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Anthropology in action

22/09/2010 admin 0

A series of links and articles about how anthropology becomes when it decides to enter into action, i.e. coming out of an (impossible) “pure” observation and getting politically involved into the field it studies. In the seventies, in Italy, they used the expression “ricerca-intervento“, that translated the english “action research”. Many experiences of those times are having a continuity until today, for example the “inchiesta operaia” (worker’s inquiry) autogestionated and driven by activists or by the same people who participate of social conflicts. While the field of “applied anthropology” is being colonized by NGOs and development plans, almost always under control or even financed by the same governments, the social movements are developing some other forms of creation of knowledge. In Barcelona in 2004 a workshop was held (in the Ateneu de Nou Barris) with the title “Investigaccio“, the book Recerca activista i moviments socials (El Viejo Topo, 2005) was a product of this activity; among others, the anthropologist Jeff Juris collaborated with it. In the USA academies now there is a strong debate on what they call “public anthropology” (see the article by Robert Borofsky and the section Public Anthropology Review of American Anthropologist review). Also interesting is the perspective called
collaborative anthropology“, (see the article by Joanne Rappaport) that aims to break with the individual production of knowledge by the ethnographist. But it seems that in recent years this perspective basically dedicated to writing and reading blogs… To go back to our point: two books on anthropology and anarchism,

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.

“El Bon Pastón”

18/08/2010 admin 0

This short video documentary was made in 2004 by Núria Sánchez Armengol and Luciano Literas, starting from a series of recordings taken in the neighborhood of Bon Pastor in Barcelona. The popular casas baratas, 784 one storey “low-income” houses built in 1929 for immigrant workers, were undergoing the polemic “Urban renewal Plan” that entails the complete demolition of the neighborhood. In this documentary you can listen to neighbors’ voices, some agree, other disagree with the demolitions; while a special highlight is given to the resistance of “Avis del Barri” association: elder inhabitants of the “casas baratas” who struggle against the City Council’s Urban Renewal Plan. The same year, a few km further, the same City Council was building the “Forum 2004” and the residential estate “Diagonal Mar”. The video presents a critical reflection on these processes and on the impact of real estate speculation and urban renewal on Barcelona’s residents who are involved in it.

http://dvactivisme.blip.tv/file/493383/

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From “Plan de la Ribera” to “22@”: the transformation of the shore of Barcelona

14/08/2010 admin 0
"It's just like giving a knife to a 2-years-old child: they don't know what they're doing. That means, that we'll have beautiful buildings, but we have to look where they built them. There were things there, before".Jaume Pagès, former worker of Can Ricart
Between 2005 and 2006 we had been working on the neighborhood of Poblenou, under two different points of view. Historically, we tried to reconstruct the processes of resistance of residents of Poblenou that, in the sixties and seventies, were struck by the ambitious "Plan de la Ribera", with which the francoist mayor Porcioles tried to turn the northern shore of the city in a residential and leisure area. Ethnographically, we studied the contemporary processes through how residents and workers of the neighborhood reacted to the not-less-ambitious "Plan 22@", with which the socialist mayor Joan Clos, between 2000 and 2004, tried to turn the biggest part of Poblenou in a residential and leisure area. The work was too great for our forces, and finally we had to abandon the idea of studying the whole neighborhood of Poblenou (200 hectars). But we made a series of interviews with former activists and inhabitants about the "Plan de la Ribera", and many interviews about a particular case of "22@", the factories of Can Ricart.
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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. "

Des del Ressentiment (Barcelona, 2006)

14/08/2010 admin 0

Short documentary film we realized in 2006 on the factory of Can Ricart (Barcelona), under the effects of the “22@” urban renewal plan. All the industries and organizations that used the XVIIIth century stucture had to leave, as well as most of the inhabitants of the surrounding buildings. …

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Barcelona’s “La Mina”: a goldmine for city planners

