Discussione de ‘La colpa di non avere un tetto’, di Daniela Leonardi, Eris, Torino

A dieci anni dal mio ‘Il numero 1‘, Eris Edizioni ha pubblicato un bel saggio di Daniela Leonardi intitolato ‘La colpa di non avere un tetto: Homelessness tra stigma e stereotipi’

Questo Mercoledì, 22 Sett, h. 18:30, @ Magazzino sul Po (Murazzi lato sx), lo discuterò con l’autrice. Info su Facebook, o qui sotto.

L’autrice, Daniela Leonardi (Assegnista di Ricerca presso l’Università di Parma, dove si occupa di Sociologia Applicata nell’ambito dei sistemi di welfare. Si occupa da 12 anni di homelessness da vari punti di osservazione e intervento: ricerca, lavoro all’interno dei servizi di accoglienza, formazione, comunicazione pubblica) discuterà con Michele Lancione (Professore di Geografia Economico-Politica presso il Politecnico di Torino e co-fondatore del Radical Housing Journal).

Barboni, senzatetto, clochard, homeless, accattoni, senza fissa dimora: i termini che usiamo per riferirci a chi non ha una casa in cui abitare portano con sé il retrogusto amaro dei pregiudizi e degli stereotipi. Quello che queste parole non dicono è che la condizione di essere senza casa, per un periodo di tempo più o meno lungo, è qualcosa che chiunque può trovarsi a vivere. Daniela Leonardi racconta le persone senza dimora cercando di decostruire lo stigma, per raccontarle appunto come persone e per mostrare come la loro condizione sia generata non da colpe personali ma soprattutto da politiche inefficienti.

Roundtable on housing with Gago, Khosla, Williamson & myself at UK-Ireland Planning Conference

If you are attending the UK-Ireland Planning Research Conference, don’t miss tomorrow’s (9th Sept 2021) roundtable on ‘Worldwide perspectives on (in)justice in planning with a focus on housing precarity’.

Featuring Verónica Gago, Renu Khosla, Theresa Williamson and myself.

Thanks to the wonderful Gabriel Silvestre, Cat Button and Helen Underhill for organising it!



Another junior post-doc available on my ERC – Deadline 04 Aug

Oggi è uscito un ulteriore bando per un assegno junior sul mio progetto ERC — si tratta di un anno rinnovabile, aperto a persone interessate alla componente gestionale e di programmazione europea del progetto.

Il lavoro consisterà nell’approfondire con me tutta la questione etica del programma di lavoro, nell’approntare il Beyond Inhabitation Lab, e nello sviluppare la carriera del ricercatore/trice nell’ambito della geografia critica della marginalità.

Scade: 04/08/21 ore 15

Requisiti: Parlare fluentemente Inglese; Pubblicazioni di livello internationale negli studi urbani; Ricollocamento a Torino

Indian Urban World @RC21

Join AbdouMaliq Simone & me today #RC21Antwerp for a wonderful panel with Gautam Bhan, Rupali Gupte, Ratoola Kundu, Anant Maringanti & Prasad Shetty
“What Difference Does a Year Make: Indian Urban Worlds. A conversation among friends”
2pm CEST – https://live.eventinsight.io/1677-rc21/virtualevent/# (need registration)

Abusive detention in Libya & the role of the Italian Government in it

“Libya has long been unsafe for refugees and migrants. Both state and non-state actors subject them to a catalogue of human rights violations and abuses including unlawful killings, torture and other ill-treatment, rape and other sexual violence, indefinitearbitrary detention in cruel and inhuman conditions, and forced labour, among others. Despite well-documented patterns of horrific abuse committed with impunity for over a decade, European states and institutions continue to provide material support and pursue migration policies enabling Libyan coastguards to intercept men, women and children attempting to flee to safety by crossing the Mediterranean Sea andforciblyreturn them to Libya, where they are transferred to abusive detention and face renewed cycles of human rights violations.”

Amnesty International has just released a new report titled ‘No one will look for you‘, showing how, since late 2020 Libyan authorities have “legitimized informal places of captivity with unremedied histories of abuse against refugees and migrants by integrating them into the official migration detention infrastructure.”

The report is a must-read for anyone interested in understanding the latest phase of the fascist anti-migration politics put in place for decades by the European Union. A keystone of the EU approach is to delegate border control to Mediterranean’s States with – to say the least – dubious respect for humanitarian rights, including Libya and Turkey.

In this politics, Italy plays a major role. The Italian Government has just announced its re-financing of the Libyan ‘Costal Guard’, who has a proven track record of harassment towards African migrants and dangerous practices against migrants’ vessels in the open Sea. The video below shows one of the latest episodes, reported by Sea Watch Italy.

The way in which we are defending our borders reveals what we are really defending. Our rotten values.

Inhabiting Radical Housing job adverts on-line (deadline: 22/07/21)

Dear Colleagues,

The job adverts for the 5 post-doctoral positions I am currently offering have opened. In what follows, I am summarising the jobs on offer, and providing the related links to reach the application pages on the Careers.Polito website.

