Saturday, March 11, 2023

Inside the Helmet: The Laboratorioccupato Morion in Venice

Third report from Italy – the OSC Laboratorioccupato Morion in Venice, the Venice Climate Camp, cruise ship resistance, squatting boarded-up public housing, the Transfeminist march – “as long as we scream together, we are free” – and, of course, Banksy.

It’s dreamy to be in Venice, as a resident at the Emily Harvey Foundation. I’d hope the late great promoter of the Fluxus art movement would approve of my project – a renewal of the program of research on the autonomous occupied social centers of Europe.
The form of this political activism may be said to have originated in Italy in the wake of the Autonomist communist organizing of the 1970s. It is Italy, as we saw in the recent post from Milan, where the largest examples of occupied social centers are to be found.
So it’s unsurprising that there are long-established occupation projects in Venice. They have issues, fights and struggles, and they have culture, music and art.
We visited Laboratorioccupato Morion the first week we were here. The 30+ year old Venetian social center is open Friday evenings for bar and concert events.

LO Morion when it's jumpin'. A pic from Restaurant Guru website

Morion is a big open high-roofed space decorated inside with masses of posters on the walls. It’s on the site of a 14th century hospice for poor women, popularly named for the helmet-shaped sign of a nearby shop in those days. Outside the walls are painted with colorful murals done in the style of Black Panthers artist Emory Douglas. A crew of some half dozen young women were bustling about preparing for the evening’s events when we arrived, a bar at 7pm; musical acts, a DJ, were planned for later that night.
We sat down with Marta, an activist of the Lab and a fluent English speaker. She explained a bit of the history of the place, and the engagements Morion has with both local and international issues and movements.
Morion is in a vacant city warehouse. The first occupiers of the space in 1990 were evicted, but they camped out in a garden in the center of town until they got an agreement to use the present building.
The most recent big movement effort in Venice was the third September ‘22 Climate Camp in the Lido. Marta was an organizer. She works on the Morion’s environmental committee. The Climate Camp welcomed activists from around Europe, and was organized through the network of social centers throughout the region of Veneto, working with the German movement, Ende Gelände.

An assembly at the Venice Climate Camp, 2022

“We are fighting for the city itself,” Marta said. The famously perilous condition of the city of Venice is aggravated by rising sea levels, making climate change a vital issue.
The environmental movement in Italy began in earnest with industrial disasters in the ‘70s and ‘80s – a toxic dioxin cloud, the Chernobyl meltdown. The movement is strongly inflected with eco-feminist ideas; the Venice Climate Camp was “in dialogue with” another meeting on the theme of degrowth.
The city’s second occupied space, the Sale Docks, is focussed on art (more on this place soon). Sale Docks organized a session at the Climate Camp in which Austrian artist and filmmaker Oliver Ressler showed excerpts from his climate video project “Everything’s coming together while everything’s falling apart”.
The fragile city in the lagoon is trampled into a theme park every summer by massive influxes of tourists, most egregiously the thousand-people loads from mega-cruise ships. A popular campaign led by Morion activists saw a puny attack by small boats on the mammoth cruise ships, under the slogan "La Laguna paura non ne ha" [the lagoon is not afraid; I got the t-shirt]. The Climate Camp featured a session of networking with other places that are suffering cruise ship overloads.

Fabulous quixotic attack on a cruise ship in the Venice lagoon

Venice has always been a great place to visit. But, more even than most other touristic cities, Venice has been distended by its reliance on and obeisance to the hospitality sector. The population has actually shrunk.
Marta also works with the ASC – Assemblea Sociale per la Casa, an assembly of people in public housing. Affordable housing for Venetians is a major issue, and Morion is involved in squatting actions to preserve public housing. There are over 1000 empty public housing units in Venice, and little will in government to renovate and allocate them. Social services, both housing and public health are cut. In the authorities’ view, “It’s to be a tourist center, period,” Marta said. The Morion activists work against this kind of logic, maintaining that “the city is alive”.

