Fighting Fascism With Food
The country that brought the world mozzarella cheese is also the birthplace to Mussolini’s fascism in the early 20th century. Neo-fascists still thrive in Italy today while using symbols of the past, including the Nazi Party swastika, to promote hate. In Verona, foodie and street artist, Pier Paolo Spinazzè, has created a solution to hate propaganda that has been on the rise by combining his longtime passions for food and art.
His subversive street art transforms divisive messages into culturally appropriate art almost everyone can get behind. Known as “Cibo,” which means food in Italian, he systematically covers swastikas and hate speech in Verona with paintings of food.
He, like the neo-fascists, repeats symbols with his work becoming so well-known that followers inform him whenever there is a new sighting of Neo-fascist graffitti.
For Spinazzè, even the most recognizable Italian dishes symbolize unity through diversity. For instance, A caprese salad of mozzarella, tomatoes, basil, & olive oil is an international project and a “message that cuisine is open to the world,” he says. “The basil comes from India, the oil from Syria, the mozzarella is Italian, and tomatoes originate in Colombia.”
Cibo’s street art is admired for its style and the substantive underpinnings. On his Facebook page, a fan recently wrote, “You are a hero.”
We hope you’ve enjoyed Fighting Fascism With Food! What are your thoughts on Cibo’s attempts to fight the rise of Neo-fascist graffiti? Join the conversation below!