No many words, moralistic harangues, set phrases, promises or further opinions are needed…

Most of the times the best choice is to let images speak out. Art, per se, speaks for itself, in particular the so-called “street art”, which was born within and for the  street: an art made of crystal clear pictures, which make themselves harbingers of profound meanings.

In the night between 10th and 11th February 2020, three days after the Egyptian student Patrick Zaky’s detention, a graffiti (above) portraying Giulio Regeni and the aforementioned young man both dressed up as prisoners and intent on embracing themselves, appeared on one of the walls of the Roman Via Sabina – on the outskirts of the Egyptian embassy.

A vignette clarifies Giulio’s reassurance “This time everything’s going to be okay”. This prevision is followed by a yellowish Arab writing reading “Liberty”.

This is how the Roman artist LAIKA talks, in her own original way, about the current dire situation of Egypt, especially since “Very little do the newspaper speak about it”, as she denounces on social networks.

Sadly, just three days later, someone decides to erase the mural, perhaps because it was “too dangerous”, as the author comments on her IG post, putting numerous hashtags, whose major part refers to paramount news organisations, upon what is left from her work.

LAIKA WON’T STOP and therefore decides to make a second mural, which she herself names after “2nd act”, although the various newspapers concurrently begin to reveal violent and atrocious particulars upon the case.

The new work is similar to the former one, despite being, at the same time, profoundly diverse to it.

The two men are still embracing themselves: Giulio is still attempting to assuage the other, and Patrick is still wearing the same clothes. Nevertheless, between the youngster’s arm and the “liberty” inscription now appears a gash provoked by an anonymous hand, hidden within the shadows.

That is how art succeeds in turning tables, additionally providing a renovated, more profound sense to the work: the rift is, de facto, now looking for the observer’s attention; LAIKA fulfils this gap by portraying a massive protesting crowd.

All the partakes fiercely and firmly exhibit a black and yellow billboard reading “FREE PATRICK”.

LAIKA seems to nearly support and foment the pacific rallies, which would come about from that fateful 10th February on: at the forefront stands the one bolstered by Bologna, when all the pupils hailing from the ALMA MATER’s Athenaeum , where Patrick himself would study, were requested to partake in the demonstration.

Progressively, not only students, but also mothers, fathers and grandfathers shall fill the squares, as evidence of the solidarity to the artist’s words “NO ONE MUST AND CAN SHUT US UP!”

Meanwhile, time passes and reliable sources describe the more and more compromised captive state of the young Patrick, who had become, at this point, a classmate, a friend, a son to everyone.

It is therefore inevitable to highlight the analogical contact with the Giulio Regeni’s issue.

That is why, in order not only to avoid a dreadful finale as the one just described, but also not to make Giulio’s death vain, everyone is fostering the appeal to let Patrick return to Italy. Neither must he be abandoned, nor must he be accused of any crime he did not committed. No one must be condemned because of their will to exercise their freedom of speech, expression and information.

Thus it is essential not to give up. We must search for the truth and must not let it all go, as if nothing ever happened. What we do are called upon to do is, instead, embracing Giulio’s reprimand, attempting to fix it within our minds.

BUT, wait! Halt!

As Marvel Films has been teaching us forever, never ever quit the theatre before the credits.

Under this circumstance though, the unreleased scene will leave a sour taste in your mouth.

3rd March 2020: LAIKA announces via IG Stories that even her “2nd Act” has been ripped up.

“Must have been the wind!” claims ironically the artist, who had pronounced these exact same words, right after the devastation of her first work. This precise exclamation assumes, once again, a new meaning and it ought to arouse a reflection.

“I wanted to make everyone understand that no one can shut us up. You can tear a drawing up, but you will always find someone behind that drawing, who is ready to speak out. Altogether, the anonymous hand who removed the poster did a solid to us all: they demonstrated that TOGETHER WE CAN CHANGE THE WORLD”-LAIKA

Elena Gigli