The Cultural Capital City as a Shared State of Mind The Italian “Cucchi case”

Stefano De Falco, Giulia Fiorentino


Street art may be seen as a practice of spontaneous urban appropriation, expressed through a shared state of mind. In this context, street artworks are both the agents and the results of an “emotional right” to the city, conveyed through the creation of shared symbols and icons. The basis of this concept has been developed through an expanded approach to the theoretical perspective of Lefebvre’s 1968 work The Right to the City. This is intertwined with a detailed case study on a street mural in Naples, Italy, depicting Ilaria Cucchi, an activist against police brutality following the polarising death of her brother, Stefano Cucchi, in police custody, painted by Italian artist Jorit Agoch. It is through this mural that images, public space, politics, and state action intersect, demonstrating a facet of the city’s cultural capital as a shared state of mind. Our point of departure is the ethnographic experience, examining what it can tell us about how urban space, and with it all the city, becomes a shared state of mind. By elaborating upon our ethnography within the city of Naples, Italy, through Ilaria Cucchi’s mural, we infer that the city’s cultural capital provides a unique interpretative experience through which to understand this shared state of mind. 

La street art può essere vista come una pratica di appropriazione urbana spontanea, espressa attraverso uno stato mentale condiviso. In questo contesto, le opere d’arte di strada consentono alla città di dare forma a un “diritto emotivo”, veicolato attraverso la creazione condivisa di simboli e icone. In questo lavoro, la struttura concettuale di tale paradigma è stata sviluppata attraverso un approccio teso ad amplificare la prospettiva teorica dell’opera di Lefebvre del 1968 Il diritto alla città. La trattazione è stata poi particolarizzata ad un caso di studio relativo ad un murales di strada a Napoli, in Italia, raffigurante Ilaria Cucchi, un’attivista schierata contro la brutalità delle Forze dell’Ordine in seguito alla morte di suo fratello Stefano Cucchi avvenuta in una caserma dei Carabinieri. È attraverso il murales di Ilaria Cucchi, dipinto dall’artista italiano Jorit Agoch, che immagini, spazio pubblico, politica e azione dello Stato si intersecano, dimostrando un aspetto del capitale culturale della città relativo ad uno stato mentale condiviso. La ricerca si è basata su un’esperienza etnografica condotta nel luogo del murales di Ilaria Cucchi finalizzata a comprendere come lo spazio urbano, e con esso tutta la città, diventi espressione di uno stato mentale condiviso.




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