Interview on radical housing and urbanity with WOZ (Swiss-German critical left newspaper)

I am grateful to the WOZ (DieWochenzeitung) and to Raphael Albisser for giving me space on their pages to express some ideas on urbanity, radical housing struggles and the meaning of academic work.

You can find the interview, in German, here: https://www.woz.ch/-c857

Below I am providing an un-edited automatic English translation of the piece.

Credit for the photo of the actual copy of the magazine above: David Kaufmann

 

AUTOMATIC ENGLISH TRANSLATION

 

“When it comes to housing, it quickly becomes existential”.

When people in the world’s urban centres resist displacement, they are fighting for much more than a roof over their heads. Understanding the radical quality of their resistance also requires radical research, says Turin geography professor Michele Lancione.

“I’m interested in cities where struggles for housing coincide with other problems,” says Michele Lancione: a woman dyes laundry in the polluted Makoko lagoon in Lagos, Nigeria.
Photo: Yasuyoshi Chiba, AFP

WOZ: Mr Lancione, where is the future of a city decided?
Michele Lancione: That’s not an easy question. And the first answer that comes to mind is: probably in a bank here in Switzerland.

Seriously?
No, of course that’s far too simplistic. I am not a Swiss expert at all. But the country is one of the most important locations worldwide in terms of financialisation, i.e. the transfer of capital into financial products, which in turn plays a central role in the development of cities and what we think of as urbanity.

How exactly?
Urban development and thus the further development of infrastructure just like housing do not only need capital. They are also designed for capital. They are designed to make even more money out of financial investments. The city is the place where this takes on a particularly concrete form, in infrastructure projects and a real estate economy that promises profits through mortgages and rents.

At the same time, the future of the city is also being decided from below, for example through processes of internal and transnational migration, which have brought about huge changes in the last forty years, especially for cities in the so-called Global South. Today, climate change also plays an important role, let’s think of the Indonesian capital Jakarta for example: parts of the city are subsiding by about 25 centimetres per year, flooding is increasing. This causes problems that are not decided in the context of financialisation – but in the experienced reality of the people who are forced to relocate. So the city is shaped as much by global economic interests as by the reality of the urban, the experienced struggle for housing. And there is a third level in between.

Politics?
Certainly, but I mean mainly a cultural understanding of a global political class that cities should look a certain way and function in a certain way. These three levels together result in the direction in which cities develop.

In your research, you have long been dealing with urban struggles over housing, with forced evictions and resistance to them. You describe this with the term “radical housing”. Where does it come from?
I don’t know exactly, to be honest. You can find it in pamphlets from housing movements in the UK in the seventies. As I understand it, and as my colleagues understand it, the radicalism that we use it to describe occurs particularly when movements are fighting the larger and broader issues that underlie housing in the first place. This can refer to economic mechanisms and profiteering, but also to completely different aspects.

Which ones, for example?
Sometimes it’s about climate justice, sometimes it’s about fighting racism or patriarchy. Most of my research so far has been done in Romania, especially in Bucharest. There I studied how people – especially Roma – fight for their right to housing. People, for example, who are evicted from their flats in the city centre. My focus was always on the struggle for the right to housing, but I found that it was about much more: it was a struggle of marginalised communities against racist dispossession. My new research project is now about examining in a number of cities around the world the social struggles with which the one over housing is interwoven.

The project started in September and is funded by the EU until 2025. What is the research goal?
We are trying to understand what people and communities are essentially trying to achieve when they struggle for a place to live in their city – sometimes without expressing it in language that is immediately accessible to us. We are investigating this in a number of cities in Africa, Asia, Central and South America. As a global research project, however, we try to avoid an overarching theory.

Why?
That would be problematic. We are dealing with geographically and also historically very specific contexts with different forms of political expression, which are not immediately understood in our very westernised academic world. It is therefore crucial that the researchers in this project are familiar with the relevant contexts and the forms of structural violence that operate there. The kind of knowledge that should come out of this project should not be: We have here overarching knowledge that can be derived from the housing struggles from Lagos to Mexico City. No, we want to provide a set of specifically locatable insights to enrich our collective knowledge of what the global struggle for housing actually is.

