Notes around Hospitality as Inhabitation

Engaging with the Politics of Care and Refugees’ Dwelling Practices in the Italian Urban Context

in Migration and Society
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  • 1 Politecnico di Torino, Italy, and University College of London, UK
  • 2 University College of London, UK

Abstract

Hospitality has become a dominant notion in relation to asylum and immigration. Not only is it often used in public and state discourses, it is also prevalent in social analysis, in its ambivalent relationship with hostility and the control and management of population. Grounded in the Derridean suggestion of hospitality as “giving place” (2000: 25), we offer a reflection on hospitality centered around the notion of inhabitation. Framing hospitality as inhabitation helps to move away from problematic asymmetrical and colonial approaches to migration toward acknowledging the multiplicity of transformative experiences embedded in the city. It also enhances a more nuanced understanding of the complex entanglements of humanitarian dilemmas, refugees’ struggle for recognition and their desire for “opacity.” This article draws on five years of teaching-based engagement with the reality of refugees and asylum seekers hosted in the Sistema di Protezione Richiedenti Asilo e Rifugiati in Brescia, Italy.

Introduction

In current discourses on the “refugee crisis” (Krzyzanowski et al. 2018; Triandafyllidou 2018), not much data is needed to sustain the claim that cities have a central role in addressing the contradictory nature of migration encounters (Berg and Fiddian-Qasmiyeh 2018: 1). Urbanism has become a salient subject of public discourse and a symbol of civil society initiatives. While cities offer many opportunities for migrants and refugees, they simultaneously face challenges in creating opportunities for inclusion, livability, and recognition. This article sits within and along this paradox, stemming from the recently emerged literature on urban humanitarianism (Fawaz et al. 2018; Landau et al. 2016; Woodrow 2017) and hospitality and welcoming (Berg and Fiddian-Qasmiyeh 2018; Gill 2018), focusing on the Italian urban context. Following the invitation made explicit by Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh (2016: n.p.) to “actively explore the potential to support the development, and maintenance, of welcoming communities and communities of welcome, whether … composed of citizens, new refugees, or established refugees,” the article reflects on social realities of inhabitation that emerge from the overlapping, simultaneous, and incremental encounters with and between different people, places, and services, and the spatial practices that develop to endure and maintain life. To do so, the article examines forms of inhabitation in the city of Brescia, Italy, where the presence of refugees and migrants at different stages of their migration journeys has triggered a complex ensemble of dwelling and hospitality.

In line with Fiddian-Qasmiyeh and colleagues (Berg and Fiddian-Qasmiyeh 2018; Fiddian-Qasmiyeh 2016; Fiddian-Qasmiyeh and Qasmiyeh 2018)—who have encouraged scholars to transcend the ambivalence of Jacques Derrida's “hostipitality” by engaging with Jean-Luc Nancy's “being together” (2000) and Nira Yuval-Davis's “ethics of care” (2011)—we wish to reinforce the idea that displaced populations are carriers of transformative processes, and therefore integration should be rethought. Joan Tronto defines care as “everything that we do to maintain, continue and repair ‘our world’ … which we seek to interweave in a complex, life sustaining web” (1993: 103). Building on her definition, we see inhabitation as a form of dwelling that is relational (Latimer and Munro 2009) and that helps us reconceptualize hospitality away from “the government of populations” (Foucault 1980: 52), as a platform of operating in the world using a repertoire of practices and tactics that sustain a terrain of relations to resist marginalization (Bellacasa 2017). Framing hospitality as inhabitation helps to move away from the problematic asymmetrical and colonial approach to migration that words like “integration,” at least in the current and populistic use, suggest, and toward acknowledging the multiplicity of transformative experiences embedded in the city. It also enhances a more nuanced understanding of the complex entanglements of humanitarian dilemmas, refugees’ struggle for recognition and their desire for opacity. While it is impossible to completely avoid the use of terms such as integration and hospitality, given that they are deeply embedded in discourse and policy, it is indeed possible to suggest a use that goes beyond linearity, the host-guest binary, and conditionality.