The public housing committee of the Morion

There are some 25,000 students in Venice, both from the public university and the art academy. The university owns much property in the city, and they are working with the city to create hotels.
We trotted out to the Dorsoduro barrio of Venice for the March 8th Transfeminist march, the Morion-organized event for International Womens Day. We saw the assembling of groups, including Queer We Go, who marched that day in cities throughout Northeastern Italy.
In the spirited words of the Padua center Pedro CSO: "We are women, whores, indecent, ugly, fat, lesbian, trans, farts, dirty, blasphemous, disabled, bisexual, activists, mothers, anti-capitalists, abortionists, anti-fascists, transfeminists, but most of all, as long as we scream together, we are free."
Walking around our barrio of San Polo – one must walk around in Venice – we paused in front of a shop of beautiful bags made from recycled plastic signage. It turned out to be the shop of #Malefatte the #MadeInPrison program. On the door jamb was a possible Banksy stencil of a jaunty Venice carnival rat.

It turns out the UK artist was here to crash the Venice Biennale in 2019, engaging with his work precisely the issues the Laboratorioocupato Morion and its fellow OSCs are concerned with – cruise ships and climate change, and the failure to rescue migrants and refugees at sea. One is a mural of a migrant child holding a distress flare painted in a canal; the second was a kind of performance of art vending. Banksy set up shop in a plaza where painters put their easels. The multi-panel “Venice in Oil” reveals a cruise ship plowing through a medley of gondolas. The police shut him down.

Banksy performance, "Venice in Oil"

The mural of the migrant child was “claimed” by Banksy in an Instagram post. It is poignant again after the February 26 shipwreck in Calabria. Just as we arrived in Italy, 72 (at least) failed to do so.
The angry, mournful words in a statement from the Pedro Centro Sociale Occupato in Padua cast the blame on the Italian political leadership, which has made hay like Trump over the issue of migration: "The massacre of Sunday 26th February was determined by a delay of the rescue operations cynically wanted, politically wanted. People could very well have been saved if rescue operations had been activated in a timely manner. The boat had already been reported by Frontex but the authorities did not move, despite the weather conditions and the 200 people on board.... We immediately demand the freedom to sail for every ship dedicated to rescuing people in the Mediterranean."

The image is also a reminder that this new “middle passage”, with its thousands of deliberated deaths, will not be forgotten by generations to come.


The Emily Harvey Foundation

Laboratorioccupato Morion | Venice - Facebook
Instagram – @cso_morion

VENICE CLIMATE CAMP | 3nd edition - 7th-11th Sept. 2022
Rise Up 4 Climate Justice and Fridays for Future Venice/Mestre are pleased to invite you to Venice Climate Camp! Five days of camping for climate justice

Ende Gelände

Rachele Ledda, "Women’s presence in contemporary Italy’s environmental movements, with a case study on the Mamme No Inceneritore committee", Genre et Histoire, Autumn 2018

A resource website on the theme of Degrowth notes that "’la decrescita' in Italian refer to a river going back to its normal flow after a disastrous flood" -- which we might think of as capitalism itself.

“Everything’s coming together while everything’s falling apart”, A 6-channel video installation by Oliver Ressler, 2016-2020

Simone Fierucci, “Presente e futuro delle navi da crociera nel Mediterraneo. Il report del dibattito al Venice Climate Camp” Domenica 25 Settembre 2022 17:23

"La Laguna paura non ne ha" [the lagoon is not afraid]: i manifestanti lasciano il canale della Giudecca
A brief video of a 2019 demonstration, an ‘attack’ on cruise ships by small boat

Assemblea Sociale per la Casa – A 2014 discussion of the ASC’s work on behalf of occupiers of social housing

Global Project report on transfeminist marches in the Northeast of Italy: “8 Marzo: la marea tranfemminista è il grido collettivo di chi vuol cambiare il mondo”, 9 March 2023

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

"Art of the Cancelled": Stalker's Sites of Internal Displacement and Decolonialization

Forgotten historic evictions, massacres and “sudden lakes” are explored in the performative works of the Stalker group in Rome. Using a wide variety of aesthetic social practice tactics, the group resurrects historic memory, agitates for biodiversity, and enacts solidarity with evicted migrants.