So you’re not creating a synthesised theory, but rather a kind of mosaic?
Yes, and I can explain why. Essentially, we want to create a decolonised scientific framework. Because the way the political in the struggle for housing has mostly been described so far stems from a Eurocentric tradition. It is perfectly fine to understand squatting in Italy as an essential practice of housing politics; but when people squat houses in Johannesburg, it probably takes a different form of expression than in Turin. One that has been hijacked in the past by certain narratives: humanitarian narratives, for example, that are about the resilience and adaptability of urban dwellers – and not about political practices. This is problematic because these narratives and this language come from the colonial centres. But sometimes the political is not just about organising or mobilising, but about multiple, nuanced forms of resistance that cannot be generalised – hence the mosaic approach.

Was it difficult to get public research funding with this approach?
I’ll be honest here: To a certain extent, you just have to play the game. The European Research Council (ERC), which is now funding my project, has a very neoliberal language. Then you have to say something like: this is a new paradigm of science, it’s groundbreaking. To get research funding, you also need a certain track record. It’s about how much and where you’ve already published – an exclusionary way of defining scientific excellence. But that’s how it works, and for better or worse, I fit into their scheme. At least the upside is that the ERC isn’t constantly breathing down your neck when funding is spoken for.

So as a professor you are a kind of door opener?
If you successfully apply for the research funds, you can hire the researchers yourself. When I got the grant, I was still at the University of Sheffield, but then had to return to Turin for family reasons. At the Polytechnic, I practically started the project all over again. And I found out: The research environment there is far less diverse than that in the UK. All around me were Italians, all white. One of the central prerequisites of the project is that people work in it who already know the respective contexts very well. So I hired people from Nigeria and Brazil. And it was a nightmare.

Why?
I spent a lot of time on bureaucracy. The system is simply not ready to hire international researchers. Mistakes were made with all the visas. It was a painful process to build this team of people with seven nationalities. Yet it was the only way to do this kind of work: I don’t want to send someone to Mumbai who was doing research on the real estate market in Rome yesterday. Because that would simply be reproducing what the vast majority of social sciences have always done.

How did you choose the cities?
I am interested in cities where struggles for housing obviously coincide with other problems. In Lagos, for example, there are two levels: First, financialisation is clearly a displacement driver; Lagos is the fastest growing city in Africa in terms of population and economy. Secondly, environmental and climatic factors play a role. Because most of the displacement is in the waterfront areas of the city.

You say that you are concerned with intersectionality, that is, with intersections of social struggles. Does housing have a prominent role in this?
I think so. After all, it is a place where we find our existential security as human beings. For me, whose interest is in cities and how people inhabit the world, housing is where an incredible number of things come together: Sexism, queerphobia, racism. Issues of how housing is granted or taken away from people. Economic issues. And it’s pretty obvious by now that the struggle for housing has become a global struggle.

Why now of all times?
Maybe it’s a bit oversimplified, but I think there are two reasons: first, the stark demographic reality. The world population has grown exponentially over the last fifty years. This inevitably brings with it questions about housing and infrastructure. Secondly, it is about the space in which capital has decided to multiply.

Where else? The lemon has been squeezed in many respects.
Exactly. And in actually every city – from Zurich to London and Belo Horizonte to Hong Kong – the primary need for housing has become the decisive growth factor. What this can mean was seen in Spain, for example, when the real estate bubble burst in 2008.

At the same time, it makes the functioning of capitalism very directly tangible for people from the most diverse backgrounds. It is all the more interesting that local and national authorities as well as international organisations and the UN are still dealing with this as if it were a simple local political issue. As if the problems could be solved with technical solutions. I have not investigated this further, but I suspect that this is being done deliberately. Because it is only by negotiating the right to decent housing in this way that capital can continue to do whatever – please excuse the language – shit it wants in urban centres.

Where does your passion for urbanity actually come from?
I grew up in the country, in a village eighty kilometres north of Turin. When I was eighteen, I moved to the city, a fairly small city, but a city nonetheless. In Turin, I started to get interested in questions around the urban. And of course I was also influenced by what I saw during my studies; there was an incredible amount written about urbanity back then.

Is it common to work with the concept of radicality in the academic world?
My colleagues and I use it to refer to militant communities that worked with the term “radical housing” because it was politically obvious. When it comes to housing, it quickly becomes existential and radical action becomes necessary. In science, my main concern is that knowledge must also be radical.

How is that to be understood?
It’s about the question of how you produce knowledge. About the decisions you make in the scientific context. It may sound silly that I have spent a year of my academic life hiring researchers who come from the context of their research. But it is a conceptual radicalism that is central in my eyes. It could make it possible to create a different kind of knowledge.

