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30 Settembre 2019

Guide to urban art: Vanchiglietta

The murals of corso Belgio, three open-air works that recall people who passed away and a commitment for the next years

Luca Ferrua (translation by Giulia Schimmenti)

The mural in memory of Giovanni Bonaventura

The strip of land between the Po and Dora Riparia has begun to change in the last year.
Here and there, in fact, it is possible to notice that on some of the large residential buildings along corso Belgio, in the last months of 2018 murals appeared – three to be precise – belonging to two distinct projects of memory and solidarity.

Moving from Vanchiglia to Vanchiglietta, at the corner of corso Belgio and corso Farini, on the side of a house you can see a colorful mural: several hands holding a large eye that scans the horizon. It is a memory, a tribute to Giovanni Bonaventura, a young Sicilian engineer who died in January 2018 after an accident on the ski slopes of Sestriere.
It was made by some writers from Sicily, friends who came from Enna on purpose to say goodbye to their little over thirty-year-old companion with a symbolic image: five hands (of friends and his girlfriend) with a blue eye on them – Giovanni’s eyes were blue – that looks far away; in the background the mountains of Piedmont and the prickly pears of his land.

The mural tribute to Christine de Pizar

Continuing on corso Belgio, where it crosses corso Tortona at the beginning of Vanchiglietta, you can see in the distance an image with bright colors. Continuing along the corso and approaching via Cigliano, you will notice a woman standing on a castle painted on the side of a large building.
The subject is Christine de Pizar, the first professional writer and feminist in history. She was represented by street artist Camilla Falsini, who with her flamboyant and disproportionate cubism wanted to represent gender equality, the fifth of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals created and promoted by the UN. The City of Turin, in collaboration with Lavazza, wanted to support the idea through the project called TOward 2030. What are you doing?, which raises awareness of these issues among the public through the works of 17 writers, all in the name of sustainability.
In fact, the same experiment also includes the mural by the artist Zed1 on the side of the Antonelli Elementary School, entitled Povertà zero: a wallet with land inside it, and where there is no war or poverty a rose blooms with a man holding a coin. In this case the work, in which all the artist’s technique of reproducing watercolors with spray cans emerges, wants to represent the first of the 17 UN objectives: to defeat poverty.

Considered by many as an appendix of Borgo Vanchiglia, the area of Vanchiglietta shows that it has a history of its own.
Born in the 19th century as a result of an urban project by the architect Antonelli, the area of Vanchiglietta as we know it is the result of a recent urbanization. After the war, in fact, it was decided to recover a portion of the city purely abandoned behind the manufacturing area that extends from corso Tortona to the lungo Dora Riparia. Known as ‘I borgh del fum‘ (‘the village of smoke‘ in Piedmont dialect) for the multitude of factories and the freight yard Vanchiglia, the neighborhood has then seen a large influx of population in the early ’70.
After the closure of the factories, a part of the buildings has been recovered: the former tobacco factory and the former Italgas have become university buildings and, even if the redevelopment is far from being over, the area now offers in the middle of its residential complexes an example of neo-realist industrial Italy of the early ‘900.

The mural Zero Poverty


In collaboration with Study in Torino


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