All jobs pertain to my ‘Inhabiting Radical Housing’ project, financed through a 5-year European Research Council grant (overview, here). Researchers will join a new ‘Beyond Inhabitation Lab’ at the DIST, Polytechnic and University of Turin, Italy (relocation is essential). Salary is roughly €1.700 a month (net, after-tax) plus a generous research allowance. The research fellows must be open to collective work, and adhere to an anti-racist, non-binary, and mutually supportive working ethos. Working language will be English, and I am dedicated to the development of the researchers’ career. A PhD title must be owned at the time of application (no exception possible).

If you are interested in applying, please make sure to read this message till the end, since I am providing some guidance to potential applicants.


Links to current job applications

Pages will open in Italian. Click on the ‘ENG’ button at the top-right corner of the page to load the pages in English. The PDFs found on the application page (see below) will load in English only if you click the ‘ENG’ button, otherwise, they will load in Italian. The working language of these posts is English.


There are 4 three-year positions available:

  1. Post-doctoral research fellow – 100% research – requiring ethnographic experiences on housing struggles, homelessness scholarship, and decolonial methods at the global scale
  2. Post-doctoral research fellow – 100% research – requiring ethnographic experiences on housing/urban/inhabitation struggles in the Latin American context
  3. Post-doctoral research fellow – 100% research – requiring ethnographic experiences on housing/urban/inhabitation struggles in the Indian or SE Asian context
  4. Post-doctoral research fellow – 100% research – requiring ethnographic experiences on housing/urban/inhabitation struggles in the Sub-Saharan African context

You can apply for any of these four jobs using the same call, and the same procedure. It is application number 148/2021- AR: https://careers.polito.it/default.aspx?id=148/2021-%20AR


There is a further 1-year position available (renewable for 2-year):

  1. Post-doctoral research fellow – 100% research with time dedicated to the development of the ‘Beyond Inhabitation’ lab – requiring ethnographic experiences on housing/inhabitation struggles in the Italian context

You can apply for this specific following the application number 149/2021- AR: https://careers.polito.it/default.aspx?id=149/2021-%20AR  


Future job offers

In the late summer/early fall, there will be a further opening for a Senior Research Fellow (RTD-A in the Italian system) for a candidate, fluent in Italian, with extensive international experience of research on housing precarity, housing struggle, urban geography, and radical politics. The position will be 100% research. I’ll post the application’s link on Twitter, Facebook, in relevant lists and on my own blog.


Applications’ modality

All you need to know in order to apply is written in the linked pages. Please note that the system is very bureaucratic and that its quirks are beyond my control. I pledge you to read the provided information carefully. In particular, please check the three PDFs documents listed in the application page(s):

  • ‘Bando’: This is the general document explaining the procedure for applicants. Please read it carefully
  •  ‘FAQ’: Most common queries replied to
  • ‘Avviso’: This is the specific call for the jobs on offer. Read it since it contains all the information needed in order to apply

Please note that pages might open up automatically in Italian. If that happens, fear not: simply click the ‘ENG’ button on the top-right end side of each page.


Closing date for applications

The Closing Date for Applications is 22/07/2021, 15:00 CEST. Please consider that it might take you a couple of days to produce all the documentation needed to apply. Applications received after this date will be automatically rejected.


Cost of the application

For reasons beyond my control, the Polytechnic of Turin asks each candidate to pay a €10 fee to submit their application. This is a practice adopted by other European Universities too: one that I despise, reject and fight. Unfortunately, it is (yet!) beyond my power for this step to be removed from the process. The system will ask you to show proof of a €10 bank transfer to the Polytechnic at the time of submission, or you will be automatically discarded.

On political grounds, I am happy to support applicants who cannot afford to pay these monies in order to be considered for these jobs. If you fall in this category, I will ask you no question: simply write an email to michele.lancione@polito.it and I will process a €10 bank transfer to the Polytechnic, writing your name in the ‘reference’, or wire you the amount directly if preferable. I will also make sure your application will not be discarded if I make the wire on your behalf.

Please note I have received 200+ emails of candidates expressing their interests for these jobs, so do approach me for financial support only if genuinely needed. Thank you.


Other relevant info

Once again, please consider the application is fairly bureaucratic. Take your time to read through the available documentation and – only if strictly necessary – do contact me at least 5-days ahead of the final deadline to receive assistance.


Thank you for considering these posts!



Professor of Economic and Political Geography
DIST, Polytechnic and University of Turin
Visiting Professor of Urban Studies, Urban Institute, University of Sheffield
PI, ERC Starting Grant “Inhabiting Radical Housing”
The Radical Housing Journal | Corresponding Editor, IJURR
@michelelancioneProfilo in Italiano

New book: Global Urbanism, edited with Colin McFarlane

My video response to the Los Angeles Department ‘Walk the Talk’ Skid Row archive project

In the collective imaginary – but also in much detrimental journalistic and scholarly ‘work’ – #SkidRow in #LosAngeles is presented only as a place of neglect and despair. Yet, as bell hooks taught us, margins are never just a place of annihilation but can become sites of embodied mundane resistance against structural, often racialised, violence. These embodiments do not speak only of being ‘resilient’, but challenge the conditions of their formations.

