For 853 years, the town of Acquapendente, Italy has celebrated hope and victory over oppression. In 1166, two peasants witnessed the blooming of a near-dead cherry tree and took it as a sign of hope that their town could gain freedom from their oppressor. Every year since the revolt, villagers have held a festival and created pugnaloni—huge, stunning mosaics of flower petals that tell the story of triumph over bondage and injustice past and present.
Some of this year’s mosaics depict current themes of exploitation of migrants, human trafficking and child abuse. They also invite and inspire viewers to hold out hope while working toward justice.
Written by Carol Metzker