Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Monkeys in Anti-racism Campaign

Monkey chanting has dogged Italian stadia in recent years – and those targeted are black players. Moise Kean, Blaise Matuidi, Kalidou Koulibaly, Franck Kessie, Mario Balotelli and Romelu Lukaku among many who have been at the receiving end. 

Less than three weeks after clubs pledged to combat Italian football's "serious problem" with regard to racism, Serie A launched an anti-racism campaign featuring... monkeys!

Anti-discriminatory body Fare were appalled. "Once again Italian football leaves the world speechless. It is difficult to see what Serie A was thinking, who did they consult?" they asked. 

"In a country in which the authorities fail to deal with racism week after week, Serie A have launched a campaign that looks like a sick joke”. 

At a news conference on Monday, artist Simone Fugazzotto, who always uses monkeys in his work, said: "For an artist there is nothing more important than trying to change the perception of things through his own work. I decided to portray monkeys to talk about racism because they are the metaphor for human beings. Last year I was at the stadium to see Inter v Napoli [a match in which Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly was racially abused] and I felt humiliated, everyone was shouting 'monkey' at Koulibaly, a player I respect. 

I've always been painting monkeys for five to six years, so I thought I'd make this work to teach that we're all apes, I made the western monkey with blue and white eyes, the Asian monkey with almond-shaped eyes and the black monkey positioned in the center, where everything comes from. 

The monkey becomes the spark to teach everyone that there is no difference, there is no man or monkey, we are all alike. If anything we are all monkeys".

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