14/08/2010 admin 0

“See how La Mina is changing, you can reed on a huge poster from Barcelona’s Ronda Litoral highway, past the enormous buildings of La Mina. This neighborhood was built in the ’60 to give housing to the inhabitants of the gypsy neighborhood of Campo de la Bota”, when the coast of Barcelona had to be cleaned, just where today there is the “Forum”. Francisco Franco himself inaugurated the neighborhood: its scale is still impressive, just imagine how it ways half a century ago to the eyes of those who came from the slums on the beach. In the occasion of 2004 Forum of Cultures, La Mina received another “integral urban renewal plan”, driven by the Consorcio de La Mina: after many years of useless negotiations with the Consorcio, the Platform of associations and residents of La Mina decided to move directly against the project, and asked us a survey on the opinions that La Mina’s residents have about the urban renewal plan. This report has been used within the legal actions that the Platform moved against the project. It’s very different to watch how La Mina is changing from a car running on the Ronda highway, and to see it through the eyes of its residents, in the squares between the buildings. They see the opposite part of the poster.

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From the center of Sevilla to the “3000 viviendas”

13/08/2010 admin 0
Polígono sur. El arte de las tresmil, de Dominique Abel (España-Francia, 2003) WATCH THE ENTIRE MOVIE. Life and art of the gypsies who lived in the historical districts of the center of Sevilla, evicted and now living in the neighborhood known as the "3000 viviendas" in the Poligono Sur. "Our roof was the sky. Now we have houses; heating; fridges; but we miss what we had before, those ideals we had before. Do you remember how it was in Triana, we had nothing to eat but we were in grace of God, with only a tomato, singing and dancing, no shoes, we didn't get ill".
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Camp de la Bota, 1974

13/08/2010 admin 0

13-1-1974, images from the archive of the journalist Maria Favà, taken in the slum of the Campo de la Bota, during the demolition and deportation of its residents towards the new blocks in La Mina (in the background). Now this area is known as the “Forum of Cultures 2004”. A memorial stone mentioned the thousands of political prisoners executed by Francisco Franco in this part of coast; it asked “peace, but not oblivion”. It was removed to celebrate the “Forum”.

  • PHOTOS OF CAMPO DE LA BOTA (Maria Favà, 13/1/1974) [ALBUM]
  • Campo de la Bota in the movie “Yo el Vaquilla” (José Antonio de la Loma, 1985) [link to youtube]
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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".
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Sarai Martín

21/04/2010 admin 0

Sarai Martín López (Badalona, 1995) is a predoctoral researcher at the University of Barcelona, in which she has developed since 2020 a thesis on the logics of representation, circulation and consumption of “artistic” objects categorised as ethnic –in particular those that are themed as Africans– that operate today in the city of Barcelona. In 2018 he graduated in Social and Cultural Anthropology and, in 2019, he studied the Master’s Degree in Anthropology and Ethnography at the same institution. From 2016 to 2019 he carried out field work in parties for singles organised in the capital of Barcelona, within the framework of an ethnographic research on contemporary forms of sex-affective relationship and processes of commodification of artifacts. This research has recently been formalised with the publication of the book Singles. Una aproximación a fiestas para “solteros” (Bellaterra, 2021).

Since 2018, he has been a member of the Grup de Recerca en Exclusió i Controls Socials (GRECS) and the’Observatori d’Antropologia del Conflicte Urbà (OACU). She is also a member of the Institut Català d’Antropologia (ICA), from which she has been able to participate in various research projects supported by the same institution thanks to the support of the Observatori de Patrimoni Etnològic i Immaterial (OPEI) and the Institut Ramón Muntaner (IRMU).

In 2020-2021 he carried out field work in the Badalona neighborhood of Pomar, in the context of a study that has made it possible to document the impact that, on a scale of socio-spatial representation, had on the neighborhood and its population at the end of the seventies and eighties the filming of Perros Callejeros II, by José Antonio de la Loma. It has also been interested in the processes of periferisation and urban pacification.

She has developed and collaborated with the research project for the study and recovery of historical memory. It is currently carrying out an ethnohistorical investigation into the struggle of anti-Franco women during the late Franco regime and the transition in the Valles municipality of Santa Perpetua de Mogoda, funded by the same Santa Perpetua City Council and the Cercle de Recerca d’Estudis de la Mogoda (CREM). Following this line, she has collaborated in an investigation into the awareness-raising processes of anti-Franco militants in Catalonia, coordinated by Manuel Delgado and sponsored by the Memorial Democràtic. She has also participated as a support for research in initiatives organised by the European Observatory on Memories (EUROM).…