Scienze del Territorio / Territorial Sciences
Vol. 11, no. 2: “Territories of conflict, cohabitation, migration”
edited by Ilaria Agostini, Enzo Scandurra and Diletta Vecchiarelli
Call for papers – deadline: October 15th, 2023
Multi-species and multi-ethnic cohabitations raise substantial questions about the anthropocentrism that has marked our relationship with the natural environment and shaped a global capitalism that, today, alters environmental balances, causes war and genocide, and triggers massive migration flows.
A mighty wall built by the capital – writes Mike Davis – divides rich countries from the poor majority of the Earth: one half of the planet is separated by a border line about twelve thousand kilometres long, militarised and thus deadly for the desperate attempting to cross it. Twelve thousand kilometres, a veritable “rift of the human race” – reads the Last Twenty 2022 Report – “which, if it were to deepen, would dig an abyss between the humans who populate this planet”.
A boundary that, however, is ineffective when it comes to the circulation of non-human life, which, as the writer Paolo Cognetti points out, knows no frontiers. But which is also ineffective – this time due to the Market Reason – as for the free circulation of financial flows and, partly, of global tourism.
Along the borders Europe has ‘outsourced’ to Turkey, Morocco, Libya, etc., an ‘invisible war’ is being fought. A war against ‘enemies’ animated by the intention – in their quest for a newly habitable world – to establish the right to equality among humans. The inalienable right, prior to any jurisdiction, of a dignified life before a dignified burial is expressed in Sophocles’ words delivered to Antigone’s voice: “I did not think your decrees had so much power as to make a mortal infringe unwritten laws”.
Yet, migratory movements – on a par with the introduction of alien living species turning into a social danger, or the ‘spillover’ of a virus capable of stopping the planet – are currently interpreted as ‘invasions’. Invasions that are never sufficiently related to the pillage of their countries of origin by the rich global North. Moreover, such a pillage is now being perpetrated even on this side of the borders in the name of Ecological transition, which, in part, calls into question the “brutal rush out of Europe”. With this expression, the philosopher Achille Mbembe, in his Critique of negro reason, defined the ‘white’ colonisation that today turns its gaze even to the resources of the Old continent to make profit out of them through renewed instruments of domination: violence, grabbing of common goods and new ‘terrae nullius’, aimed at the installation of infrastructures, energy, mining and production mega-structures, privatisation of primary resources (water, services, soil, etc.).
Anthropological and environmental otherness raise issues about the local dimension. Territorial, cultural and species affiliations are called into question by the competition for finite resources (land, work, energy, welfare, etc.), the ceaseless reformulation and experimentation of new possible cohabitations, but especially by the otherness of which the migrant figure is the bearer, by the gaze of those arriving from outside who demand legitimate rights, by the clash between welcome and rejection, brother/sisterhood and conflict, new citizenship and illegality.
Fallouts of migration also emerge in territories and cities of transit and arrival. Here migrant people – bearers of ‘other’ cultural and spiritual perspectives – provide, by virtue of their otherness, a cue for innovative analyses and interpretations of existing contexts. If allowed to take an active role in territorial evolution, this ‘new people’ could participate in the construction of future scenarios of ‘lifenet’ cohabitation and sharing, useful for the elaboration of a long hoped-for liberation from territorial, patriarchal and capitalist hierarchies.
Italy – an impervious landing place to Fortress Europe – shows a strong mistrust and resistance to inclusion. Such ‘surplus humanity’ is held at the margins of society, in a suspension of rights, in a condition of ‘discard’ characterised by: racial and gender discrimination; labour exploitation and insecurity in workplaces; trafficking of bodies; imprisonment in institutional camps (CPT, CIE, CPR, etc.) and housing precariousness in informal settlements, the so-called ‘ghettos’; hyper-mobility related to scarce opportunities and seasonality of work; difficulty in accessing public healthcare and services; precariousness of legal, health and psychic conditions (as a result of an irreparable “existential-political rupture”, wrote Donatella Di Cesare); linguistic barriers determining aphasia in the migrant person.
Labour and housing, in particular, represent two extremely important thematic areas.
First, migrant labour in territories with monocultural specialisations (agriculture, agroindustry, textile industry, logistics, third sector, etc.). In such “factories of racism” (Mbembe), migrant labour is subjected to exploitation and illegal recruitment, ethnic division of labour, “refugeeisation” (how Caruso and Omizzolo define the organisation of labour on certain social types), poor unionisation, etc.. This widespread and repeated condition of hierarchization and exploitation of labour cannot be considered unrelated to the functionalisation of migratory flows, i.e. the inward selection on the basis of labour functions, taking place through legal and spatial control policies and devices.
Second, the issue of ‘migrant housing’, marked by the persistent and structural emergency approach to the migratory phenomenon (one example among many: the allocation of social housing to residents of more than five years in the municipalities). The unstable housing condition, thus, reflects the exclusion of foreign persons from the state, its institutions and administrations, a condition that gives them incomplete citizenship, of inferior rank, built primarily – according to Jacques Rancière’s reflections – upon “the criminalisation of undesirable non-citizens”.
With this proposal, therefore, we aim at sheding light on practices and research pertaining to the territorialist approach centred on: inter-species fair cohabitations; inter-ethnic and multicultural communities; housing informality and new forms of cohabitation; socio-spatial inclusion and community/territorial participation; practices of overcoming gender discrimination related to the migrant world; labour informality and new cooperative, mutualistic and environmentally responsible economies; territorial innovation capable of reinventing social cohesion, territorial communities, new shared territorial knowledge that may become institutional and common practices.
Submission deadline and procedure
Articles – written and to be published, in case of acceptance, in Italian, English, French or Spanish – must be submitted through the digital platform accessible, after registration, at https://oajournals.fupress.net/index.php/sdt/about/submissions.
Deadline: October 15th, 2023.
Articles should strictly comply with the submission guidelines accessible at https://bit.ly/35a1lzm, with a special attention to the part concerning darkening of authors’ personal data, and contain any additional elements required therein. Since the first submission, an English version of the abstract is required.
For any further information: firstname.lastname@example.org