Or another example: six years ago we founded the “Radical Housing Journal”, in which we publish articles according to all scientific standards, but without letting ourselves be taken over by one of the big publishing houses. They take publicly funded academic work, privatise it and sell it back to the universities. Others even pay academics to publish with them.

They now call themselves “activist academics”. I guess that’s easier once you have a full professorship. Did you have to become more conformist on the way there?
If you publish well in the Anglo-Saxon system, you can have a fast career. I got my doctorate in 2012, and my first open ended contract as Associate Professor just four years later. And the reason was that I knew how to play the neoliberal game in the academic business. I am not ashamed to say that. Me and my partner, who is a filmmaker, were also very mobile; we lived in ten cities in three countries on two continents in less than eight years.

Where did you become an activist?
I was not yet a professor at the time, I was doing research in Bucharest as part of a post-doctoral position. I already knew the city very well and started to get involved with the Roma communities there – and that’s when the political caught up with me. I got to know feminist, anarchist, queer activist collectives – all personal matters close to my heart. And I had to learn to navigate the tensions between research and activism.

How does that work?
First, you have to be careful. It may be hip right now to call yourself an activist:n researcher: but there is a certain self-interest in the relationship. That’s why you should separate these two worlds quite strongly, because traditionally academics have always been very extractive towards activists, using them for their own purposes.

There is the same problem in journalism. What is your solution?
You must always be vigilant about your role – otherwise you risk exploiting activists for academic gain. Therefore, when I enter activist spaces, I either do it as an individual, as an activist; or I do it as an academic and in return I try to let resources flow from the academic enterprise into the activist struggles. When I call myself an activist researcher, it also refers, above all, to a critical attitude towards my own institutions. Today, as a professor, I have the opportunity to do this.

This was demonstrated last year when you publicly opposed the fact that the Polytechnic of the University of Turin, where you are employed, cooperates with the European border protection agency Frontex. What happened there?
The Polytechnic won a public tender from Frontex and now my department, where many cartographers and geographers work, is supposed to produce maps for the agency. I heard about it at a departmental meeting, and since then I have tried to fight it.

Did you succeed?
No, nothing could be done about the cooperation with Frontex. The department’s solution was to put a note in the contract stating that both parties are obliged to respect human rights. Which is of course complete rubbish, sorry. How can you ask Frontex to respect human rights? That’s madness. But at least there was some movement within the department, some colleagues took my side. And by writing an open letter to the public, it was at least noticed that not everyone in the scientific community agreed. It was encouraging for some activists, as well as for students who are grappling with the issue.

And how did the colleagues react?
The matter has caused quite a stir in the media, and for many people I am a stain on their reputations because of it. That also shows that the academic world today is largely depoliticised. A world in which young people study to pick up a degree and then have good job prospects – a functional thing for neoliberalism.

But many in the academic profession hardly have the privilege to expose themselves without consequences because many work under precarious employment conditions.
Yes, that is true. The professorship allows me to fight back. I feel it is a responsibility. But I am not the only professor at the Polytechnic. Just one of the few who speak out critically. And unfortunately that’s not only the case in Turin or Italy, many professors today are technocrats.

But there are always those who speak out clearly on political issues …
It is one thing to take a public stand, for example to co-sign an open letter, to get involved in debates. And that is also good! But it’s something else again to speak out against the academic establishment. Even if you have a full professorship, it’s not easy, because it can isolate you. I myself am on the safe side at the moment, I have my research project and my team. But what about 2025, when that ends? I wouldn’t suffer, but it would be difficult to work in an environment where I am spurned.

So should students in particular politicise the universities again?
That would probably be most effective. After all, we academics are mostly quite self-centred, we want to be liked. So if students build up pressure and start challenging their professors, they might hit a nerve. But I know from my own experience that you can’t expect that from students easily: I come from a working-class family, my father was a factory worker at Fiat, my mother a cleaner. When I arrived at the university, I first reverently accepted all hierarchies there. It is important for students to gain dominion over their own thinking and base the political on it.

Michele Lancione (38) is a professor at the Turin Polytechnic. He teaches at the Department of Economic and Political Geography of the Department of Territorial Studies and Planning. He is also Visiting Professor of Urban Studies at the University of Sheffield.

