This article originally appeared on VICE Italy
These days Parco Lambro might be like any other park in Milan, but in the 70s, it was the setting for one of the biggest Italian cultural breakthroughs: the Festival del Proletariato Giovanile [Proletarian Youth Festival].
The annual music festival was organised by underground zine Re Nudo from 1971 until 1976, and the last three editions were held in Parco Lambro in Milan. For a few days each year, the park was home to emerging and established performers, feminists, commune enthusiasts, hippies, militant lefties and curious passersby. The last edition in 1976 was attended by over 400,000 people, which was when the whole thing became a bit unmanageable.
At the time, Dino Fracchia was young, unemployed and living in Milan. He went to all three editions of the festival in his city and brought his camera to the last two of them. That resulted in 250 photos that are now, 40 years after the festival ended, celebrated in a book and an exhibition.
With the exhibition, curator Matteo Balduzzi wants to show that the city of Milan lived through moments like this before becoming what we now know – a white collar metropolitan city filled with fashion addicts and tourists. But Fracchia's work, the book or the exhibition aren't meant as a political statement. "We decided to exhibit all the photos in the book – without exceptions – to show what daily life inside the park was like during those few days a year," Balduzzi explains. "You get to see both the exciting, funny moments and the boring ones – moments of true freedom and moments completely unrelated to the context. For example: there were a lot of soldiers on leave who would just get bored and come to Parco Lambro to watch the naked girls. There were other real voyeurs too, or people who weren't part of any movement but just wanted to have a look."
I giorni del Parco Lambro - Continuous days, Milano 29/07/1975 - 26/06/1976 will be open until September 8th at the Forma Meravigli exhibition centre, Via Meravigli 5, Milan.
More photos below.
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