Notes around the Concept of Hospitality as Inhabitation

Hospitality has become a dominant notion in relation to asylum and immigration. Not only is it often used in public and state discourses, it is also prevalent in social analysis, in its ambivalent relationship with hostility and the control and management of population. In this article, grounded in the Derridean suggestion of hospitality as “giving place” to the guest—which is about letting them take place in the place the host offers (2000: 25)—and inspired by Bulley's understanding of hospitality as “producers of space” (2015: 188), we wish to offer a reflection on hospitality centered around the notion of inhabitation. This stems from a five-year period of collaborative co-learning engagement with the Local Democracy Agency in Zavidovici (LDA), which, among other initiatives, manages the Sistema di Protezione Richiedenti Asilo e Rifugiati (System for the Protection of Asylum Seekers and Refugees, or SPRAR) in Brescia, Italy.

In an effort to subvert the forms of violence inevitably produced by the conditional hospitality that is at the basis of the current hosting policy, LDA engages in a Derridean “ethics of hospitality,” which materializes in the construction of spatial opportunities for encounter and mutual recognition between refugees and host communities. Despite the limited and temporary success of such small ethical acts, LDA's practice creates a disruption within the exclusionary regime of control and provides a progressive template for an urbanism of inhabiting. Before illustrating LDA's experience, however, it is necessary to push the concept of inhabitation beyond its instrumental remit and up to the urban scale. The limited space available allows us to make some allusive, nondefinitive, though hopefully provocative reflections. It is worth starting with a question posited by Giorgio Agamben in the opening speech of the 2018/2019 academic year in Rome: “What could have been the historical a priori, the arché, of today's modern architecture?” (2019: n.p. translation by the authors). In answering the question, he argues that “architecture exists because man is a dwelling entity, a dweller and an inhabitant” (ibid.), and therefore the connection between building and dwelling is the possible historical a priori of architecture and the condition of its possibility. Agamben continues his argument, citing Émile Benveniste, that Indo-European culture has overlapped two definitions that are and should remain completely separated: on the one side the casa abitazione, the house as dwelling, which is intended as a social entity (the Latin domus), the place of the family and the gens; and on the other the casa edificio, the house as building (the Latin aedes). Even if both notions can coincide in the space, they express two distinct realities. In Benveniste's words, “the usages of domus in Latin exclude all allusion to construction” (Benveniste 1973: 631), as domi means being at home but in the sense that characterizes domus as a family, a social and moral notion, and therefore is more “attuned to the idea of building relations and belonging” (Boano 2019: 6).

Agamben makes reference to Martin Heidegger's well-known Building, Dwelling, Thinking 1951 text. Contrary to Benveniste's definition, Heidegger argues that the real meaning of the German verb bauen (building) is to dwell, alluding to a coincidence between building and dwelling. “Building as dwelling, that is, as being on the earth, however, remains for man's everyday experience, that which is from the outset “habitual”—we inhabit it” (Boano 2019: 6). Furthermore, Heidegger makes a distinction—which is relevant for the second part of this article—between dwelling somewhere and being at home. Being at home for Heidegger “means something like having practical knowledge of the situation and knowing how to act. Being at home (in this weak sense) is therefore different from dwelling somewhere” (Dekkers 2011: 292).

This is important for our reflection because Agamben suggests that the historical a priori is the “impossibility or the incapacity” of dwelling for the contemporary human. This made evident that, for architects, it is impossible to separate “the art of building and the art of dwelling” (2019: n.p.). This impossibility of building and dwelling is further developed by Agamben into what he thinks is the place par excellence that architecture as a discipline has to continue to interrogate: the camp. Recalling that Auschwitz was built by architect Karl Bischoff,1 Agamben asks: “How could it be possible that an architect … built a structure in which under no circumstances was it possible to dwell, in the original sense of being at home … building the perfect place of the impossibility of inhabitation” (ibid.). With this example he portrays how “architecture at present is facing the historical condition of building the inhabitable” (ibid.). Similarly, detention and so-called reception centers and even the shared accommodations of SPRAR hold the same impossibility to be inhabited. For this reason, again following Agamben's suggestion, there is the need for contemporary architecture and planning to engage critically with the production of inhabitable space, reclaiming the centrality of inhabitation.