In his current EU-funded research project, Inhabiting Radical Housing, Lancione and a team of international scholars are investigating radical struggles over housing in a number of cities around the world. Lancione is co-founder and editor of the academic Radical Housing Journal and a member of the grassroots movement Common Front for Housing Rights in the Romanian capital Bucharest.

Update on the Polytechnic – Frontex case

Following the ongoing investigative work of Luca Rondi at Altra Economia (ITAENG) I am writing again – this time not alone, but with my colleague Francesca Governa – to the regents of the Polytechnic to ask for clarity on the Polito – Frontex agreement.

Below it’s the translation of our letter. Note that I am still waiting for a reply to the previous email, dated 18 March 2022.

Previous updates: this, this, and the original post.

Dear Rector, Dear Pro-Rector
Dear Director and Vice-Directors of the Dist
Dear Fellow Representatives of Full Professors in the Academic Senate

L’altra economia published an article (https://altreconomia.it/frontex-polito-ecco-le-prime-mappe-e-la-clausola-sui-diritti-umani-non-vincola-lagenzia/) on 7 June that returns to the issue of the contract between Frontex and the Politecnico di Torino. We learn from the article that the “binding clause” linked to the observance of “respect for human and fundamental rights of persons” by both the “researchers” and the “principal” within the “Frontex OP/403/2020/DT” agreement, decided at the Senate meeting of 14 December 2021, does not involve the Agency. The consortium agreement thus seems to be deficient precisely because of the lack of agreement on the part of an entity – Frontex – that has been repeatedly accused of violating the human and fundamental rights of persons. It seems to us that this lack conflicts with the fundamental contents of the programme manifesto on the ‘Integrity of Research at the Politecnico di Torino’ and the Code of Ethics of our University, as well as disregarding the decision of the Academic Senate.

We believe that it is important for the Politecnico, in compliance with its institutional mandate, its autonomy as a centre of excellence for higher education and research, and as a place of reflection and debate open to the territory and society, to clarify the situation regarding the Consortium agreement by requesting that it also involve the offices of the Frontex Agency.

Please also note that no reply was ever sent to the email sent on 18 March 2022, containing a similar request for clarification.

With best regards

Michele Lancione and Francesca Governa

Public debate on radical housing in Zurich – 11th May

Last night I had a wonderful time at Urban Publics Zurich event, where we discussed radical housing theory and praxis with organisers and scholars based in Zurich.

I was on the stage with Philipp Klaus from Inura, Antonia Steger from Urban Equipe, Philippe Koch from ZHAW. The whole thing was masterfully organised and modered by Hanna Hilbrant.

These kinds of engagements are not easy to pull together. They require lots of care in their making – partially because of the extractive traditions of academia vs activist spaces and partially because lexicons of ‘radicality’ are not easily shared across geographies. Nonetheless, yesterday I think we had a very productive and enriching night. Kudos to my Zurich comrades and colleagues!

 

Launching “Beyond Inhabitation: A Collective Study Lab”

Today, after a year of preparation, we are launching our “Beyond Inhabitation: A Collective Study Lab” based at DIST in Turin, Italy.

This is our beautiful website: https://beyondinhabitation.org

Through the Lab, we aim to provide an infrastructure to investigate how inhabitation is re-worked from the ground across geographies in everyday life endurances that can morph, often silently, into struggles against contemporary and historical forms of dispossession. Activities will include collective study and writing; an international seminar series; extended working groups; and a program of activists and scholars in residence.

The Lab is co-directed by Michele Lancione and AbdouMaliq Simone, and its core team comprises nine Post-doctoral Research Fellows based in Turin. It also features an outstanding international Steering Committee, made up of 10 leading scholars of our time and a group of Turin Associates based at our hosting department (DIST).

Much work of love and joy has gone into preparing this Lab and its future activities. Please browse our website to know more about us, and follow us on Twitter to keep posted about our forthcoming events and opportunities. You can also subscribe to our blog to receive updates, here: https://beyondinhabitation.org/blog/

If you’d like to get in touch, please drop us a line at info@beyondinhabitation.org. We look forward to hearing from you.

Michele Lancione and AbdouMaliq Simone, for The Beyond Inhabitation Lab’s Team

The Lab is hosted at DIST, Polytechnic of Turin
Supported by ERC grant n. 851940 (PI: Lancione)

Joining dock workers in Genova for a public talk and demonstration against the war industries

If you are in Genoa this Thursday 31st March, I will be at a demonstration and public debate with the comrades of the Collettivo Autonomo Lavoratori Portuali thanks to a very kind invitation from them.

