Torino Disobbedienti - weekly meeting in Corso Brescia 14.

Reconstructed fragments, Liget Galerie, Budapest.

A project by Big Hope: Miklós Erhardt & Dominic Hislop.

Project Description:

The exhibition is the reconstruction of some fragments of a specific environment and a specific context, in the 'neutral' environment and context of a gallery. The specific context is that of Corso Brescia 14, Torino, Italy, the office and social centre run by the Senza Frontiere Cooperative. This is the location of weekly meetings by the Torino Disobbedient'. Disobbedienti are a nationwide network of leftist political activists with a similar philosophy towards protest i.e. that of provokative but peaceful disobedience.

In the gallery, a creative work in the traditional sense of the term was not produced, but rather some of the elements e.g. wall decorations, posters, lighting, leaflet shelves, video projector stand, of this quite specific environment were selected, photographed, then reproduced in the gallery. The atmosphere evoked was the one of an activists' club. Each element which was reproduced, had its original reference image exhibited next to it, in the form of a photograph. Other elements of the exhibition included textual information and short video clips on a monitor which illustrate some of the activities of the group. On the opening night, a beamer projected one of the meetings of the group in the same space that is reproduced in the gallery. Many of the fragments reproduced can be seen in the background.

At this meeting, on 12th September, they were planning for going to Treviso the following Sunday (15th September) for a demo in support of 15 migrant families who had occupied a disused public building for two years. The local council decided to evict them and destroy the building, so the families were homeless and staying outside the town's prominent cathedral as a protest. The other topic was about the planning of a large national demonstration to be held in Torino against the immigrant detention centre at Corso Brunellesci. As it has a big wall around it and they couldn't get in - they were planning to paint the wall, as a metaphor - in the way the Berlin wall was painted - as a first step towards the wall being destroyed.

Interview in Torino

Interview in Budapest

The video also includes an interview with some of the group's members. In it, they speak about the factors that influence their position, about their connections to other groups nationally and worldvide, the directions and purposes of their activity. During the exhibition, in the environement of this reconstructed Disobbedienti meeting space, we organisied a meeting of leading Hungarian activists that were planning to go to the European Social Forum in Florence and posed them the same questions, recorded their responses and plan to translate and play to the Torino Disobbedienti back in their original environment.

The social purpose of the exhibition was to make connections, create a dialogue and give information through presenting, in the relatively apolitical Hungarian art and social scene, a concrete example of the activity of one of the players that make up Italy's lively array of contemporary social movements.

The clips on the monitor were edited and distributed by the Torino Disobbedienti.
1. 2002. April 16th., 'Sciopero Genralizzato' (General Strike), Torino demo
2. 2002. April 25th., 'Liberazione' (against the refugee detention centre at Corso Brunellesci), Torino demo
3. 2002. Mayday., 'Reclaim your Money' (against the proposed ammendment to article 18 of the workers statute), Torino demo
4. 2002. June 22nd., 'Adotta 1 colf' ("Adopt a domestic worker"), Torino demo

Thanks to everybody in the Torino Disobbedienti for the possibility to use the results of their work, particularly Alessandro, Elio, Ornella & Sylvia. Thanks to Andrea Nemeth, Laszlo Haffner, Zoltan Kiss, Peter Hecker and Tracey for their help during the realisation of the project in Budapest.

Supported by: FKE-Intermedia, BBS, Karakter Studio, Imola Lang, Gabriella Nagy.

bighope [at] bighope [dot] hu


A Torino Disobbedienti site no longer exists but this one has some links to current Italian political / social activism:
The Manamana site has info and links to current Hungarian political / social activism: