Citizens without a City
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94 pages

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In 2009, after seismic tremors struck the Italian mountain town of L'Aquila, survivors were subjected to a "second earthquake"—invasive media attention and a relief effort that left them in a state of suspended citizenship as they were forcibly resettled and had to envision a new future.

In Citizens without a City, Jan-Jonathan Bock reveals how a disproportionate government response exacerbated survivors' sense of crisis, divided the local population, and induced new types of political action. Italy's disenfranchising emergency reaction relocated citizens to camps and sites across a ruined townscape, without a plan for restoration or return. Through grassroots politics, arts and culture, commemoration rituals, architectural projects, and legal avenues, local people now sought to shape their hometown's recovery. Bock combines an analysis of the catastrophe's impact with insights into post-disaster civic life, urban heritage, the politics of mourning, and community fragmentation.

A fascinating read for anyone interested in urban culture, disaster, and politics, Citizens without a City illustrates how survivors battled to retain a sense of purpose and community after the L'Aquila earthquake.

1. Introduction: The L'Aquila Earthquake
2. The State of Emergency
3. Disaster Politics and the War Among the Poor
4. Contesting Urban Recovery
5. Activism and Grassroots Politics
6. Culture and Social Recovery
7. Mourning in Court
8. Conclusion: A Future for L'Aquila



Publié par
Date de parution 01 février 2022
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9780253058881
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 3 Mo

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,1500€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.