The comrades of CALP have been striking for years to stop, among others, the Saudi ships that pass through the port of Genoa to bring weapons to Yemen. Some of them, for their anti-fascism and for their anti-militarism have also been prosecuted, as criminals, by the local judiciary.

I will bring my solidarity, and talk about Fortress Europe, Frontex, armaments and the role of Universities in these industries of death.

 

New proofs of the involvement of Frontex in refugees push-backs – What is Polito doing with the contract?

Thanks to the Spiegel and, in Italy, to Luca Rondi at Altreconomia, we have now even more proofs of how Frontex is engaging in the violent pushback of migrants at EU’s frontiers.

On the basis of their work, I have written again to the Polytechnic of Turin’s Chancellor asking for clarity on our direct involvement with the Agency (back story, here) and, in particular, to the decision of the Polytechnic’s Senate not to rescind our contract for the production of maps to Frontex, but to pursue it simply by inserting a ‘clause’ in the agreement that should bind the Politecnico and #Frontex to respect human rights… (see here).

Turin, 18th March 2022

Dearest Chancellor,

Dearest Pro-Chancellor,

Dear Director and Vice-Directors of DIST, and representatives of Full Professors in the Academic Senate,

I am writing to receive clarification regarding the Frontex affair, on which the Polytechnic Senate expressed its opinion on 14 December 2021. Three months have passed since the resolution that provides for the inclusion of a so-called “binding clause” related to the observance of “respect for human and fundamental rights” both by the “researchers” and the “agency” involved in the agreement “Frontex OP/403/2020/DT”. If possible, I would like to understand a) whether this clause has been included; b) if it has been, how this has happened; c) if it has been, what guarantees and monitoring arrangements for compliance have been put in place.

I know that the last few weeks have seen your people, and our Athenaeum, taking action to offer support to refugees caused by the Russian conflict in Ukraine. However, it is important to emphasise that there can not be first and second-class refugees. The Frontex issue clearly draws attention to other conflicts (Syrian, first and foremost) and other geopolitical realities (such as the Sub-Saharan area) that we cannot ignore – especially when we engage, as DIST and Politecnico, in services with an Agency that has clearly, and repeatedly, violated the “human and fundamental rights of people”.

You will have read about the caos (Spiegel’s word) in which Frontex finds itself following the latest, recent revelations about its modus operandi. In particular, I would like to draw your attention to this new, damning evidence of Frontex’s active involvement in the cover-up of push-back operations in the open sea off the Greek coast.

Beyond personal opinions, and the interpretation that each of us has of the migrant “issue” and of the work of the EU and its agencies, there is at the very least an image problem in associating this Polytechnic with the work of Frontex. The consequences of our involvement with Frontex are something that no ‘clause’ can bind to change. We need to dissociate ourselves firmly, and urgently, with the work of such Agency.

Awaiting your kind reply, I send my best regards.

Michele Lancione

Full 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”.
Editor, The Radical Housing Journal | Corresponding Editor, IJURR

 

Against all imperialism. Europe must open its borders

Much of what I think around Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine is contained is this powerful text from a group of Russian anarchists, appeared on CrimeThink.

I would only like to add two points. First, Western sanctions to Putin are a joke. The only one that could have meant something (on SWIFT) is too damaging to our financial extractivism, so it becomes a no-no.

Second, Europe left Ukraine alone, since 8 years already. Now the only priority must be toward Ukrainian refugees. No more camps. No more damming bureaucracy. No more unsafe routes and violence.

All borders opened, and full asylum, now!

 

Ciao, bell hooks

ciao bell hooks

when I did my PhD this book allowed me not to feel ashamed about my working-class self-made ‘culture’
and it allowed me to see the power of feminist thinking
and of black culture and power at large
in ways I never had experienced before.

reading your writing on the margins as a site of resistance
on the power of love
on your liberatory envisioning of a differential kind of home,
had been foundational.

thank you for that, and for all you have taught. peace!

The Polytechnic keeps the agreement with Frontex – I will work for another way of doing research

The Polytechnic has decided to continue the agreement of service between DIST-Ithaca-Polito and Frontex (back story, here). After a meeting of the academic Senate on the 14th of December, the newspaper La Stampa reports that

At the end of the debate it was decided by a large majority to proceed with the signing of the Consortium Agreement with Frontex. At the same time it was decided to introduce a binding clause, which specifies the commitment of both the research staff involved and the client, to act in compliance with respect for human rights and fundamental human rights, as well as the principles of integrity of research.

