Stefano Portelli (Rome, 1976), independent researcher attached to the Institut Català d’Antropologia, founding member of the Research group of Perifèries Urbanes, administrator of the website http://periferiesurbanes.org, and member of the multidisciplinary collective of anthropologists, architects and town planners Repensar Bonpastor. He graduated in Cultural Anthropology in 2001 from the University of Rome “La Sapienza” with a thesis on the contradictions of international development cooperation based on field work in the periphery of Managua (Nicaragua), valued with the highest note summa cum laude. In Barcelona, it dealt with the social impact of urban transformations and the interaction between collective memory and struggles for the territory, promoting projects subsidised by the ICA and the Memorial Democràtic de Catalunya. Mentrestant treballava com a educador social amb infants i menors no acompanyats, interessant-se en les ideologies del control i en l’autonomia dels nens en l’espai públic.
Starting in 2004 he began field work in the neighborhood of cheap houses of the Bon Pastor, which was being demolished. In collaboration with an association of local residents, and with a coordinating team by Professor Manuel Delgado, the research focused on past and present forms of opposition to the planning and impact of the reconfiguration of the space on the everyday and perceptions of the inhabitants, with special interest in the dynamics of immigration and exclusion, on the techniques of conflict resolution, and the autonomy of children. In 2009 this work was subsidised by l’Inventari del Patrimoni Etnològic de Catalunya, and the resulting monograph “La ciutat horitzontal: lluita social i memòria col·lectiva a les cases barates de Barcelona”, was published in 2015 in Catalan and in Spanish.
In 2007-2008 I attended the training “Ethnopsychiatrie des nouveaux désordres psychosociaux” at the Georges Dévereux Centre of the University of Paris VIII, focusing since then on ethnotechnics for conflict management and psychological problems, in particular the practices of adorcism linked to Sufi brotherhoods: He resided in Larache (Marrecos) during 2009-2010, and is currently investigating the adaptation of these techniques to the context of the diaspora in Europe, and analysing the applications of space anthropology in social and therapeutic intervention.