Artivism and more cool stuff, in your 1st-of-the-month newsletter.
how are you?
This month, I'm writing to you all the way from Civitacampomarano, where I'm currently immersed in the bustling atmosphere of the 8th edition of CVTà Street Fest. This extraordinary street art festival, founded by Italian street artist Alice Pasquini, has breathed new life into a semi-abandoned village in the picturesque region of Molise (southern Italy).
This is my second time attending the festival. Last year, I published an in-depth article about the serendipitous story that brought this street art festival into existence, while this year my focus has shifted towards conducting interviews and delving into the personal stories of the street artists themselves -all while doing the actual job I was hired to do, which is: managing the festival's social media presence.
With the festival set to start tomorrow, we are deep in the frenzy of production mode. Artists such as Dan Witz, Helen Bur, Hera, and Ellena Lourens are fully immersed in their creative process. They're also taking the time to connect with the local community, savoring the flavors of the regional cuisine, and embracing the "slow-life" essence that pervades this charming village.
Returning here feels like coming home. The crisp morning air, the melodious tweets of birds perched on the trees, the beautifully abandoned houses in the old part of the village, the grandmas making pasta on large wooden tables in the streets -all these elements create an enchanting backdrop. Most of all, it warms my heart to witness the entire village coming together to make this festival a reality. It's a collective effort that touches me deeply.
To stay grounded amidst the whirlwind of festival preparations, I've resumed my festival morning routine: water, yoga, and writing 2000 words before even touching my coffee. This ritual keeps me centered and focused, even in the midst of chaos.
Do you ever find it challenging to be productive when your surroundings change? If so, how do you tame your mind?
I'm still learning myself, so I don't have any advice to offer just yet. However, I highly recommend a book that explores the daily routines and work habits of some of the greatest artists throughout history and in our time: "Daily Rituals" by Mason Currey. It's a fascinating glimpse into the minds of artists and creatives -which is one of my favorite topics ever, something I’ve investigated so deeply that it eventually became my job ;)
Speaking of which, I must wrap up this letter and join everyone for breakfast. We have a long day ahead, as we put the finishing touches on everything for tomorrow's grand opening. Let's keep our fingers crossed for good weather!
Wishing you a month filled with inspiration and artistic wonders!
Until next month,
ps. After CVTà Street Fest, I’m flying to Aberdeen for the annual gathering with the Nuart family. Besides being a media partner of the street art festival, this year I’m also speaking at the street art symposium Nuart Plus.
Suppose you want to be the familiar face in the audience that makes public speaking more bearable. In that case, the panel is on Friday 9 at 15:15 at Aberdeen's Art Gallery -and Nuart Festival is definitely the best time of the year to visit Aberdeen!
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New on the Blog!
Talking about ephemerality with Alex Face
I met Thai street artist Alex Face at the debut of his solo show at Rome’s Dorothy Circus Gallery. I seized the chance to delve into his insights regarding Bangkok’s graffiti scene, and engaged in a thought-provoking conversation on the transient nature of life, a central theme resonating through his latest creations.
This interview with Alex Face turned out quite philosophical, as I ventured into my own thoughts on the transience of life on my way back home. It might be an experiment for future exhibition reviews, let me know if you like this format…
By embracing ephemerality, street artists challenge the established perceptions of permanence, fully embracing the present moment to leave their mark behind.
However, this mark is inevitably fleeting, which made me wonder: how can we find solace and purpose in a world that constantly reminds us of our own transience?
Handpicked by yours truly
“Haze: Coming Soon,” Art Activism on Show
In Kuala Lumpur, Greenpeace Malaysia and the creative platform Splash and Burn joined forces to launch the thought-provoking exhibition "Haze: Coming Soon." This collaborative initiative aimed to advocate for stronger actions and policies, particularly through the implementation of a Transboundary Haze Pollution Act.
The exhibition, which took place from May 5th to 14th, offered a unique fusion of art, film, and activism. Curated by artist Ernest Zacharevic, "Haze: Coming Soon" featured immersive installations, captivating short films, and artworks from a talented lineup of artists.
The exhibition sought to educate the public about the dangers associated with haze pollution and inspire them to demand accountability from corporations responsible for polluting the air to maximize their profits.
In ten days, the exhibition attracted over 6,000 visitors, including policymakers, and gathered more than 2,000 petition signatures in support of a Transboundary Haze Pollution Act in Malaysia.
This substantial public response demonstrated the impact of art and activism in raising awareness and mobilizing support for legislative change.
The exhibition was part of the broader art initiative known as Splash and Burn, co-founded by artist Ernest Zacharevic in collaboration with activists, artists, and researchers. Splash and Burn seeks to shed light on the detrimental impacts of palm oil plantations on the environment and local communities.
Using large-scale murals, sculptures, and multimedia projects, Splash and Burn strategically places artworks in areas affected by palm oil expansion, such as villages near plantations or regions that have suffered from deforestation. The aim is to confront viewers with the consequences of palm oil production, encouraging them to reflect on their consumption habits and support sustainable alternatives.
Since its inception in 2016, Splash and Burn has attracted numerous street artists who have contributed their creative talents to the initiative, such as Isaac Cordal, Vhils, Martin Whatson, and Axel Void.
Above is a short video documenting Vhils’ intervention for Splash and Burn 2017 (my personal fav!). Once you are on the Splash and Burn Youtube Channel, you can watch videos of all the other street artists at work ;)
Introducing "Ciarciastro": A Word That Doesn't Exist Yet
In the picturesque village of Civitacampomarano, Italy, where the renowned street art festival CVTà was founded by Alice Pasquini in 2016, something intriguing has unfolded. Italian street artist Biancoshock has left his mark on the village walls, inscribing a word that holds no meaning—yet.
Welcome to the enigma of "Ciarciastro."
Unveiled on a weathered wall, "Ciarciastro" beckons the community to partake in its creation and growth. What's fascinating is that this word cannot be found in any dictionary or corner of the internet. In this digital age, it's exceptionally rare to encounter a word that lacks an online presence. Fascinated by this linguistic void, the artist took screenshots to capture the non-existence of "Ciarciastro" and initiated a remarkable project.
Now, the destiny of this neologism lies in the hands of participants like me and you. By embracing the power of social media, blogs, comments, or any digital platform, you can contribute to the gradual indexing of "Ciarciastro" on the web. Witness its virtual footprint expand and solidify as this word claims its rightful space in the online realm.
I’ve just written “Ciarciastro” in this newsletter ;) which is reaching almost 8.000 inboxes You should take it from there, and write it somewhere else—together, let's propel the dissemination of "Ciarciastro."
Even if it may seem trivial at first glance, remember that a word, even devoid of meaning, can never be deemed futile.
A must-see exhibition is about to open in Lisbon: Urban(R)Evolution will showcase the works of Portuguese urban legends alongside the iconic graffiti writers who set this whole thing up. Vhils and Futura2000, Addfuel and Revok, Maismenos and Lee Quiñones, the names on shows are truly impressive! If you are planning a trip to Lisbon, don’t miss this ground-breaking show!
From June 21st to December 3rd at Cordoaria Nacional.
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