I wonder how my colleagues in the Senate imagine the possibility of asking Frontex to comply with human rights. There is so much evidence indicating the agency is systematically involved in pushback, which means they are not allowing asylum seekers to enter Europe, therefore impeding them to exercise their right to request asylum. There is evidence indicating the agency is passing information to the so-called Lybian Coastal guard, which ten fire against the boats of migrants in the Mediterranean sea. There is evidence of the agency misusing funds, of agency personnel harassing migrants along the Balkan route, of the agency avoiding interventions when they should be needed, and much, much more. What does “integrity of research” mean in collaborating with such an Agency?

At a personal level, fighting this deal initiated in July (as I explain here). It continued with my public letter to Altrecomia (following the article of the journalist Luca Rondi on the same magazine), and then escalated in a greater number of interviews, articles, interventions (a full list with links at the end of this post). Despite the negative result, the collective that coalesced around this struggle is not lost, and will not be lost.

I want to thank all the ones that believed in this fight. Some of them are within the academy, including within the Politecnico. There are members of the Polytechnic Senate (thank, to some of you, for your courage and intellectual honesty, in particular Daniele Marchisio and Bruno Codispoti); of the administrative services; and of several unions, who have taken a clear position against the deal (thanks in particular to Paolo Barisone). There are some colleagues who did the same – above all, I want to thank Dr. Silvia Aru, a colleague in DIST, who has been always, very clearly, against the whole affair; and I also want to thank a number of Italian and international academics, who signed public petitions making their names visible (thanks to all of you!), who organised their own texts (thanks Paola Minoia), or took time to provide concrete help and advice (thanks Chiara Rabbiosi, Chiara Giubilaro, Simone Tulumello, Maurizio Memoli and Filippo Celata, among many). Thanks, above all, to Gennaro Avallone, Margherita Grazioli, Enrico Gargiulo, and Elena Giacomelli, who help to organise, to share, and to expand the fight; to the Coordinamento Unito and the Coordinamento Polito for their support to the cause; and to Francesca Governa, Marco Santangelo, Camillo Boano, Francesco Chiodelli and Isabella Consolati at DIST, who always discussed this with me, with open minds and hearts. Thanks to my international colleagues: my comrades in FCDL and in the Radical Housing Journal, my friends at the Unequal Cities Network at UCLA, in the Journal City, and those writing supportive statements from so many other corners around the globe, including an amazing one by 30+ colleagues at my old institution, The University of Sheffield, which really helped. There are some Ph.D. students in the DIST who took clear positions too, as well as some of my own students in the MA in Geography, and my own Ph.D. students in Sheffield and Turin (particular thanks to Francesca Guarino and Saanchi Saxena), to whom I am thankful for the support and for believing in the long-term goal of this fight.

However, this has been a fight involving Academia… fought for the most by non-academics or academics without permanent jobs. I have found strength and scope in people writing to me from Palermo to Trieste, and beyond Italy, too. Workers, students, mid-school teachers, retired people, kids. I am thankful to the students that organized in Turin, including the PhDs of ADI Turin, the geography students at Unito, the Gruppo Palestina, Cambiare Rotta and the communist group at Polito. I am thankful for the autonomous realities that hosted public debates on the story,  including Neruda in Turin, and to the journalists who wrote about this case and made it available to broader audiences. Above all, I want to thank Luca Rondi (Altreconomia), Francesca Spinelli (Internazionale), Teresa Paoli (Presadiretta), Giansandro Merli (Manifesto), Peter Yeung (Guardian), Frabrizio Maffioletti (Pressenzia), Marco Siragusa (EastJournal), Nicolò Arpinati (Dinamo Press), the Melitea group, and the comrades Margherita, Francesco e Maria at Radio BlackOut.

