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Sunday, February 21, 2021

ELFO in Rome


As those who follow Rome the Second Time may know, the administrators of the website are keen observers of Rome's WALLS.  Over the years, we have learned a great deal about the city's politics, about its heroes and villains, its neo-fascists and do-gooders, its martyrs and activists.  

And so, when we landed in the neighborhood of Pigneto in the spring of 2019, we were pleased to find an area dense with posters, graffiti, wall art and wall writing. Much of what we found was familiar.  But not the word ELFO, which appeared in several places, sometimes simply as "ELFO," but also as "ELFO AMOK" and "ELFO AMOK/LF.LF."  A mystery to be sure: possibly the initials of a local activist, or those of an anti-fascist martyred in the "Anni di Piombo," the "Years of Lead," a reference to a decade of ideological conflict and violence, assassination and murder, that began in the 1970s. Another layer of Rome's political onion, peeled away.  

Alas, none of that proved to be true. As we later learned, ELFO (which means "elf," a mythical being), refers to the animated television series "Disenchantment," written and produced by Matt Groening (best known for "The Simpsons," whose characters also appear on Rome walls), which premiered on Netflix in August, 2018--just in time to inspire the person or persons who chose to celebrate it on Pigneto's walls.  

It's in the genre of medieval fantasy, and it's set in the kingdom of Dreamland. As far as I know, it has nothing to do with Rome.  Sorry about that. 


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