In the last decade, the construction industry has taken a hard hit in Italy; so much so that several associations in the field of construction have sponsored a protest at the steps of the Milan Stock Exchange. According to the Center for Economic Research and Market Sociology, there has been a loss of 157,000 companies and 893,000 employees over the last five years. Due to these statistics and personally apparent losses, people have united on a day they’ve deemed La Giornata della Collera, which translates as The Day of Anger.
Last week, thousands of workers at different levels of the industry (from physical laborers to architects and real estate agents) joined forces to present a visually striking installation of 10,000 yellow construction helmets. The hard hats were laid in the public square to represent the jobs lost in 2012. At the center of the display stands a statue of a crude hand gesture—a severed hand giving the middle finger. The piece, which was erected in the piazza in 2010, is ironically titled L.O.V.E. by artist Maurizio Cattelan and seems to complement the peaceful protest exhibition. Together they demonstrate a powerfully wordless display of disappointment, frustration, and rage.
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