Milena Belloni, Enrico Fravega, Daniela Giudici

Outside the asylum reception system: Marginality and autonomy within informal refugee settlements

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Drawing from the cases of housing squats in Rome and Turin, this article analyses potentialities and limitations of the extra-institutional refugee settlements, as well as their fate after the restrictive turns of the 2018 security decree. Building on international literature on urban informality, we highlight the social value of informal housing, as well as the importance of building on these initiatives rather than erasing them. By combining ethnographic observations, interviews and policy analysis, we compare squatting and eviction in these two urban contexts. Those experiences illustrate the key role of informal housing in the emergence of grassroots forms of social support and «acts of citizenship». Whilst those spaces are considered «unliveable» by securitarian narratives, their eviction often results in an increased vulnerability of an already vulnerable population.

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