S14 Stampa

Geographies of TransformAction: Spaces, processes, practices and tactics of reappropriation in contemporary activism


Network Geografi-A:
Margherita Ciervo, Economy Dept. University of Foggia (Italy)
Arturo Di Bella, Political and Social Science Dept., University of Catania (Italy)
Daniela Festa, Equipe Mosaïques, Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense, UMR LAVUE 7218 (France)
Valeria Pecorelli, Sociology Dept. University of Milan-Bicocca (Italy)
Massimiliano Tabusi, Università per Stranieri di Siena (Italy)


This session calls for papers that, through the lens of critical and active geography, focus on self-organized resistance and innovation practices performed by civil society and social movements at the present time.

New social movements, which seem capable to influence increasingly the contemporary powerscape of actors, integrate the critique to neoliberism with protest, constructive actions, and alternative territorial development models, adopting multiple tools and performing different repertoires (Ranciere, 1990; Castoriadis, 1998; Routledge, 2003; Amin, Thrift, 2005; Vanolo, Rossi, 2010).

Through the autonomous re-appropriation of tangible spaces (e.g.: territories, dismissed buildings, public places, empty areas, artistic labs etc.) and intangible spaces (e.g.: participation, citizenship, democracy, communication etc.), social movements and collective practices define new and immediate cooperative modalities of imaginaries, active engagement and innovative forms of government.

Despite possible destabilizing factors (Chatterton, 2005; Holloway, 2010), such as assimilation and cooptation by the established system (political parties, trade unions, elite etc.) and by hegemonic practices (Harvey, 2012), social movements remain key-actors in the reinvention of the contemporary political process.

The objectives of the session are summarized as follows:

  • questioning contemporary social movements role in the spatial requalification and democratic regeneration of territorial systems at different scale levels;
  • analyzing types of repossessed spaces, articulated practices and alternative participated models of government as well as achieved results, limits, contradictions;
  • identifying innovative potentials of civic activism practices in changing power and government relations;
  • discussing responsibilities of critical geography in investigating, supporting and nurturing the work and the practice of social movements;
  • collaborating at the ‘Manifesto for Geography of TrasformAction’.

Read the abstracts

Slot 1

Chair: Network Geografi-A

Presentation n. 1
Title: What is an urban social movement? Some considerations on the political space of the city
Author(s): Bianca Maria Mennini

Presentation n. 2
Title: The creativity of commons
Author(s): Daniela Festa

Presentation n. 3
Title: Wondering while wandering: from the ivory tower to the real world.
Author(s): Valeria Pecorelli

Presentation n. 4
Title: Occupying Lisbon: the paths and places of political demonstrations
Author(s): Ana Estevens, Leandro Gabriel, Isabel André

Presentation n. 5
Title: The contribution of activist groups in sustainable mobility and urban life
Author(s): Efthimios Bakogiannis, Maria Siti

Slot 2
Chair: Network Geografi-A

Presentation n. 6
Title: The Italian Movement for Water: processes, practices and tactics of reappropriation of a vital resource
Author(s): Margherita Ciervo

Presentation n. 7
Title: Occupy Borders of Extra-Territoriality: the case of MUOS
Author(s): Arturo Di Bella

Presentation n. 8
Title: Radical spaces: the squatting movements
Author(s): Pierpaolo Mudu, Andrea Aureli

Presentation n. 9
Title: Street Art: Contested Spaces and Contestation through (Public) Spaces
Author(s): Leandro Gabriel, Ana Estevens, Isabel André

Presentation n. 10
Title: Territorialisation Processes and the Neighbourhood Effect in Unconventional Cultural Policies. The Case of Turin's Contemporary Art Festival Paratissima
Author(s): Carlo Salone, Francesca S. Rota

Slot 3
Chair: Network Geografi-A

Presentation n. 11
Title: “New” place(s) for social movements? From Tahrir to Puerta del Sol, from Syntagma to Zuccotti park: 2011 as a milestone for the role of space in social struggles.
Author(s): MassimilianoTabusi

Presentation n. 12
Title: Global Ecovillage Network: a bridge between Northern and Southern "autonomous geographies"?
Author(s): Francesca Fois

Presentation n. 13
Title: Adivasi women contravene patriarchy and capitalism, state violence, climate fraud, civil commons and autonomy
Author(s): Sutapa Chattopadhyay

Presentation n. 14
Title: La réappropriation d'une passion: l'exemple de l'Ardita San Paolo
Author(s): Lorenzo De Blasio

Presentation n. 15
Title: Negotiating spaces of participation, Action research with Federations of urban poor in Malawi
Author(s): Hilde Refstie

Session code: S14