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The Italian street artist turning swastikas into cupcakes

i24NEWS - Reuters

clock 3 min read

A prohibition sign with a swastika is seen on the hood of a car during a demonstration near the fairground in Dresden, Germany, on April 10, 2021.
Jens Schlueter/AFPA prohibition sign with a swastika is seen on the hood of a car during a demonstration near the fairground in Dresden, Germany, on April 10, 2021.

Spinazze goes by the professional name Cibo, which means 'food' in Italian

Pier Paolo Spinazze, a street artist in Verona, Italy, is confronting racist graffiti through a unique approach - modifying hate speech into a wholesome visual buffet.

“I take care of my city by replacing symbols of hate with delicious things to eat,” the artist explained.

He uses spray paint to transform swastikas into giant cupcakes, slurs into pizza slices, and other whimsical eats.

Spinazze goes by the professional name Cibo, which means “food” in Italian.

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While the artist has become a local celebrity in Verona, not all are happy with his work in the community.

He encountered an anonymous threat directed against him, spray painted on a wall, warning “Cibo sleep with the lights on!”

Spinazze turned the message into ingredients for a gnocchi dish.

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“Dealing with extremists is never good, because they are violent people, they are used to violence, but they are also cowards and very stupid,” he explained.

“The important thing is to rediscover values that we may have forgotten, especially anti-fascism and the fight against totalitarian regimes that stem from the Second World War," the artist urged.

"We must remind ourselves of these values," Spinazze added.

The presence of hate speech on the continent, including acts of antisemitism, remains an area of concern for Europe’s leadership.

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A report from the European Union, published in early November, showed antisemitism grew within Europe during the course of the pandemic.