John Halpern and Emily Harris set up an online interview with a Roman architects' group called Stalker. Their work in aid and solidarity with community groups and migrant squats in Rome is inspiring, important and fascinating work. The entire talk is online [all links are below]; what follows are my notes.
The two interviewees, Giulia Fiocca and Lorenzo Romito, work under the name of Stalker, Giulia since 2007 and Lorenzo since the beginning in 1995 when he and five friends founded the group and named it after the Tarkovsky film of 1979. The story of that movie is about the Zone, an area that is forbidden to enter – maybe polluted, radioactive – it’s never made clear. The Stalker is a kind of guide who regularly goes into the Zone despite the peril. In the film he leads an artist and a scientist.
Giulia and Lorenzo are both trained as architects. They became politicized in 1990 with the occupation of their university. This talk reminded me of the important role architects of all kinds have played in supporting squatters, and adapting guerrilla occupation tactics directly into their work.
The duo presented three projects: one a recovery of historic memory about a Roman shantytown of left persons evicted from the city during fascist rule; the second on support for the public appropriation of a “sudden lake”, the result of illegal property development; and the third support for a big-building squat of migrant persons in Rome.

The first project was presented in the form of a film, “Borghetto Prenestino” made by collaborators Myrice Tansini and Pierre Kattar. That was "La Zattera" (the Raft), in January 2021, This complex project was an investigation and animation of a piece of waste land in Rome which had been a shantytown, cleared in 1980. It was built as the outcome of a 1939 fascist law against Italian migrants which was re-animated by Berlusconi in 2009 to use against foreign migrants. The "La Zattera" project, then, was conceived as a "time warp, linking present and past".
A bit hard to follow, the project began with a newspaper, informing participants – residents nearby, relatives of the families from that time – about the place. This education, part of a School of Nomadic Urbanism founded in 2018 by Giulia and Lorenzo as the educational tool of Stalker activity, has as its brief to surface the "invisible and forgotten memory of the city of Rome”.
The film includes an elder who speaks of his mother who suffered this law in fascist times, who was bussed to this "clandestine zone" to live in the shadows of fascist Italy. His grandfather arrived in Rome in 1927, then was internally deported as a resistant to fascism, a "dissident to the state".
I transcribe throughout this text very roughly from the speakers:
Lorenzo Romito: These situations we organize we call them "circumstances". We get out, choose a site, and then we work on it, through a schooling process, the school is open. We gather researchers in different disciplines, but also inhabitants, migrants, very diverse people, with diverse knowledges and competences on spaces, on stories. We put together different time frames, memories that are forgotten, or have been cancelled. They're not part of a main narration. Then we entangle them, with a moment that is social but also performative.

The idea, he said, is “to create a dimension of co-existence by exploring memories…. to create a rite, a myth, to reconnect people to the place”.
The second project, was done in support of a state appropriation of ecologically significant land, the Lago Bullicante, or Lago ex-SNIA Viscosa. This is a newly arising lake created by an illegal development in 1992. It’s called "ex" for the SNIA Viscosa factory which produced rayon. They closed in 1956; the area was abandoned until bought in 1990 by enterpreneurs. After numerous corporate title transfers, an ill-advised shopping center construction project began. Excavation for a parking garage broke into a buried river and an ancient geological acquifer, flooding the site and creating a “sudden lake”.

Said Giulia, "nature stopped" the developer. Since then, nature has had the time to retake this space as a “spontaneous ecosystem”. The lake area is tremendously biodiverse, with over 500 plant species, and 72 counted birds. The water is pure enough for swimming.
A local agitation for the lake as public domain began in 2013, and Stalker joined in the fight to preserve this new urban wilderness for public use. In 2014, the local agitation led to a small expropriation by the government of part of the land. The developers, however, didn’t stop their work.

