The 1968 movement: pictures of a Pisan season

Discover thanks to Luca Frassi’s snapshots an important page of Italian contemporary history

From 07 November 2017 to 18 March 2018

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From 7th November 2017 to 18th March 2018 another interesting exhibition at Palazzo Blu in Pisa will kick off: 'The 68 movement in Pisa. Images of a Pisan season’. Thanks to the snapshots of the reporter Luca Frassi, the years between 1967 and 1975 will be remembered through some of the most significant events in Pisa: the youth protests, the workers’ walkouts at Saint-Gobain and Marzotto and all the other turbulent events of that period. Among the photography exhibitions in Tuscany, the Palazzo Blu exhibition in Pisa offers interesting food for thought on a recent history period that saw Pisa become a center of attraction and reference of all the social ferment of those years.

The photography exhibition in Pisa has been set up in the beautiful location of Palazzo Blu, an ancient stately residence located on Lungarno, in the city center, a few steps from Ponte di Mezzo. With the entry ticket to Palazzo Blu, you will also gain access to the Permanent Exhibition: we therefore recommend you to take advantage of this opportunity and visit the three floors that house, in addition to Luca Frassi’s entire photographic archive, a collection of paintings spanning the period from the fourteenth to the seventeenth century, the reconstruction of a nineteenth-century noble mansion set up thanks to the Simoneschi collection and archaeological finds from the excavations carried out during the restoration of the building and adjoining areas.

Within the permanent exhibition you will be able to admire some of Luca Frassi’s shots, the undisputed protagonist of the exhibition. Born in 1926, Frassi began taking photographs immediately after the war and continued to do so until the 1990s! He worked as a photojournalist for 'Il Tirreno' newspaper, capturing the most important events in Pisa, a work that led him to be awarded the title of Cavaliere della Repubblica.
The exhibition at Palazzo Blu centered on Pisa in 68 features an arrangement of eighty photographs, which capture some of the crucial moments of the time characterized by great social changes, politics confrontations and the struggle of workers in Italy. The exhibition, resulting from the efforts of the Palazzo Blu Foundation, was curated by the journalist Giuseppe Meucci, the art historian Stefano Renzoni with the collaboration of the Normale’s history scholar Andrea Mariuzzo. All the photographs at the exhibition in progress Palazzo Blu are juxtaposed to captions and original documents of the time with the aim to help the viewer piece together the national and international breeding ground that gave birth to the 68 Pisa movement.

Perhaps it might come as a surprise to you to learn that Pisa was the epicentre and the driving force of the 68 student protest that started here long before elsewhere. Indeed, the Pisa photography exhibition begins its exhibit before the Italy 68 movement and precisely with the first protest episodes in 1964 and 1967. It was in the latter year when the occupation of La Sapienza University took place, the real igniting event that triggered the student protest of ‘68. Seventy-two students from all over the country took possession of a building in the center of the university for several days. On that occasion, the ‘Tesi della Sapienza were drafted, a document that proclaimed the theoretical principles underpinning the 68 movement. The photographs displayed in what is certainly one of the most interesting Pisa exhibitions in progress are not just focusing on the events related to the 68 student protest in Pisa. Instead, they deal with the context in a wider way, giving us a glimpse of Italy’s struggle of workers for the safeguarding of their jobs at the Marzotto and Saint-Gobain factories.

The exhibition in Pisa in 2018 also delves on collateral events such as the protest at the Bussola on new year’s eve of 1968. In this case again the protagonists were some students who held demonstrations in front of the famous nightclub, hailed as a symbol of the bourgeoisie and the prosperous and lavish social classes. Additionally, the Pisa exhibition deservedly presents a series of images recounting the events on the fatal night that led to the death of Franco Serantini. On 7th May the young man joined a Lotta Continua standoff to demonstrate against the rally held by the MP Beppe Niccolai of the Italian Social Movement. During the clashes with the police he was wounded but his wounds were not judged serious. Two days later, however, he was found lying dead in the cell where he had been imprisoned. The final image that wraps up the Pisa photography exhibition dates back to 1975 and shows us President Leone making the hand gesture of the sign of the horns towards a member of Lotta Continua who had addressed him using a well-known and rude Pisan expletive.

The exhibition in progress at Palazzo Blu is an excellent opportunity to discover a fascinating and recent past that is still providing much food for thought. On, the official website of the exhibition in Pisa, you will find all the information you need such as ticket prices, opening times and the possibility of buying a combined entry to several exhibitions.

Take advantage of this exciting Tuscany photography exhibition to plan a getaway in the beautiful city of the Leaning Tower and book one of our hotels in Pisa! If you want to discover all the secrets of this wonderful city, join one of our tours in Pisa so you will return home having discovered many interesting facts on Pisa in the present time, but also its distant and, thanks to the exhibition, even recent past.

By Insidecom Editorial Staff


Period: From 07 November 2017 to 18 March 2018

Event location: Pisa


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