Questions about what is inhabitable have long defined the nature and governance of urban life (Adams 2014; Thacker 2009), and more recently were the focus of Abdoumaliq Simone's (2019) reflection of life and nonlife. Shifting the tone from the pure philosophical inquiry offered by Agamben, Simone's southern ethnography seeks to position how “the habitable and uninhabitable are, and can be, redescribed in terms of each other” (ibid.: 137), not only positing that the current anachronism of the uninhabitable is based on the fact that “habiting the uninhabitable … becomes the means through which the poor may enter into various entanglements of provisioning and compliance, where they gain a foothold as normative citizens and where the severity of the risks they face reiterate, rather than challenge, the functionality of liberal urban governance” (ibid.: 139), but also arguing that “the ability to inhabit is not as important as the ability to ‘ride the uninhabitable.’ It is as if ‘to reside’ means ‘to surf: to ride the crests, the ebbs and swells, of greater or lesser turbulence’ (Braun 2014)” (ibid.: 142).

Like Agamben, Simone seems to be looking for the cesurae between dwelling and building. Alluding to a very architectural question, he asks: “How can we operate somewhere between the tightening standardization of habitation … and making the uninhabitable a new norm? Such a middle is not so much a new regime, imaginary, or place; rather, it is a way of drawing lines of connection among the various instances and forms of habitation, in order to find ways of making them have something to do with each other beyond common abstractions” (ibid.: 145).

Embracing Simone's view, it is possible to trace connections between concurrent and simultaneously unfamiliar forms of inhabitation—the ethical care practiced by civil society bodies such as LDA and the strategies and tactics put in place by refugees and migrants to overturn the violence of hospitality, to negotiate life, to resist marginalization, and to maintain and repair the world. This reflection, although brief, suggests the importance of thinking hospitality as a form of inhabitation that embraces the tensions between containing and maintaining life, and that adjusts to the collision of fantasies, hopes, and futures.

The Politics of Austerity, Xenophobia, and Diffused Hospitality in the Italian Context

Italy has long been one of Europe's thresholds for sub-Saharan Africa migrants, although compared to other EU countries it receives a smaller number of asylum requests and has low immigration rates (Eurostat 2016, see Volume 2 of Migration and Society). This is due to disparate factors—including the current politics of austerity and cuts to welfare and social services, increasing unemployment and homelessness, and a proportional surge of nationalism and xenophobic sentiments—that have historically made Italy less attractive than other countries such as Germany or Sweden. Restrictive deterrence measures are further contributing to a decrease in arrivals, while chronic policy failure has generated a fragmented and dysfunctional apparatus of humanitarianism, control, and containment. A constellation of more or less segregated urban and periurban centers, dormitories, and shared accommodations, with disparate temporal and legal requirements and governance, accommodate, contain, or detain refugees and asylum seekers often in precarious living conditions. Established to respond to short-term emergencies, rather than to address refugee situations that endure for years and decades, the asylum and hosting system fails to respond to real needs. The high number of asylum applications rejected by the authorities (50 percent) results in a process of expulsion, illegality, and informality (MSF 2018).2 The situation has escalated since the 2018 Salvini bill, which is greatly affecting migrants’ ability to inhabit the city.

Despite insularity, temporariness, and instability being widespread and well documented in Italy and Europe (Rozakou 2012), we observed more nuances to the contemporary reality, urban and not. Without delving into the complex aberrant details of the Italian hosting system,3 asylum seekers and refugees (at the time of writing) have access to a reception system that is split into first and second reception lines.4 The latter consists of a number of shared housing accommodations within SPRAR and is based on the “diffused hospitality” model.