Rome as terra incognito

Rome seated above Chronos is a cave in a 17th c. image

In 2021, together with the Forum Territoriale Parco delle Energie, community groups, schools, and other institutional actors, Stalker launched a campaign to preserve more of the land. They produced a kind of “rite”, a procession to the government center walking across the city carrying branches that had been cut down by the developer. This was the “walking forest”, an allusion to the play Macbeth, in which an advancing army camouflaged with trees signals the end of the usurper king.
Another project of historic memory coincided with an exhibition about the famed film director Pier Paolo Pasolini.
Lorenzo Romito: The issue, the unsaid, the cancelled was Italian colonialism in Africa. In Italy we didn't have to go through the Nuremberg process, because the Allies decided, we don't want to get rid of all these right-wing fascist people because then the left could take over. So a lot of criminals in the colonial times, the fascist times, never had to pay for their crimes. We didn't go through a process of decolonization, where the colonized claimed their independence, we simply lost the war and lost the colonies. So there is this idea that Italians are good people.

Forgotten is the massacre of 1937, called "Yekatit 12". This followed a failed assassination attempt on an Italian general, viceroy of Italian East Africa (present-day Ethiopia).
A 2017 history estimates the dead at 19,200, a shocking 20 percent of the population of Addis Ababa.
LR: So we wanted to share the knowledge, starting again with the school of the city. Sometimes the knowledge of the past is terrible. But we also want to discover the beauty of the present, Ethiopians in Rome. So we made up this new ethnic group, the Ethio-Romans, to understand what happened then and why we never talk about it.
This project was also about a building occupied by 800 Ethiopians that was evicted in the middle of the night.

LR: So we linked the different questions, the massacre of the '30s and the eviction of the migrants today. But we also had the pleasure to share rites, and ways of living, and we brought in the issue of Pasolini. At the site of an exhibition about Pasolini, we made a collapse and overlap with the colonial exhibition of the '30s at that site which was inaugurated by Mussolini himself.

After the eviction of 2017

We called this a scene from a movie never made about the past, present and future of Africans in Rome. We placed a plaque in the Piazza dei Cinquecento (the square of the 500, commemorating Italian soldiers killed in the invasion of Ethiopia), a central crossing of stations of Rome. We renamed it Piazza delle Cinquecetomila, the 500,000 estimated victims of Italian colonialism in Africa.

Giulia Fiocca: In the same moment that we act on this memory, we act in the public space, and we become an archive of ourselves, leaving it to the future.
John Halpern asked if the actions were permitted by the authorities.

GF: We don't ask permission. It is our city. This is public space. We are not dangerous. We are in Rome, we are not in the United States. [Blush.]
Rome as a civilization was founded on the idea of including the other, in a wide sense, Lorenzo said. He cited the Asylum, a site in ancient Rome which gave the word to the idea of hosting foreigners. He read an image of Rome (allegorized as a woman) atop Saturnus or Chronos (time) in a cave, and recounted a dense mythological background of the city.
The work they began in 1995 took this idea of the Zone from the movie "Stalker" to stand “for us, and for all the territories in this geographically enormous wide city which we don't know…. Rome emerged like a new planet" from their analysis.
John Halpern asked about the group’s relation to the squatting movemet. (The question I would have asked if I’d been able to stay awake.)
They replied:
Our work is an intellectual expression of squatting. We explore contemporary ruins, seeing through mythology how Rome regenerates itself, how it is inhabited by excluded communities, from Aeneas of Troy forward.
We work with abandoned areas taken over by nature that we put in contemporary position. We link the community to the genius of the site [in the ancient pagan sense it seems], and create a gathering.
We are 20 years at this, following the narrative that nature is giving, rather than the explanation of the situation by human society. The territory can change your perception; that nature is doing.
In Rome there are a lot of occupied structures. It's one of the few places in the West where the Occupy movement didn't die out, but survived, and then found new energy through the presence of migrants. We are working in a squat next to our house where there are 26 languages spoken. There's 450 people living. At the same time it's a public building, squatted in 2013. It has a lot of spaces. And these spaces started to be spaces for social and cultural activities, so this brought in a link between the squatters and the community.

