Discussing Frontex with the new Independent Group for Research Ethics (CERTO) – Wed 24th, 5pm, Turin & online

CERTO – Coordinamento per l’Etica della Ricerca TOrino is a new group, which I helped co-found and of which I am part, made of academics from the University and the Polytechnic of Turin concerned with research ethics.

In particular, through CERTO we aim to focus on research collaborations, investments and funding that pose relevant ethical challenges for our academic work of research and teaching. Our Manifesto can be found here: https://coordinamentounito.wordpress.com/2023/04/26/nasce-certo-coordinamento-per-letica-nella-ricerca-torino/

On May 24th, we will host a public debate on the Frontex-Polytechnic of Turin case, on which I have already spent much energy (see here). See the program below for details.

Intorno al caso Frontex: l’Università alle frontiere dell’etica
Mercoledì 24 maggio, 17:00

Anche online: https://polito-it.zoom.us/j/82673832089?pwd=Q3VHQ2FhZWNGU3pvQXIxL25GMmw3UT09&fbclid=IwAR1ZnQAvtzgP5g-S7HPZnRXnxvwqbGQlE1eyKoTaLxEy-9PHrFNp1m3IMCk#success

Download the program here: Locandina SEMINARIO FRONTEX_def

New special issue and paper on ethnography and the margins

Together with my good friends and colleagues Tatiana Thieme (UCL) and Elisabetta Rosa (Université Catholique de Louvain) we have just published a very exciting special issue in City: Analysis of urban trends, culture, theory, policy, action. The special issue is about the challenges of ethnographic research at the urban margins and contains contributions from Silvia Aru, Maurizio Memoli & Matteo Puttilli; Tung-Yi Kho; William Monteith; Yimin Zhao; Kavita Ramakrishnan; Tatiana Thieme; and also a paper co-written by myself and Elisabetta (abstract below).

Download the introduction to the special issue here. The same goes for the paper I wrote with Elisabetta, which is available here.

Going in, out, through. A dialogue around long skirts, fried chips, frozen shacks and the makeshifts of ethnography 

In this paper, we shift from conventional academic writing toward something similar to a dialogue, an encounter, a few hours spent in a virtual cafe´where we chat and systematically try to excavate our respective ethnographic endeavours. Such experimentation in format is needed, we argue, in order to re-approach the questions characterising in-depth ethnographic work from a different, possibly fresher, perspective, and to communicate those more directly and freely. Rather than embedding our doubts, fears and wishful thinking in academic formalism, we spell those out aloud, as a composite and unfinished flow that touches upon relevant literature but is still raw and grounded in our current and respective fieldwork. Relying on our differentiated works with Roma people in Italy, France and Romania (2004– ongoing), in our dialogue we talk about the challenges of positioning; the construction of new (self)identities; the building of relationships of trust, care and affect, and their break; the role of ethnographic knowledge in activist work; the risk and the certainty of failure; the difficulties associated with entering and leaving the field. The aim of our dialogue is not to offer answers to questions that have been at the centre of the ethnographic discipline since the start, but to open a space of incremental and reciprocal learning that may serve as an inspiration for other young ethnographers like us.

New contribution to a forum on minor politics in EPD

I am very happy to be part of this exciting forum around micro politics and the minor, which builds on Cindi Katz’s 1996 ‘Towards Minor Theory‘ published in EPD: Society and Space. The forum was organised by two friends at Oxford, Thomas Jellis and Joe Gerlach, with contributions from Anna Secor and Jess Linz; Cristina Temenos; Caroline Faria; Andrew Barry; Ben Anderson and an inspiring conclusion by Cindi Katz.

My intervention is a short reflection around the (un)making of ethics at the intersection of ethnography and activism at the urban margins. It is related to my work in Romania with evicted people, of which I published here (and made a documentary called ‘A inceput ploaia/It started raining‘).

You can download my paper on this website, at academia.edu or at the EPD: Society and Space webpage.