The dreams of architecture

One of GRIDAS's graffiti in Scampia (Naples).

Secondigliano, Miano, Piscinola, all the northern periphery, and most of all Scampia, the youngest and most cursed neighborhood of Napols, have been covered with negative symbols, emblems of something dark and persistent, that by extension stains all the tens of thousands people that, in the peripheries, keep living a normal life“. (Rossomando, 2007). For Scampia’s “Le Vele”, the enormous buildings erected in the 70s as a progressive and modernist project, and that now have become an internationally renown scenario of crime and marginality, the City Council is looking again for an architectural solution: to demolish or to preserve? The utopia is the “tabula rasa”, i.e. solving social problems by tearing down and start again, or emptying and convert into a monument. “The complexity of places is poorly reduced to the choice between demolition and capitalization, both easy and spectacular solutions based on an attack on inhabitants’ history” (Nocera 2010). Different are the utopias that follow all the people who struggle every day supporting the gypsies of Scampia’s Rom community, the inhabitants of “Le Vele”, the families suffering the consequences of so many years of corruption and crime. Will all this also end up into a “tabula rasa”?

  • Ugo Nocera, Marcello Anselmo (2010) “Le Vele di Scampìa e la tentazione della tabula rasa”, in Lo Squaderno n.18 , pp. 51-55 [PDF (italian and english)]
  • Luca Rossomando (2007) “La Voragine di Secondigliano”, in Nazione Indiana [link]
  • Webpage of GRIDAS – Gruppo Risveglio Dal Sonno (Waking up from sleep), association founded in Scampia in 1981 by Felice Pignataro (1940-2004), “with the aim of offering ways of waking up the consciences asleep”. More than 200 graffitis, mosaicos, workshops, and 23 years of Carnavals in the neighborhood, is a heritage of creativity for Scampia and for social revenge of the peripheries. In 2010 GRIDAS received an eviction order for the public facility they recovered from degradation more than 20 years ago.
  • Punta Corsara association together with Teatro Mercadante, are leading since 2006 the incredible Arrevuoto theatre project, in which are involved more than 50 boys and girls from Scampia, some of them gypsies, other not.
  • Le vele di Scampia ovvero il fallimento dell’utopia” in
Foto de portada del libro "GRIDAS - L'utopia per le strade"

Gigi Finizio e i ragazzi di Scampia, Musica e speranza (2006)[audio:]