Universal Mentors Association

What’s Going On in This Picture? | April 24, 2023


This week’s image comes from the article “Why Are These Italians Massacring Each Other With Oranges?” The article, published on March 21, describes how every winter, the northern Italian town of Ivrea erupts into a ferocious three-day festival where its citizens pelt one another with 900 tons of oranges.

The article begins:

It looked as if a war was coming. It was. One Sunday last month, in a northern Italian town called Ivrea, the facades of historic buildings were covered with plastic sheeting and nets. Storefront windows had been fortified with plywood and tarps. And in several different piazzas, hundreds of wooden crates had appeared, walls of them stacked eight feet high and even farther across. The crates looked like barricades but were actually arms depots. Inside them were oranges. Oranges, the fruit.

Over the next three days, 8,000 people in Ivrea would throw 900 tons of oranges at one another, one orange at a time, while tens of thousands of other people watched. They would throw the oranges very hard, very viciously, often while screaming profanities at their targets or yowling like Braveheart, and they would throw the oranges for hours, until their eyebrows were matted with pulp and their shirts soaked through. But they would also keep smiling as they threw the oranges, embracing and joking and cheering one another on, exhibiting with their total beings a deranged-seeming but euphoric sense of abandon and belonging — a freedom that was easy to envy but difficult to understand.

The original photo caption reads, “An orange thrower from Team Death taking aim.”

Andrea Frazzetta is the photographer.


See all images in this series or slide shows of 40 of our favorite images — or 40 more.

Learn more about this feature in this video, and discover how and why other teachers are using it in their classrooms in our on-demand webinar.

Find out how teachers can be trained in the Visual Thinking Strategies facilitation method.

Students 13 and older in the United States and the Britain, and 16 and older elsewhere, are invited to comment. All comments are moderated by the Learning Network staff, but please keep in mind that once your comment is accepted, it will be made public.


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