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Stramurales & Discovering Puglia

In June 2022, SAMA have received an invitation from Stornara Life Aps to join the association in sharing their experience in Europe and gaining further competences about urban arts as tool for inclusion and community Development by visiting places where URBAN ART is a visible participatory urban process:

Street art by definition is an inclusive art, accessible to all and capable of communicating with the community. It therefore lends itself to be realized in a participatory way involving adults, the inhabitants of the neighborhood, students, who give their support either in the planning phase or often in the practical phase of carrying out the work. In recent years, projects that combine urban art and social inclusion have multiplied in Europe. These are often interventions of great visual impact that have the aim of revitalizing and enhancing anonymous streets, neighborhoods or buildings and at the same time improving the lives of those who live them by making them feel protagonists.

Having just completed a successful project with ALDA through Europe for Citizens funding "STAR", we felt confident to embark on the new European Street Art Journey of discovery new communities of practice of street art.

The region of Foggia, to which a small town of Stornara (±6,000 population) belongs, is slightly overlooked in comparison to Bari or Lecce in Puglia. However, for the first time visitor from the North of Holland - it was stunning. The region is famous for its grapes, pomodori and burata. The area is immense and not easy to reach, which makes it a perfect hide-away from tourists you cannot avoid in Bari, for example. And then, in a middle of all that goodness is Stornara.

To me, personally, Stornara is entwined with street art. I counted 10 shops in a city centre, and ... 30 murals. Because the town is small, the 100 murals collection by internationally acclaimed artists definitely stands-out. What makes the festival even more interesting is that it is produced by a group of semi-retired friends, and not a bunch of youngsters.

recounts Anna Stolyarova, SAMA's founder

One of the first pleasant surprises was to meet ALANIZ (AR), who was one of the first arists to paint for SAMA collection already back in 2012. He mentioned, during his production of La Vida, something about a lovely secluded place in Italy, where he has built himself a new residency and is helping some lovely people, who do not speak English, with artists connections. Alaniz had mastered Italian, and this small town has become his annual destination during the visit to Europe.

The STORNARA LIFE APS Association has conceived and organized the "STRAMURALES" Street Art Festival in the town of Stornara (FG) with the main purpose of bringing art to a completely devoid town. The goal is to insert Stornara among the Italian towns and villages with the greatest presence of murals and to create a point of reference for artists and art lovers in general. The line of the Association is aimed at making STRAMURALES the most important Festival in Southern Italy, inviting Italian and foreign artists among the most appreciated in the world.

Another exciting news was that both CARATOES and JDL are both will be physically present during 2023 edition of the street art festival. They are headlining an already marvellous line-up of Milu Correch, Luca Leda, James Reka, Lucione Samoa and Eloi Angel.

A short walk around the towns centre and you are surrounded by the works of the anonymous - Bastardilla, Stinkfish and Ericailcane. If you are into treasure-hunting for street art - Stornara is a must on your bucket list.

On the first day, during the delicious dinner in a local restaurant outside of Stornara Life's headquarter, we were enthused with the forthcoming program starting with life painting by some of the artists, country visit for lunch at one of the vinyards, dinner cooked by the town's mayor and chef - Roberto Nigro, and a street art tour by Giancarla de Marco - one of the lead producers of the murals. We also met resourceful Silvana and Lino - the masterminds behind it all.

The objectives of the project STRAMURALES are:

  • Offer even a small town in the Province of Foggia, such as Stornara, the possibility of giving life to an event of international significance and above all to an event that has enormous cultural and artistic value. The echo that the event could have on all means of mass communication and on social media would not only make Stornara known everywhere, its history, its characteristic as an agricultural and agro-industrial village, but it would be an excellent vehicle for advertising and enhance the agricultural products and the economy of the town and of the surrounding area, starting with the 5 Royal Sites;

  • Raise in the consciences of the citizens of Stornara the awareness of being part of a united community, which is the architect of its own destiny and which contributes in a compact way to resurrecting that soul of the place and that sense of belonging, which help socialization and they make civil coexistence develop;

  • Spread the knowledge of "Street Art" especially among the younger generations, helping them to understand the true and original meaning of the "murals", which represent the so-called democratization of art in history, as they make art public, no longer relegated in the confined spaces of a museum, which can be enjoyed by all;

  • Contribute to creating moments of socialisation and collective participation, not only as mere spectators but also as co-protagonists of the event itself, transforming everyone into "artists for a day";

  • Render a service to the community, enriching the artistic heritage of the town through the pictorial representations of the murals, destined to last over time and give a new face to the city of Stornara, and contribute to improving the urban furnishings;

  • Ensure that Stornara can also become a real "tourist destination" over time, thus also contributing to the development of the country's economy and its evolution that can associate the simple production and transformation of agricultural products with artistic tourism -cultural and eno-gastronomic.

The partners that we met were, of course, the founders, managers, producers and volunteers of the street art festival, but also Desincoop organisation from Portugal and La Hoya organisation from Spain. SAMA from the Netherlands was the 4th partner. The project is being managed by EU Villages organisation from Italy.

Together we discussed the budget and decided on the quality standards and expectations during the mobility visits to each country: Amsterdam, Elche and Guimarães. Next stop: Amsterdam!

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