Most importantly and relevantly, I am extremely thankful to all the ones working to construct a differential way of dealing with migrations in Italy and Europe. Your care and attention to this story and to my persona have been heartfelt, and it only reaffirmed my conviction (shared with my comrades at FCDL and the RHJ) that only through horizontal solidarities and collective organising we can move meaningfully forward. You are too many to thank, and I will surely miss some. Thanks to the groups Sea Watch, ADIF – Associazione Diritti e Frontiere, Campagna LasciateCIEntrare, Carovane Migranti, Rete Antirazzista Catanese, Cobas Scuola Catania, Osservatorio Solidarietà, Torino per Moria, Borderline Sicilia, Ongi Etorri Errefuxiatuak, Progetto Meltingpot Europa and thanks also to ASGI. And deep thanks to a group of amazing individuals who really made this a collective endeavor, most especially thanks to Yasmine Accardo, Fulvio Vassallo Paleologo, Gianluca Vitale, Yasha Maccanico, Francesca Mazzuzi, Gennaro Avallone, Stefano Bleggi, Gianfranco Crua, Alfonso Di Stefano, Claudia Mantovan, Mariafrancesca D’Agostino, Maurizio Ricciardi, Barbara Sorgoni, Valeria Ferraris, Sandro Mezzadra, Stefania Spada, Giuseppe Campesi, Silvia De Meo e tant* altr*. Thanks to Leo for having been close to me the whole time.

At this point, I am more and more convinced that continuing to fight Frontex at all levels is very necessary. From my corner, I will create a safe space for critical and radical thinking around inhabitation, migrations and asylum well within DIST and the Polytechnic of Turin, and I will continue to work with my new comrades in the city to offer harbour and to create an alternative vision of what “research integrity” and “integrity” at large means. It is not time to retreat, but time to scale up. Avanti!

  

Interventions Frontex-POLITO at 14 December 2021

ITAArticoli:

· Il comunicato di Polito di Luglio, con il quale la notizia è stata resa pubblica: https://poliflash.polito.it/in_ateneo/politecnico_e_ithaca_insieme_per_la_produzione_di_cartografia_per_l_agenzia_europea_frontex

· Il pezzo che ha aperto le scene, su Altreconomia: https://altreconomia.it/il-politecnico-di-torino-a-fianco-di-frontex-sul-rispetto-dei-diritti-umani-intanto-cade-il-silenzio/

· La mia lettera pubblica: https://altreconomia.it/non-a-fianco-di-frontex-chi-si-dissocia-dallaccordo-del-politecnico-di-torino/

· La campagna Fuori Frontex dalle nostre Università, nata dopo i pezzi di cui sopra: https://www.lasciatecientrare.it/non-a-fianco-di-frontex/

· Del caso ha parlato anche Repubblica Torino, lo screenshot del pezzo si può trovare qui: https://nextcloud.rinlab.org/index.php/s/xg6WNspZkD5a28N

· Il bellissimo pezzo uscito su Internazionale (in cui si parla del caso a fine testo,e contiene molti riferimenti utili per capire il problema): https://www.internazionale.it/opinione/francesca-spinelli/2021/11/04/frontex-campagna-abolizione

· Una lettera pubblica firmata dai più importanti studiosi sulle migrazioni in Italia, che è uscita sul Manifesto: https://ilmanifesto.it/lettere/fuori-frontex-dalle-nostre-universita/

· Una intervista a Luca Rondi, il giornalista di Altreconomia, che è molto utile per spiegare a chi non vede il problema perchè il tutto è problematico: https://www.meltingpot.org/Il-Politecnico-di-Torino-e-l-accordo-con-Frontex.html#.YYP6n7vTUd2

· Mia intervista al gruppo Melitea, ripresa da Mediterranea Saving Humans: https://gruppomelitea.wordpress.com/2021/11/07/la-mia-universita-lavora-con-frontex-non-in-mio-nome-intervista-al-professor-michele-lancione/#more-2597

· Lettera pubblica indirizzata ai reggenti di Politecnico, da NGO italiane, per rescindere l’accordo: https://altreconomia.it/rescindere-il-contratto-con-frontex-lettera-aperta-al-politecnico-di-torino/

· Articolo su La Stampa: https://www.lastampa.it/torino/2021/11/17/news/protesta_al_politecnico_stop_al_contratto_da_4_milioni_con_frontex_-414438/

· Lettera di supporto dal Coordinamento UniTo: https://coordinamentounito.wordpress.com/2021/11/23/e-questa-la-ricerca-di-frontiera/

· Lettera di supporto dal Coordinamento Polito: https://coordinamentopolito.wordpress.com/2021/11/20/lettera-aperta-al-politecnico-di-torino-riguardo-la-collaborazione-con-frontex/