For us it was most interesting. We've been in the years past promoting this kind of action, and then we saw it taking place, and we started to participate there. In the basement of this building we have this space which we call MAd'O, the Museum of the Act of Hospitality. So there we were able to expose and share the incredible co-existence of people from 26 different languages in an informal settlement. That is something that public housing never achieves, but it works there because they're self-organized.

We proposed the MAd'O museum after Sébastien Thiéry, fellow at the French Academy’s Villa Medici in 2020, proposed including the act of hospitality in the list of UNESCO intangible cultural heritage. We staged a procession to promote the application. Among the projects for this initative, We worked with visiting African young artists to make images that contest the Italian restrictions on citizenship. There is no birthright for migrant children born in Italy; that is only available after age 18 upon application.

Their conceptions are actualized in their teaching. Lorenzo is teaching in Linz, Austria, where he has asked the students to occupy a space and figure out what to do. Giulia is teaching in Rome, asking students to pick a place like the lake ex-SNIA where nature is redefining the space.


Episode 38: Stalker, Tuesday February 28th, 2023

I talked to Emily and John about my own researches on squatted social centers a couple of years ago. Episode 16: Alan W. Moore, Tuesday, January 26th, 2021

website of journalist and filmmaker Pierre Kattar

the "sudden lake" -- Lago ex-SNIA Viscosa

Pier Paolo Pasolini

Yekatit 12 [massacre]

The last edition of the newspaper done for Circostanza Pasolini- yekatit is linked here, together with the other editions:

The Guardian was among the news media which covered the massive 2017 evictions of migrants and struggles in Rome – Italian police evicted 800 Eritrean and Ethiopian refugees...
25 ago 2017 —Police use water cannon as refugees evicted from Rome square
24 ago 2017 — Police in riot gear clash with refugees near main train station after about 800 were evicted from office building on Saturday. 'I love Rome, but Rome doesn't love us’...
19 feb 2018 — A building which used to be squatted by refugees on Via Curtotone in ... Violent evictions of refugees in Rome reveal inhumanity

No way to find home: common stories of Eritreans in Italy and the Netherlands; Refugees cannot start a new life if they are not allowed to create homes for themselves.

"The area remembered as the site of the sanctuary established by Romulus to attract new settlers"

I was in Rome 10 years ago with SqEK. I told the story in the book Occupation Culture (2015). since this blogger was last in Rome. At the time, I posted “Squatters of Rome” in 2014. In poking around online, I see that Stalker is involved with some of the projects we saw then, which, like Metropoliz, continue.

The cafe in Metropoliz, with its science fiction themed mural, recently photographed by an artists group installing in the museum

Friday, March 3, 2023

Un-Fashion Week in Milan: Calusca City Lights

Gucci for Fall, 2023

First post from our Italian trip recounts a visit to Cox 18's bookstore, a failed excursion to Leoncavallo, some New Yorkers who've been to Milan, and the overwhelming presence of Kim Kardashian. Regrets, the ghost of Bostik, and the many many times before. And a nice short movie!

I’m back on the squatting trail this spring with an intensive period of work in Italy. It’s aimed at a publication on social centers, the large form of occupation, along the lines of a “popular book” I proposed to our SqEK group years ago.

On this trip, we first visited Milan, the city of 7 million which was a hotbed of Autonomist militancy in the 1970s. We arrived at the central train station, a 1931 fascist construction which is gargantuan in scale. This nearly ludicrous steroidal classical structure matches the Brobdingnagian late 19th century galleria Vittorio Emanuele alongside the Duomo cathedral, one of Europe’s first and surely biggest shopping malls – gallerias, or arcades.

