The houses in Orgosolo speak a language of their own, through the ‘murales’ that for over forty years have conveyed colorful and intense messages to passersby on the streets of the small village in Sardinia. The characters portrayed are raconteurs who tell stories from the past and the present – sometimes crying out to us, but usually availing themselves of the captions in Italian or in the local dialect quietly, day after day.
The first mural in Orgosolo was painted in 1969 by an anarchist group from Milan, called Dioniso. However, it was professor Francesco Del Casino – a painter from Siena who moved to this village in the province of Nuoro in the 1960s, to be an art teacher – who made mural art an ongoing local activity, when he decided to celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of Italy’s Liberation, in 1975, by creating with his students a series of frescoes on various buildings.
Since then the town has welcomed about one hundred and fifty new murals, some in the style of the 1920s Mexican ‘murales’ or of Picasso’s “Guernica”, and others, more recent, with a surreal quality or ‘trompe l’oeil’ technique to set them apart.
Feisty laborers are depicted side by side with shepherds and farmers. Scenes of political and social contrasts alternate with glimpses of everyday life. And so the walls in Orgosolo guard our history.