Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Via Anelli's Wall

We mentioned the anti-immigration wall in Padua, Italy, briefly several months ago, which actually led to an ongoing chronicle of updates and information about the impact there in the comments section, thanks to local Italian blogger Alberto, who pens the Padua Blogger's Inn blog.

Buried in those comments Alberto pointed to a pretty good little You Tube video of the Via Anelli ghetto that has been concentrated with immigrants demonized by local community members and leaders who would rather take the NIMBY approach of just quarantining the issue of migration rather than truly trying to resolve it with proper integration policies, etc.

Now, thanks to fellow reader and writer Marcello Di Cintio, we are directed to another great video on the walled ethnic slum that has been highly contentious for a decade in the ancient city of Padua, described as a prison without locks, and a psychological horror for migrants, who are not only warehoused together but were at one point totally walled off from the rest of the neighborhood. The video (which is also readable here) gives a good history of how the situation arose, ha evolved, been merely displaced from one street block to another, speaking with advocates from both sides as well as Italian officials who now finally acknowledge the backlash of having conducted a local politics that followed from the gut of racism rather than lead with a rational solution of providing citizenship and basic human respect. Good video, about 20 minutes long, well worth the watch - so check it out.

(And thanks again Marcello!)


Blogger Alberto Botton said...

Ehhehe..this second video...I'm happy to see it..
Maybe you don't Know Brian but all begin from this blog.

Alex (sorry I don't remember the surname) from CBC Canada contacted me to ask some news about via Anelli and when he came to Padua with all his troupe I met them.
Hello to everybody!

I attended at the wedding where the barber played guitar and at some of the interviews.

So for me watchin' this video following a link from Subtopia is something like the "enclosure of the circle", an italian way of saying.

The video is very good, well done.
Now I would like to focus the attention on the people of Padua.
I don't think we can talk about racism. Maybe racist are some political groups that focus the attention about immigration as an invasion to get some vote from people who are facing this problems for the first time, or for a short time.

People are not racist with immigrants; they are "racist" with criminals, with people involved in drug trade, prostitutions and so on, and maybe frustrated for the problems of living in such a suburb.

Things are better now than 10 years ago so the hope is that local and immigrant will live together in peace.

Via Anelli now is closed but the problems connected with drugs and prostitions are not solved of course.

At the end, the public administration find out new houses to the people who lived in this flats but the problems of illegality moved to other parts of the city.

Yesterday police discovered an "informal" hostel where lived a lot of girls and prostitutes, and other illegal immigrants...but in a country where public houses are very few for the demand of the citizens the problems for the illegal can't be less.


6:54 AM  
Blogger Subtopia said...


great to hear from you! that's great to hear. "the enclosure of the circle" (perfectly ironic metaphor regarding the subject) all the way back to Subtopia!
I love it, and had no idea you were contacted by CBC and participated in the video. That's awesome, I love the internet!
So, thanks again as always for the update. It is of course no surprise that the issue has merely been displaced from location to location, an that the issue of illegality has remained perceived largely as one of immigration, but I am glad you feel things have improved, and by that hope you mean not only for the entire community but in a very clear and tangential way for the immigrants themselves.
So, what has become of via anelli now, is it just a boarded up ghetto space now? empty and vacant? has there been any new immigration housing initiatives, job initiatives, social service initiatives for immigration integration?
how has the situation been made better?
anyway, always look forward to your insights.
thanks so much Alberto, our man in Padua!

11:47 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home