Barlo and Andrea Casciu and “The Dance” : Housing, Squatters, Art

Barlo and Andrea Casciu did a summertime mural project in Bologna last week as a metaphorical commentary on machinations and struggles happening during the current housing crisis in Italy. It is an awkward, tormented series of movements in concert with and against partners entitled “The Dance”.

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Barlo . Andrea Casciu. Bologna, Italy. July 2015. (photo © Barlo)

Not enough places are available for people to live so squatters have been taking over abandoned or unoccupied ones. The government has been passing legislation to widen options of affordable housing but restricting illegal takeovers. Add to this certain elements of anti-immigrants, racism and ongoing corrosive attacks on the social safety net, and you understand how tensions run high.

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Barlo . Andrea Casciu. Bologna, Italy. July 2015. (photo © Barlo)

The figures in conflict here in the new mural symbolize the forces at odds – and a contested 9,000 square foot settlement from the political collective Làbas in the former Caserma Masini symbolizes all of it. The collaborative illustration itself is located in “Làbas centro sociale” (Labas Community Center) in “an occupied structure very active in community activities related to the housing emergency in Italy – in the city center of Bologna,” says Barlo.

No angry slogans, no marches, no eggs were thrown; It is good to see art being used to depict powerful struggles underway in the heart of a disputed space.

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Barlo . Andrea Casciu. Bologna, Italy. July 2015. (photo © Barlo)

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Barlo . Andrea Casciu. Bologna, Italy. July 2015. (photo © Barlo)

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Barlo . Andrea Casciu. Bologna, Italy. July 2015. (photo © Barlo)

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Barlo . Andrea Casciu. Bologna, Italy. July 2015. (photo © Barlo)

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