Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Italian Funeral Notices

There are many things one will see in Naples and other parts of Italy. One will see lots of disturbingly damaged cars (see previous post); many disturbingly dead pigeons and birds (in some cases I don't even know how they got killed so horribly, was it some sort of wacko Ripper di Pigeon that got at them??), and also, many of these curious posters that look like party posters but aren't....

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Francesco Fischetti? Who's Francesco Fischetti?
Why is Jesus' logo on top? Is he having a church party? What do all these words mean?
Oh... oh wait... OH NO... Agenzia Funebre? Is that like.... an italian funeral agency?
Is the man actually having.... a Funeral Party???

Eventually we figured out they were... funeral notices. Apparently they don't always put funeral notices in newspapers in Italy, they print it on a sheet of white A3 paper and stick in the area where the person had lived. For a city with tiny corridors and a particular configuration of streets that its entire citizens cannot avoid walking through daily, I think this is a fantastic method of spreading the word.

Anyway, uh... enjoy this collection of funeral notices from Naples and the adjourning area of Pompei...

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When I saw the variety of posters, I immediately imagined that people in Italy must be collecting photos of funeral notices, making templates and creating their own "MAKE YOUR OWN PARODIC FUNERAL NOTICE" webapps for laughs (but in Italian. Oh, the hitherto unexplored world of ITALIAN MEMES!). Or if not then we should get in on that action... But what I really want to know is: where did this "tradition" start and who designed it? Who chose the fonts? Why are all the fonts more or less the same? Is there a guidebook or rule on how you can design a funeral notice? Its the same thing I wonder about funeral notices in newspapers. Who designed them in the first place? Who created this "convention" of funeral notices in Italy?

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