· Articolo su Internazionale KIDS, che spiega la questione ai ragazzi. Si trova in cartaceo, o scannerizzato, qui: https://nextcloud.rinlab.org/index.php/s/5CW9CSQo6XXAodK

· Articolo di approfondimento su EaST Journal: https://www.eastjournal.net/archives/122096

· Articolo di Pressenza sull’incontro al Politecnico del 1/1/21: https://www.pressenza.com/it/2021/12/torino-fuori-frontex-dal-politecnico/

· Comunicato Lasciateci Entrare su riunione Senato per accordo: https://www.lasciatecientrare.it/frontex-e-ricerca-universitaria-qual-e-il-problema/

· Articolo de La Stampa su assemblea al Politecnico: https://www.lastampa.it/torino/2021/12/02/news/rescindete_quel_contratto_assemblea_pubblica_al_politecnico_contro_l_accordo_con_frontex-991542/

· Dossier di Cambiare Rotta: Il Progetto dell’Unione Europea sui suoi Confini: https://cambiare-rotta.org/2021/12/06/dossier-frontex-il-progetto-dellunione-europea-sui-suoi-confini/

· Altro articolo di Luca Rondi su Altreconomia: https://altreconomia.it/il-politecnico-di-torino-e-a-un-bivio-con-frontex-o-con-i-diritti-umani/

· Presa di posizione del Coordinamento Migranti: https://www.coordinamentomigranti.org/2021/12/06/fare-fronte-contro-frontex-i-migranti-e-la-lotta-sui-confini/

· Dossier del collettivo Metamorfosi: https://www.academia.edu/63947546/Analisi_di_una_committenza_Politecnico_Frontex_un_caso_di_Academic_Washing

· Lettera aperta RSU Polito sul caso Frontex, disponibile qui: https://nextcloud.rinlab.org/index.php/s/tLtzQrzdJcfp8sn

· L’Associazione per gli Studi Giuridici sull’Immigrazione (ASGI) riporta la nostra lettera: https://www.asgi.it/notizie/rescindere-il-contratto-con-frontex-lettera-aperta-al-politecnico-di-torino/

 

ITARadio, videos and public meetings:

· Intervista con Radio Blackout: https://radioblackout.org/2021/10/accordo-politecnico-frontex-dissenso-in-accademia-intervista-con-michele-lancione/

· Video di incontro con student* a Palazzo Nuovo Torino. Da min 13 a 39 Lancione spiega l’accordo. Da notare anche intervento dei compagn* di Sea Watch: https://www.facebook.com/CambiareRottaTorino/videos/403610054642077/

· Seminario a Salerno, “Non a fianco di Frontex, non in nostro nome”: https://www.disps.unisa.it/unisa-rescue-page/dettaglio/id/2547/module/488/row/17071

· Prima occasione pubblica di incontro dentro al Politecnico sul tema, con studenti, giornalisti, attivisti, avvocati: https://www.facebook.com/events/593243081942483?ref=newsfeed

· Video intervista per Pressenza: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-kx5hW8FEU&t=245s

· Incontro allo spazio popolare Neruda, Che cos’è Frontex? https://www.facebook.com/events/s/che-cose-frontex/451037489924340/

 

ENG:

· Lancione’s letter to Altreconomia, translated into English: https://www.michelelancione.eu/blog/2021/10/24/my-university-works-with-frontex-not-in-my-name/

· AbolishFrontex: https://abolishfrontex.org/blog/2021/10/25/my-university-works-with-frontex-not-in-my-name/ e https://abolishfrontex.org/blog/2021/11/16/open-letter-to-polytechnic-university-of-turin-about-working-for-frontex/

· Statewatch: https://www.statewatch.org/news/2021/november/not-alongside-frontex-academics-speak-out-against-border-collaboration/

· Letter from the Decolonise.eu network: https://decolonise.eu/not-alongside-frontex/

· Debate on Twitter: https://twitter.com/michelelancione/status/1452507202867154946

Frontex out of our Universities! Articles in l’Internazionale and il Manifesto + Petition

Two major news outlets, among others,  are talking of this matter today in Italy (my original story is here).

Francesca Spinelli interviewed me for the Internazionale , while il Manifesto has published a collective letter of Italian academics working on migrations to keep #Frontex out of our Academic Institutions.

A nationwide campaign has also started from the grassroots, at Lasciateci Entrare.