There are some things that can strike you as weird, but none as bizzare as that which I experienced at the ‘Farm Cultural Park‘ in Favara, Sicily. To call this obscure plot of land within the historic city centre a mere refurbishment would be a grave mistake. And here’s why…
‘Farm Cultural Park’ (as featured by The Guardian) is a cultural activities area where adults can play. There are no animals present and nor is there any strip of green land, contrary to what the name leads us to believe. The ‘Farm Cultural Park’ is more of an imaginative playground within a once run-down area of the historic city centre, now rejuvenated. A sort of hip-and-happening, yuppie place that is attracting quite an interesting and eclectic crowd within the Agrigento region in Sicily.
Here you can find an exciting cultural mix, buzzing with little shops and eateries. Converted run-down houses now form exciting exhibition rooms and gathering places for local artists as well as for lectures and presentations. In fact, the area is so bustling you feel as though you’ve entered some sort of creative beehive – sort of Alice in Wonderlandish in a sense as you’re compelled to look up at walls constantly in amazement.
Furthermore, modern art is made particularly tangible at the ‘Farm Cultural Park’ in Favara. In various rooms, you have the opportunity to view all sorts of displays of light, textures and shapes – an indeed interesting creation and artsy utilization of a once-neglected space.
Upon entering the park, one quickly realises that this is a place for thinkers, for open-minded liberals. A place where perceptions are challenged (as with the purpose of art in general) and where new and innovative ideas are founded. Brightly graffitied walls with protest statements, powerful sentences and strong symbols of liberation are evidence of this.
Every wall has some sort of sign or graffiti drawing on it. It’s up to you as the viewer to make of it what you will.
And some of these pretty strong statements contain puns. Take this one below, for instance, which reads: PUT IN THE TRASH (with an image of Putin in the backdrop).
Other signs are quirky and fun too…mostly in Italian but you’ll get the message.
And some with shocking connotations that just make you think…are we slave to the hashtag and to Twitter?
And once the mind is fulfilled, so too can the stomach. We stumbled upon the smallest food joint ever – Ginger. Ginger brings a unique African twist to a once predominantly Italian area. Even the chef is a true African immigrant serving fabulous spicy dishes and unique drinks. You cannot swing a cat in the place but the food sure is tasty.
After tummies were filled we noticed some strange potplants that even can be used as functional furniture (below left). My translator, Umberto, couldn’t help himself and just had to take a seat. I don’t think he wanted to leave the place. We then had a quick chat with the guy who runs it all (below right).
I left the ‘Farm Cultural Park’ in Favara, with a strange feeling of contentment. The park is demonstrative that almost anything is possible – a park can generate new interest in worn-out parts of a city; we can create new out of old in innovative ways in which you would never expect – you only need embrace the strange beauty in the most unusual of things.
Enjoy this video of ‘Farm Cultural Park’ in Favara for a full 360 degree view of the park and its amenities:
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