Some years ago, I was lucky enough to encounter the people at the Los Angeles Poverty Department. With their work cutting across performative arts and grounded #housingactivism, they provide a quintessential community resource for residents in Skid Row. One of their initiatives is called ‘Walk the Talk’, and it consists of a biannual parade of local performers – a moment of celebration for many men and women in the community.

Now an impressive multi-media archive gives all of us access to 68 performers talking about life, #homelessness, #radicalhousing, #resistance. This is genuinely one of the most powerful archives around ‘homelessness’, and everything that goes with it, which I ever had the pleasure to excavate and enjoy.

I am honoured I was invited to respond to its creation along with a number of other people. You can check the Archive and the available responses here: https://app.reduct.video/lapd/walk-the-talk/#/responses

If you want to know more about the Los Angeles Poverty Department, and in particular about the Archive project, check https://lapovertydept.org/walk-the-talk-2020-5-23/

Thanks to the wonderful John Malpede, Henriëtte Brouwers and Clancey Cornell, and to Skid Row residents and performers for having me.

Overview of my ERC Inhabiting Radical Housing for Job Applicants (post-docs advert in late 06/21)

(14/7/21) Check here a new post, with the job application links.

I will soon start hiring for my European Research Council (ERC) Inhabiting Radical Housing project, which is now ready to start at the DIST (Polytechnic of Turin) and will last until August 2025.

The available positions include 4 post-doctoral fellowships for 36 months and 1 further post-doc for 12 months (renewable). I have prepared a prospectus expanding on the info reported below, which can be downloaded by clicking here.

Researchers will have to move to Turin, where they will be able to work with me, in English, on an extremely exciting research project around the global fight against housing precarity.

I am willing to hire scholars working in the fields of Geography, Anthropology, Sociology and Urban Studies at large, who are interested in ethnographically exploring the struggle for inhabitation at the intersections where housing meets forms of structural violence. The project will explore geographies worldwide but will be moved by a commitment to situated knowledge production and willingness to support localised struggles.

The hiring is open to politically driven scholars from around the world, dedicated to high-quality scholarship and engagement, who I will support in the development of their intellectual and career goals. Researchers will be able to join a newly established Beyond Inhabitation Lab, which greatly expands on the remit of the project, and will allow for meaningful exchange and knowledge production across geographies.

The positions will become available in late June, and the application process will stay open roughly until mid-July (a new post on this blog will signal the page for application). Selection will include titles and colloquia, and I envisage a starting date around late September 2021 (to allow visa proceedings and other paperwork). Salary starts at a minimum of €1.770 per month, after-tax, and generous research funding will be available.

Please feel free to circulate this info, and to get in touch if you need any clarification.


Issue 3.1 of the Radical Housing Journal out now!

Our fifth issue of the Radical Housing Journal is now out.

Featuring 300+ pages of outstanding content, including 2 special issues, & southern conversations on housing/COVID in Lagos, Jakarta, Argentina, Manila, Lebanon & Brazil

Peer-reviewed, open-source: grab it here!

This is the result of a year-long collective work (much work!) by the following group of editors: Ana Vilenica Erin MC EL Alejandra Reyes, Hung-Ying Chen, Samantha Thompson, Solange Muñoz & yours truly.

The Issue 3.1 Editorial team would like to extend special thanks to the RHJ copy-editing team, Melissa García, Andrea Gibbons, Samantha Thompson and Solange Munoz, and to Felicia Berryessa-Erich for wonderful cover design, as well as for setting up the website together with Mara Ferreri, and Camila Cociña for the layout of the articles.

Our Editorial: https://radicalhousingjournal.org/2021/editorial-3/

Please support: https://radicalhousingjournal.org/donate/

In memory of Moussa Balde

Today I am turning 38, and all I can think about is that the city I have chosen to live in, the city where my life is continuing and extending, is the same place where last Sunday Moussa Balde had to take his life as the only possible choice, the only possible way forward.

For the international friends, here we are talking about a 23 years old young Guinean man, who travelled across deserts and sea to reach this place – where he got jailed, then beaten up by fascists on the streets, then incarcerated again in one of the ‘centres for repatriation’ (Cpr).

The silencing of the potential of his life – the shutting down of all possible reverberations of his becoming – is a violent act that came before Moussa’s decision to commit suicide in the CPR’s cell where he was locked in. It is ingrained in European migration politics, in its Italian implementation, and in the everyday life of a city that does not simply ‘turn its back’ away, but it fires against, its so-defined ‘other’.

What kind of inhabitation is this? What kind of home?

Rest in power, Moussa Balde.