Every time we go on an excursion to Orgosolo we make a bet: we will find a mural that we had not seen the previous time or details that had gone unnoticed.
In fact, our memories add something new to the open-air gallery every time.
Orgosolo is one of those Sardinian rural locations that needs no introduction: to many closed, hostile, and rebellious small village, to all Sardinians a lively artistic center where culture, equality, study, and fight for unity are painted on all the walls.
Perhaps it is also the only Sardinian town which deserved a film by Italian director, Vittorio de Seta in 1961: “Banditi a Orgosolo”.
Themes such as class struggle, workers’ struggle and revolt against injustice, wherever occur, are the common denominator of most murals.
The inhabitants of Orgosolo are famous for the Pratobello revolt, which took place exactly fifty-one years ago.
On 27 May 1969, the men and women of Orgosolo, compact but peaceful, occupied the plain of Pratobello, exploited from time immemorial by farmers and shepherds for the cultivation and grazing of animals in order to prevent the Italian state from making it a polygon.
They succeeded and, after three days, the military backtracked.
In the mural, you can read the words of Emilio Lussu: “I stand up with the shepherds and farmers of Orgosolo who have not capitulated. If I were in different health conditions I would be among them”.
But the excursion to Orgosolo reveals how this small town, perched among the mountains of Barbagia, is also very attentive to the world and to the continuous injustices that populate it, not only to itself.
This is the mural dedicated to Iqbal Masih, a symbol of the fight against child labor, killed by the mafia of carpet manufacturers because of his rebellion against a condition of slavery.
It’s the voice that defends peace, social justice, equality that echoes loudly along all the streets of the country.
What else can I see on the excursion to Orgosolo?
There is still so much more to do and see in Orgosolo, such as discovering live a tenor singing, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, or visiting the Tramas de Seda workshop-museum, which keeps the tradition of silkworm breeding alive.
The silkworms produce the precious material for the weaving of Su Lionzu, the headgear of the Orgolese women’s traditional dress, saffron yellow in color, and with its characteristic black borders.
Who knows what new murals we’ll find during the next excursion to Orgosolo? Find them out with us!
You may also want to read about murales in Sardinia.
Photocredit: Valentina Cugusi