Evictions and citizenship in Casablanca

14/10/2018 admin 0
Thousands of residents of a self-built neighborhood have been evicted, their house demolished in few hours. They have been living there for almost a century; now they are camping near the ruins, and want to give up their Moroccan citizenship.

War and gentrification in Kurdistan

17/10/2016 admin 0
War and urban renewal mingle in south-eastern Turkey, where the government wages its war against the kurdish movement also through the demolition of traditional neighborhoods and the displacement of residents in huge public-housing blocks.
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More on Barcelona’s city center: “The Melody of Raval”, by Manuel Vázquez Montalbán

09/01/2011 admin 0
"Here we were all born in leftover neighborhoods, rounded by leftovers, waiting to grow up, to get old, or better said, to deconstruct ourselves; so we can receive all your sociologists, all your social psychologists, your substitute mayor, your worst dressed politician, the sons of your good neighborhoods that will give us examples on how to use abilities and efforts to help us out of the leftover neighborhoods; this is, you give us your leftover social science, your leftover psychology, your leftover mayor, your leftover solidarity, even your leftover fear, for sometimes you think that you yourselves could have been born in the leftover neighborhoods, that you could be leftovers yourselves; this is why you come down here to look at us playing the part of the assisted classes, useless even for production because robotics replaced us, and because our condition of leftovers can't compete anymore with leftovers from even more impoverished parts of the planet.
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History and its distortions in the center of Barcelona

29/12/2010 admin 0
To understand the recent urban and social transformations in Barcelona's Barrio Chino, historical center of the town (that now, after gentrification and demolitions, we have to call "Raval") often the attention goes towards the subproletarians living and smuggling in the neighborhood: "an underworld of immoral behaviour" (1943). But it would be more useful to study another kind of commerces, much darker and of greater scale, than those of the underworld. The catalan bourgeoisie had been trying to transform and demolish Barcelona's city center during more than a century: this project had to wait during the dictatorship, but in the eighties the old dream came back to life. "These 200 families that had been holding power during 150 years, invested in purchasing blocks of flats in central Barcelona, so they would make lots of money when these neighborhoods would have been demolished and rebuilt". Read Adolf Castaños' Memory and its distortions (inedited, 2010) in English (pending revision). (original Spanish)

Istanbul: living in voluntary and involuntary exclusion

19/09/2010 admin 0
During 2005-2010 there have been about 1 million evictions in Istanbul. The residents of gecekondus are evicted to enormous public housing estates in the extreme periphery, where they are hit by intents to "civilize" and normalize the population - almost always Kurdish, Roma, Armenians or low-class Turkish.
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The horizontal city: the neighborhoods of Cases Barates in Barcelona

13/09/2010 admin 0

Our research group began working in 2008 on the Casas Baratas de Bon Pastor, in the north periphery of Barcelona. It's a special neighborhood: more than 600 one-story houses, every one of them painted in a different color, in the middle of factories and industrial zones, on the shore of the Besós river. Built in 1929 in the middle of nowhere, to give housing to the immigrant factory workers (“murcianos y de la FAI”, they called it in those times), now it's an urban space more similar to a village than to a neighborhood of an occidental metropolis. A project of the Barcelona City Council, owner of all the houses, entails the “remodelation” of the whole area, through the demolition of the "casas baratas": the first 145 where demolished in 2007, a few months before we began our research. The inhabitants of the neighborhoods are suffering a series of “social pathologies” that go along the physical demolition of the houses: the social networks (neighbors, relatives...) are suffering the consequences of the urban transformation, and the "humanscape" of the neighborhood is changing maybe even faster than the physical landscape.

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Let’s begin with a poem

14/08/2010 admin 0
This is an excerpt from the last verses of Pierpaolo Pasolini's Le ceneri di Gramsci, written in Rome in 1956. To us, this is the beginning of everything; it still contains almost everything. "A gridare è, straziata da mesi e anni di mattutini sudori - accompagnata dal muto stuolo dei suoi scalpellini, la vecchia scavatrice: ma, insieme, il fresco sterro sconvolto, o, nel breve confine dell'orizzonte novecentesco, tutto il quartiere... È la città, sprofondata in un chiarore di festa, - è il mondo. Piange ciò che ha fine e ricomincia. Ciò che era area erbosa, aperto spiazzo, e si fa cortile, bianco come cera, chiuso in un decoro ch'è rancore; ciò che era quasi una vecchia fiera di freschi intonachi sghembi al sole, e si fa nuovo isolato, brulicante in un ordine ch'è spento dolore. Piange ciò che muta, anche per farsi migliore. "
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Naples, 2013 Forum of Cultures

13/08/2010 admin 0
"The first edition of the Forum of Cultures, in Barcelona in 2004, was a failure: the ambitious program of cultural events served only as a cover for a huge speculative operation on the popular neighborhood of Poblenou and on the city coast. In the same way in Naples, Forum 2013 will be the Trojan horse through which heavily revalorize for tourism and real estate the city's historical center and the area of Bagnoli, speeding up the expulsion of the low-income classes towards the peripheries, and to increase constructions on the coast of Coroglio".