Foreigner Rome (the uses of diversity)

Piazza della Marranella en Roma. Photo from "Pisacane News"(2008)

Zoning means that some parts of the city, for real estate or urbanistic reasons, are devoted to certain groups of population: if there are neighborhoods where immigrants live, it’s obvious that the schools of these neighborhoods have to cope with much more children born from foreigners. Such is the situation in Torpignattara, in the east periphery of Rome: a primary school is undergoing a series of public debates abounding in words like “ghetto”, “emergency”, “alarm”, “banlieue”. While right and left-wing politicians declare themselves worried for the school’s “italianity”, its teachers are carrying out their work worthy of the best italian pedogogical tradition, using diversity as a resort to supply to the massive cuts and decadence of public education. Until when they will call them “foreigners”? Rome is changing, and while some use this transformation to boost war among the poor, others understood its potential to come through the cultural and political stagnation of the so-called “Italian society”.

“I’m a foreigner, I’m a guest in Italy. I run to school to learn Italian. I’m African, I run from animals carrying weapons. We are not African, we are not European, where are we all from?” Geedi Kuule Yusuf, “Istaranyeeri baan ahaayo” (Soy extranjero), preview from the record “Istaranyeeri” to be published soon by Circolo Gianni Bosio