Artwork: Wu Ming 2 + Fare Ala, Viva Menilicchi! (Long Live Menelik!), 2018. Site-specific installation, video, anti-colonial walk, and zine.
In this episode of Costellazione, Palermo-based Italian artistic collective Fare Ala discuss their work, Viva Menilicchi! (Long Live Menelik!) (2018), done in collaboration with Wu Ming 2, a member of the pseudonymic literary collective Wu Ming. Viva Menilicchi! is an anti-colonial, anti-racist work, whose title refers to the Emperor Menelik II of Ethiopia, well known for defeating the Italians during Italy's first colonial invasion in 1896, at the Battle of Adwa. The title refers to an anarchist, anti-colonial call made in Palermo following news of that Battle. The work was made in Palermo for Manifesta 12. This program, with Fare Ala member Cinquemani, focuses on one part of the interventionist work, made as one part of the "guerriglia odonomastica" or "odonomist guerrilla war," referring to the project's intervention in street names in Palermo. View the short video made for Viva Menilicchi! on Fare Ala's Vimeo page here.
About the artists: Since their founding in 2009, Italian artistic collective Fare Ala (including Luca Cinquemani, Andrea DiGangi, and Roberto Romano), based in Palermo, has explored, in their words, “the connection between artistic practice and the social and political dimension of urban space” (www.fareala.com). Their works include PIZZO SELLA ART VILLAGE, a "fantomatico villaggio artistico" (phantasmatic artistic village), in their words, in a space originally constructed by the Mafia in the 70s and 80s on the northern periphery of Palermo. Their practice often explores site-based histories of Italian colonialism and its legacies of xenophobic and racist violence in Italy in the present. Artists' website: http://www.fareala.com/. Also visit Giap!, Wu Ming's blog, here.
Image: Wu Ming 2 and Fare Ala, Viva Menilicchi!, 2018. Photograph courtesy of the artists.
Read more about this work in Costellazione founder Tenley Bick's recent essay: “Ghosts for the Present: Countercultural Aesthetics and Postcoloniality for Contemporary Italy. The Work of Wu Ming 2 and Fare Ala.” In Global Revolutionary Aesthetics and Politics after Paris ’68, edited by William Cloonan, Barry Faulk, Martin Munro, and Christian Weber, 45–77. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.