That plaza, with the Duomo cathedral alongside bedecked with over-sized writhing Baroque figures, the soaring shopping arcade, and massive crowds, among them a knot of dancing singing Ukrainian protestors, was an experience to be forgotten. An ecstasy of authority and consumption
That's the city. Now to the squats. We made it to the famous Archivio Primo Moroni and Libreria Calusca in the squatted social center Cox 18, and loaded up on books on the Milanese squatting movement to study during a month in Venice. Toto showed us around the place, including the murals NYC artists Seth Tobocman and Peter Kuper had made there nearly 20 years ago.

Murals by Seth Tobocman and Peter Kuper

Later we trucked out to the venerable Leoncavallo CSOA for the pop kitchen, announced on the website and the often mal-informing Google. It was closed. Comments from "local guides" on Google express disappointment over the deteriorated atmosphere at evening concert events there. Closed, streets deserted, the compound Leoncavallo encloses is huge – very Milan.
I could not return at night for one of the concert events. I don’t have the energy anymore to bomb around EU cities to squat spots, which are usually remote. We’d even intended to return to Archivio Primo Moroni the next day to look at posters, but a visit to the Pinacoteca Brera beforehand destroyed us. Old bones.
The Archivio and Calusca City Lights bookstore is in a fairly normal-looking Milan neighborhood. From the Metro stop you walk past big apartment blocks, rather bleak-looking in the fog on the day we went. Cox 18 is on a pretty street with low houses, and a cool art deco bar on the corner. It's rather tight for a social center, with the library, archive and bookstore (two stories) and a courtyard and a concert space.
It was bigger in the past, Toto told us, but parts have been demolished. Cox 18 has been there for many years. Originally squatted in 1976, it was evicted, and resquatted, evicted and resquatted yet again. The bookstore dates from 1992, when the activist bookseller and publisher Primo Moroni and partners put their store there.
That story is told in an informative text on the website by Jacopo Galimberti.
For a "cold call" visit to an archive, it was very productive. I loaded up with some half dozen books and looked at a few more. I have plenty now to digest at leisure in Venice, together with many leads to follow up online. {Digestion can be slow, as I don’t read Italian, and auto-translate is cumbersome.}

The next day we launched our ineffectual try for Leoncavallo, which of course has no regular hours. I say "of course" because that's how it is with social centers; you can't expect regularity. They aren’t businesses; they’re volunteer operations. Maybe unless you know one of the cooks, you wouldn’t know when that Cucina Pop was really open. We did not have any contacts in Milan. Emanuele Braga, a principal in Macao, and member of the Institute of Radical Imagination which has met before in Madrid, was out of town.
Emanuele recommended Torchiera, a rural site which looks fantastic online -- check out the painted walls! They were having a presentation of a new Wu Ming book "UFO 78" on the day we arrived. But again, the place was too far away for us to make it in time.

The Torchiera bird sweeps away a fascist helmet and dreams of water (the commune gets theirs from a public fountain some distance away)

"Did you eat at Il Brutto Anatroccolo trattoria?" asked comrade Matt in a Facebook comment. (That's the "ugly duckling".) Well, no. Shuttling around on a rather opaque and over-crowded (in February!) transit system limited us. Beautiful century-old electric trams would rumble by, but it was impossible to catch one going where we wanted to go. (Google maps and transit signs in Milan frankly suck, BTW.)
Matt traveled in 2019 with 1960s revolutionary Ben Morea an authentic anarchist celebrity on his book tour.

Radical Milan was in hiding from me, though. Besides the Archivio, I didn’t see any signs of radical life on the streets at all – no stickers, no posters, no graffiti, nada. No radical books in the bookstores. Was it only the districts we were in, the touristic center, with its architectural gargantuanism? It was Fashion Week, and enormous billboards of insolent looking models were hanging everywhere, even on the churches. A 20-story high Kim Kardashian!

