Introduction (by Agostino Zanotti*)
Thoughts on the City and its Citizens
We have crossed together, during these days of the students’ visit, the doors of Eupemia City. It has been a good occasion to compare words, thoughts, expe- riences of everyone, linking them to places of a city: Brescia.
From our perspective, the aim has been to show to dif- ferent people, that is, foreigners, places ordinary to us, spaces in the city that have represented and represent the story of a varied political acting.
In this attempt of opening, we addressed the foreigner so that he could give us useful cues, in order to read and understand in a new way our way of “living” the city. Master students, during the days of work, have been investigating the urban space in its different constitutive aspects and, rest of all, have told the stories of some of the several persons that inhabit the roads and the districts of the city.
One more time, the external look has been the one able to catch the most controversial and worn aspects of a city crossed by a politic of no citizenship, wherein the person/citizen does not nd in the present the reasons to create a community and social links.
We live in more and more crowded cities, while the physical distance between persons decreases, the affective one increases. A cooperating community is a community that lives closeness, builds up relations based on reciprocity and dissolves its own fears through the strengthening of social cohesion between all citizens.
During the ‘internship’ days (this is maybe not the most appropriate de nition) events of serious international interest hanged as grey clouds on our daily work. The terrifying earthquake in Japan and the tragic news from Tunisia and Libya fed our fears of a new radioactive catastrophe and of a future migratory exodus towards our cities. The territories that we live in are crossed by economic, migratory and environmental ows able to influence their own productive, social and environmental state. The sense of bewilderment that invests people is joined by a wish of security that turns places we inhabit in stones without any past.
The four proposals that came out of the groups’ work have offered interesting cues to all of us to rebuild the urban space, so that it becomes not just a place for socialization, but also a space of a policy of meeting, a space of telling and thinking. It is a policy wherein human qualities are able to sparkle and wherein human beings are able to discover springs of bare life.
*Translation by Valeria Marengoni (ADL) and Camillo Boano