Descent Into Barbarism

Europe didn’t need Anders Breivik to know that xenophobia has grown to epidemic proportions. Sample graffiti in any metro area, and you’ll find more hate speech than anything else. Despite its leftist politics, Turin, for example plays host to amongst the most racist tagging in Italy. Note the use of a Swastika, in the place of an S, in the word “Islam.”




















Jews are also the subject of reactionary graffiti. Unlike Muslims, in Turin, street propagandists give it to them from both sides. “Yahud” is Arabic for Jew. “Kaffir” means “outsider.” The use of “Coca Cola” connotes class privilege and exploitation. Whoever actually wrote this, (it could also have been a nationalist) the message is disturbing.

















Sometimes you’ll find Jewish and Muslim stars grouped together. In certain instances, it will read like this – “Raus,” (German for “go”) followed by the English “dead,” grouped with religious icons. There are several version of this bit of graffiti. This particular one was found on a home in a neighborhood populated by Muslim immigrants.

















To make matters even more noir, the red lettering in the background says “merda,” or “shit.” For the propagandist who wrote this, it is the second part of “dog shit,” in Italian, displayed in the photo above, as “Cane Merda.” The feces statement is written twice across the front of the building, branding it as though it were clearly an untouchable’s home.


Photographs courtesy of Joel Schalit

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