In Foggia, Viola Gemundo's animated mural dedicated to harassed women

On the facade of the Faculty of Agriculture at the University of Foggia, here is the animated mural "In Praise of Capitanata" by Viola Gemundo: a work dedicated to harassed women that comes to life in augmented reality. It can also be experienced from home.

An animated mural dedicated to harassed women and legality: that’s how artist Viola Gemundo’s work In Praise of Capitanata, which adorns the recently completed Faculty of Agriculture building at theUniversity of Foggia, can be summarized. "In Praise ofCapitanata,“ says the author, who is an architect, illustrator, performer and street artist of Foggia origin, whose mural works are scattered among Rotterdam, Turin, Milan, Paris and New York, ”is the first animated mural in augmented reality in Foggia and is meant to be a tribute to my homeland, to those who fight for legality and to all harassed women."

The intervention is the result of a project in which the street artist collaborated with the University of Foggia on the redevelopment of the university’s historic campus and was financed by the Puglia Region through European funds dedicated to the 2014-2020 Regional Operational Program. Viola Gemundo chose to create it entirely with the brush technique, using water-based paints with low environmental impact. The mural then entered the gallery of MAUA - Museum of Augmented Urban Art conceived by Bepart Cooperativa Impresa Sociale, a project that has more than 120 street works animated in augmented reality scattered between Milan, Turin, Palermo and Waterford (Ireland). To date, the realization of MAUA has involved more than 550 people: 120 street artists, 266 students who took part in the photographic workshops for mapping street art in the four cities, 136 digital artists who animated the works in the augmented reality workshops, a dozen trainers, 20 authors of the critical texts of the catalogs among critics, curators, scholars, researchers, journalists and bloggers.

In Praise of Capitanata, which has changed the face of the building in which DAFNE (Department of Agricultural, Food, Natural Resources and Engineering Sciences of the University of Foggia) is located, is inspired by the nymph Daphne, the protagonist, together with Apollo, of the very famous tale of Greek mythology. According to the myth, in fact, the two ended up in Cupid’s sights, but Apollo was hit by a gold arrow that made him fall madly in love, while Daphne was addressed with a lead dart that aroused in her a feeling of total rejection, to the point that the girl asked her parents (her mother Gaea goddess of the earth and her father, the river Peneus) to turn her into a tree, to end this endless flight from Apollo. The myth is represented in the mural’sdigital animation, created in collaboration with Carlo Mossetti. To view it, simply frame the work with the free Bepart app. “By framing the mural with a smartphone,” the artist explains, “the viewer will see it come alive. The story is told from Daphne’s point of view: of her deep discomfort at being touched, grabbed by the clothes and hair by a suitor she does not want at all. This is a situation that unfortunately many women throughout Italy live in reality and on a daily basis, victims of stalking, of men who do not desire and who often do not accept the end of a relationship. This mural is dedicated to all of them.”

“Augmented reality,” Gemundo points out, “allows new narrative layers to be grafted onto the works, and thanks to this technology I was able to find a way to send a dual message: the mural, in fact, bears the colors of my land. I made it during the summer and while I was painting, unfortunately, the City of Foggia was dissolved due to infiltration by organized crime. This news made me very sad, but it also made me think a lot. I worked for a month on the scaffolding, immersed in silence and in torrid heat that reached as high as 46 degrees: thinking about those who are exploited through caporalato for work in the fields was natural. But Foggia is also much more. My work describes the beautiful things and colors of this land and wants to enhance them: the Capitanata is fields of wheat, tomatoes and olive trees and is populated by so many people who fight for legality and this is the beauty we want to see and show. I thank the University, the Puglia Region and Bepart for giving me the opportunity to make this work.”

The animation can also be seen from the image below: simply download the free Bepart app on your smartphone from the iOS and Android Playstores or from this link, frame the mural in the photo and see it come alive.

In Foggia, Viola Gemundo's animated mural dedicated to harassed women
In Foggia, Viola Gemundo's animated mural dedicated to harassed women

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