We were only three days in Milan. And it’s clear a deep soaking is needed to find the personal and material traces of the powerful social movements in that city.
So I’ll “hit the books” – both materially and virtually. I’ve just now started looking through the books Toto sold me. Almost the first one I picked up was Adriano BK Bostik Casale, “L’Edificio Occupato: le centoventigiornate” (Autoproduzione/Agente Provocatore, 2016). Bostik turns out to be an important Napolitano activist and artist.

I corresponded with him briefly in 2016. The artist known as Fly was with our group SqEK in Rotterdam, before traveling on to Naples for a conference recalling the CSO Tienament (named for the Chinese square where students were massacred, and Neapolitan dialect for “remember” or "keep in mind"). That meeting was three days to “remember the history of the antagonistic movement” in Naples. (Jim Fleming of Autonomedia publishing and theorist Franco "Bifo" Berardi also attended.)

NYC artist Fly in Naples, 2016

I thought “I’ve got to meet this guy Bostik”, DJ and animateur, before I realized that wasn’t going to happen. He only recently died. You can watch a short movie he made online, "La Comune di Berlino" (2006; 32 min.; ENG subs).
It’s beautiful, very atmospheric. It’s about a Berlin of the recent past, seen as a commune, of "existential refugees" fleeing the "sane society" of the capitalist west. "The Wall was the commune's walls." But it ended, and “I was driven away. Now I have returned to rediscover what remains” -- 1989 + 15.

The principal in the short is a taxi driver, windshield hung with Italian symbols. He drives around the city talking voiceover, cruising in the night life of Berlin, especially Italians in Berlin. He delivers a singer to her show. Talks to all kinds of deviants, "I met them at their headquarters, Kotbusser Tor, the square which was the summary of all deviances". Visits with junkies, whom he romanticizes as Rimbauds.
Images of carnivalistas, festive bodies. Thumping trance music. He visits Wagenburg, the travelers who live in house-wagons (since evicted; the subject of a show I saw in Hamburg), and a very punky club. He explores this "laboratory of life". He talks to Italian people, and overlays fragments of their talk. Q's implied: "How long have you lived in Berlin?" and "Why did you stay?" -- “For women!” A photographer in the taxi snaps them out the window. A woman with her baby gets in the taxi.
"Squatter moms" managed the squatted zones and spaces for children [called "kitas" auf Deutsch]. In these, he tells us, one experiences "essential emotions", "incommunicable". Finally, "What I was looking for had taken on another form." Where now is the Berlin Commune? The taxi driver parks, gets into a bicycle taxi and is pedalled off.
"Tu wat", he says. "Do something".
The allusion is to the Tuwat-Kongress of 1981, a key moment in the history of the German social movements.


SqEK, or Squatting Europe Kollective, or Squatting Everywhere Kollective, has a kind of website, and has published several books. My own book Occupation Culture tells of my time with them

Cox 18

Leoncavallo Spazio Pubblico Autogestito
Il Leoncavallo SPA (Spazio Pubblico Autogestito) è un centro sociale occupato. Nato nel 1975 a Milano, svolge attività politica e culturale.

The Agency of an Activist Archive. The Primo Moroni Archive
Jacopo Galimberti, 2016

Cascina Torchiera

The archive at Torchiera

"Nella controcultura anni Sessanta: intervista a Ben Morea" di minima&moralia pubblicato mercoledì, 7 Aprile 2021
Fascinating; auto-xlts clearly. He delves into "into the question of 'becoming bandits'" after the failed revolution of the 1960s and before.

Adriano BK Bostik Casale, “L’Edificio Occupato: le centoventigiornate”
Autoproduzione/Agente Provocatore, 2016

"La Comune di Berlino" (2006; 32 min.; ENG subs). on YouTube

Tuwat-Kongress – Wikipedia