Destruction and Despair after the L Aquila Earthquake

This book is a publication of
Indiana University Press
Office of Scholarly Publishing
Herman B Wells Library 350
1320 East 10th Street
Bloomington, Indiana 47405 USA
2022 by Jan-Jonathan Bock
All rights reserved
No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. The paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements of the American National Standard for Information Sciences-Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials, ANSI Z39.48-1992.
Manufactured in the United States of America
First printing 2022
Cataloging information is available from the Library of Congress.
ISBN 978-0-253-05885-0 (hardback)
ISBN 978-0-253-05886-7 (paperback)
ISBN 978-0-253-05887-4 (ebook)
A Camilla Pietropaoli
Ci hai lasciato troppo presto
1. Introduction: The L Aquila Earthquake
The Earthquake and Its Aftermath
Domination and Autonomy
A Disaster Story
The 2009 Earthquake
The State Relief Effort
My Fieldwork Period
Disaster and Citizenship
Chapter Overview
2. The State of Emergency
The World in L Aquila
Aquilani and Their Recollections
Narratives of Extreme Events
The Wheelbarrow Protest
Confronting the Past
3. Disaster Politics and the War among the Poor
Fieldwork in 2012/2013
Imagining the Future
The 2012 Municipal Elections
The Outsider
More Earthquakes
War among the Poor
Lost Hope
4. Contesting Urban Recovery
A Fragmented Urban Space
Urban Branding: L Aquila 2030
A New Auditorium
Opposing Innovation
Materiality vs. Idealism
A Polycentric City
5. Activism and Grassroots Politics
Encounters with the State
Appello per L Aquila
Bereavement and Politics
L Aquila che Vogliamo
Struggling for Change
Citizenship in Post-Disaster L Aquila
6. Culture and Social Recovery
This Is Your Earthquake
The Piazza
One Thousand Days
I Was Not There
Lilies of Memory
The Piazza and Cultural Recovery
7. Mourning in Court
The Major Risks Commission
The Trial
Political Interference
The Judgment
Memory, Biography, and Legal Scrutiny
Splitting the Community of Mourners
Difficult Legacies
8. Conclusion: A Future for L Aquila
Ten Years Later
MANY PEOPLE SUPPORTED ME IN the process of researching for and writing this book, and I am very grateful for their belief in my work. The text is based on the research I conducted for my doctoral dissertation in social anthropology, and I remain grateful to my PhD supervisor, Susan Bayly, at the University of Cambridge for her guidance throughout the writing process and enthusiasm for this project. My faculty advisor, Paola Filippucci, also read many drafts of the dissertation and provided invaluable Italian perspectives on my analyses. Mattei Candea and Mark-Anthony Falzon examined the dissertation and gave me generous and supportive feedback, which helped me in the process of writing this monograph. I would also lik to thank Caroline Humphrey, Michael Herzfeld, Nick Long, and David Nugent for reading early drafts and helping me to develop my ideas further.
The Division of Social Anthropology at the University of Cambridge was an inspiring environment throughout the conception and completion of my research. I would like to thank, in particular, Andrea Grant, Jonas Tinius, John Fahy, Alex Orona, Alex Flynn, Lys Alcanya-Stevens, Sazana Jayadeva, Falk Para Witte, Johannes Lenhard, Steve Schiffer, James Laidlaw, Sian Lazar, Max Watson, Tom White, Paolo Heywood, Jo Cook, Serta Sehlikoglu, Maja Petrovi - teger, Hildegard Diemberger, Joel Robbins, Yu Qiu, Holly High, Richard Irvine, Fiona Wright, Henrietta Moore, Felix Ringel, and Micha Muraswki for many engaging and inspiring conversations.
My college, Peterhouse, supported my PhD research financially, as did the German Business Foundation (SDW). During the doctorate, I made brilliant friends in Peterhouse, Cambridge, and the SDW, and my exchanges with them about the L Aquila earthquake and its aftermath helped me refine my thinking, especially with Jack Clearman, Julien Domercq, Jennifer Wallace, Mari Jones, Steven Connor, Stephen Hampton, Magnus Ryan, Brendan Simms, Tim Crane, Saskia Murk-Janssen, Bridget Kendall, Daisy Dixon, Alon Margolin, Giovanni Zappia, Cornelius Riethdorf, Anna Savoie, Fionnbarra de L sa, Michael Burke, Yi-Shan Tsai, Will Anderson, Stevan Veljkovic, Thomas Probert, Sami Everett, Patrick Wollner, Lucia Rubinelli, Federico Brandmayr, Elisabeth von Hammerstein, David Hohenschurz-Schmidt, Lukas Obholzer, Carlos Dastis, Tina Miedtank, Vicky Pelka, Judith Dada, Natalie Pilling, Jana H ffken, Rike Franke, and Ignacio P rez Hallerbach. I had further illuminating exchanges about this project with Becky Mantel, Nick Dines, David Alexander, Hannah Mayer and her family, Ted Randolph, Austin Tiffany, Dunya Habash, Kitty O Lone, Ed Newell, Ulla Braumann, Lea Taragin-Zeller, Rodrigo Garcia-Velasco Bernal, Sharon Macdonald, Piero Vereni, Stefano Portelli, Jonathan White, Cornelia Herzfeld, Andrea Muehlebach, Peter Popham, Miriam Wagner, Shana Cohen, Edwin Cartlidge, Daniel Knight, Stavroula Pipyrou, John Foot, and Robert Gordon.
Above all, however, I want to thank my friends in L Aquila. I received the warmest of welcomes in a city partly in ruins whose residents had much better things to do than help me practice Italian and understand the ins and outs of local life. Nonetheless, Aquilani were incredibly generous with their hospitality and made my life in the city much easier. I made many new friends and had the most humbling experiences that have shaped me and stayed with me since.
Alessio supported me from day one and became my closest friend, and I remain grateful to Elvira for introducing me to the city. Many others invited me to their homes and into their lives and shared their stories with me. Among them were: Francesco and Diana; Antonello and Sabina; Vittorio and Iuana; Betty; Ilaria and Luca; Marta and Gianni and their families; Vincenzo and Federico; Massimo; Giustino; Renza; Stefano; Giusi; Walter; Antonio; Dario; Massimo; Michela; Daniela; Alessandro the poet; Lorenzo; Mara; Dimitra; Giulia and Isabella; Matteo; Federica; Mattia; Claudia; Laura; Gloria and Andrea; and Sara, Ivano, Patrizio, and Romina. I want to thank everyone at Ju Boss, Lo Zio, and Matteo s. Anna, Marianna, and Lorenza became close friends and helped me make sense of everyday life, as did my friends at VIVIAMO LAq, especially Daniel and Valeria, and their families. I learned about theater and cultural work at E Che Variet , thanks to Giulio, Irene, Giancarlo, and Tiziana. I want to thank the lawyers involved at the Major Risks Commission trial and the engineers and architects from Renzo Piano s building workshop.
My thanks also go to two anonymous reviewers who helped me improve the manuscript and to Jennika Baines at Indiana University Press, who was patient and supportive throughout the writing and production process, and to the excellent copyeditors. Martin and Regine Daubner also supported my PhD research, and I am grateful for their generosity. Finally, I would like to thank my parents, Uli and Iris, and my sisters, Joana and Rebecca, as well as their partners, for being a wonderful family.
While many people contributed to my process of thinking about politics and crisis in L Aquila, they share no responsibility for any of this book s shortcomings. It is difficult to do justice to the complexity, beauty, challenges, and contradictions of community life, and I hope Aquilani will find their experiences reflected in my work. I have chosen to change most people s names-and mention only their first names above-out of respect for their privacy and their social relations, not because they do not deserve to be named. To the contrary, my friends in L Aquila changed my view of the world, and I will remain grateful for that.
All translations from Italian sources, interviews, and other material are mine.
Jan-Jonathan Bock
Goslar, 2020

The L Aquila Earthquake
THIS IS A BOOK ABOUT political life under exceptional circumstances; it is about disenfranchisement, the struggle to be heard and to shape one s future, and unresponsive government. The stage of the story is the city of L Aquila, which is situated in the Italian Apennines and is the capital of the Abruzzo region. On April 6, 2009, L Aquila and large parts of central Italy were rocked by a powerful earthquake. The tremors, which came in the middle of the night, left hundreds dead and thousands injured and led to the displacement of tens of thousands of Abruzzesi-the people of Abruzzo-who had fled damaged neighborhoods, towns, and villages. A large number would not return home for years; many moved away for good, leaving the seismic mountain regions for the safer coastal areas near Rome or Pescara.
In the wake of the disaster, the national, regional, and local authorities, as well as civil society, families, and individuals, transformed the ways in which state institutions interacted with Ital

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