the most famous romantic drama of all time. Nowadays life in this city is amazing, but unfortunately love is only in the air and is replaced by the shadows of increasing hatred. This city is Verona. Verona is known for being one of the most racist cities in the whole country, and this is mainly due to the fact that a part of the citizens still supports far-right parties and their ideology, which is reminiscent of fascism. The extent of the problem can be guessed just by walking through the streets. It is very common to read or see slogans and graphic representations with fascist references on walls; they are almost everywhere. Although in Italy any reference to fascism is forbidden and can be prosecuted, people do not seem to care and continue to spread these unconstitutional ideas.
Fortunately, people are not all the same and Pier Paolo Spinazzé is one of them. Pier Paolo Spinazzé, also known as CIBO (which stands for "food" in Italian), was born in Italy in 1982. As you can see from the picture above, where he is pictured in front of a huge slice of pizza while holding a bottle of spray paint, he is a graffiti artist. At the beginning of his activity as an artist, CIBO painted empty walls in Verona to express himself and his art, but then something tragic happened. In 2008, a group of neo-fascists killed one of his fellow students at the university. This event left a strong impression on Pier Paolo and led him to a new use of his art. He realised that graffiti could be used to fight fascism. But how? By making cover-ups. He began to replace the neo-fascist symbols with his art.
His art is a tribute to Italian cuisine, as his typical motifs are foods such as pasta, spaghetti, fresh basil, mozzarella and more. Why this choice? Why food? Because food is joyful and every Italian loves it! Food make us happy and generate a sense of cohesion and even a graphic representation of it has the same impact on people.
Was it easy to do that? No, it was not and CIBO knows that perfectly well. Every time he covers a far-right scrawl with one of his murals, the next day it is destroyed and replaced with a new fascist symbol. Is it worth it? Yes, it is and it must be done. Nevertheless, CIBO has never stopped (he has been fighting for more than ten years now). Every time someone destroys one of his works, he makes it new again!