Centri sociali

Centri sociali

The heart of Italian hip hop lies within the centri sociali. These social centers appeared all over Italy during the mid nineteen eighties, they were a result of the recession and resignation of nineteen seventies left-wing militant students and youth that were dissatisfied with authority. As youths with no money, place to meet, or fondness of authority they occupied abandoned buildings and the once vacant structures that were renovated and occupied by self-organized groups of youths began to become filled with life as if they were operational factories, schools, prisons, gas stations, or stores that they once were before abandonment. These refurbished buildings became semi-legal, unconventional, independently run activity centers. The centri sociali were often located in the outer suburbs of large cities and were run cooperatively by several groups that used the facilities as underground drop-in centers, youth clubs, drug rehabilitation sites, recording studios, cinemas, art galleries, and eventually even computer venues that specialized in computer hacking. As a retreat for disgruntled youths it is only natural that the centri sociali became a breeding ground for Italian political music.

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