New York, South Bronx, Forest Houses, 1010 Tinton Avenue, between 163rd and 165th. Many square skyscrapers made of red, old (and, therefore, rough) bricks, no more than 15 floors tall, like all popular buildings in the city where there’s still a million blocked properties and, therefore, they are inhabited by poor but privileged people. Almost all of them African-Americans. The neighborhood is on the periphery, but it’s green.
And in the middle of the small park, among the houses, there’s even a monument to Antonio Gramsci. Yes, it’s true, our Antonio. It’s made of a sculpture and three small wooden buildings in which some kind of political-cultural club is headquartered — they are very recent, from 2013 — built by Thomas Hirschhorn.
I traveled across half of New York to find the place, of which none of my friends in the Left Forum where I was a guest in the past days (as for the past 30 years), knew it even existed. But I’ve insisted because I saw time ago the image in The New York Times, accompanied by a long, somewhat skeptic, article explaining the genesis: a well known artist who decided to build similar monuments in popular neighborhoods in other cities, each one dedicated to a philosopher he thought to be very important: beside Gramsci, there’s Baruch Spinoza, George Bataille, Gilles Deleuze.
Someone, I don’t remember in which country in the world, confirmed to me that the statue really existed and that, an activist center inspired by Gramsci himself was created around the statue.