Such a model is neither new nor novel, as it stems from the bottom-up initiatives of Italian residents and volunteers. Its origin has been alternatively attributed to the initiative of civil society organizations such as LDA during the 1990s Bosnian war (Zanotti 2011), and to the welcoming practices of small villages in Southern Italy during the Albanian civil war (Nikunen 2014). Whatever its origins, in the early 2000s such “civic” practices were “institutionalized” and became a national policy of urban dispersal.5 The SPRAR program is currently present in 95 cities, hosting 30,000 people.

Based on the assumption that social connections are more easily built among small groups of refugees and locals living together, urban dispersal is regarded as a much better alternative than segregated and overcrowded centers or camps. In “Cities of Exclusion,” Chiara Marchetti argues that dispersal models such as SPRAR are more likely able to establish “an early intercultural contact to foster integration of those who will then be entitled to stay permanently on the Italian territory” (2017: 11). However, this also requires an investment, both affective and temporal, into relationships that might not last, especially if the applicant is refused her or his permission to stay.

For this and other reasons, urban dispersal policies have lately attracted a great deal of criticism, particularly as they perpetuate forms of control and policing as well prevent political resistance and create aid dependency. Martina Manara and George Piazza argue that dispersal involves depoliticization through atomization: a spatial division of asylum seekers from each other, which “results from three mechanisms: tensions with the local community, the allocation and management of asylum seekers in flats by SPRAR organisations, and the individualisation of reception programs’ (2018: 49–50). Dispersal is equated with the loss of a collective way of life that makes it impossible to undertake any political action. Francesca Campomori (2016) attributes the struggle faced by refugees after dismissal from SPRAR—particularly the housing struggle—to SPRAR itself, and particularly to the lack of transitional support from protection to autonomy. This also points to the form of aid dependency that such policy creates. Kaarina Nikunen (2014), in her study of the long-term impact of diffused hospitality, has shown how SPRAR has actually failed to promote connectedness between locals and refugees, with refugees moving to large cities to find jobs.

However, what emerges from a review of the existing literature around dispersal is a certain perseverance in examining integration as a static, place-bound, and binary concept, as if integration exclusively takes place in one country, one society, one economy, one city, one time, and so on. Instead, Rinus Penninx's model (Garces-Mascarenas and Penninx 2016) has famously shown how integration takes place in a number of domains (cultural, political, socioeconomic, etc.) and on different levels (individual, collective, institutional, etc.). Borrowing from Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh's notion of overlapping displacement (2016), we could argue that integration similarly happens in a nonlinear, overlapping, incremental, “messy” way through uncoordinated encounters. Such a conceptualization of integration is totally place-bound, as it refers to the ability of migrants and refugees to invent a “place” for themselves in the new society, often offering the opportunity for other actors—local communities, residents, humanitarian or civil society organizations—to reinvent their place as well. It is in this sense that hospitality and dispersal programs such as SPRAR retain some potential—as a practice of inhabiting several aspects of social life, including access to employment, education, housing, and health care, the establishment of local networks, and cultural encounter (Ager and Strang 2008).

Engaging with Refugee Dwelling Practices

Hospitality is, at its essence, about making someone feel “at home,” and the role of housing is crucial in exploring such a challenge. Yet we argue that hospitality is more than that. Framed as inhabitation, it refers to the way we exist in the city, particularly our ability to dwell, care for, repair, and imagine relationships and places and to constantly reposition ourselves according to a specific trajectory, both spatial and temporal, in a constant negotiation of life. In this spirit, we embarked on a longitudinal exploration of caring and dwelling practices in Brescia, as part of a teaching-based co-learning project within the MSc Building and Urban Design in Development program at UCL.6 Each year for five years we engaged in immersive urban ethnographies with small groups of refugees and asylum seekers hosted in SPRAR and with volunteers and workers from LDA.7 In the form of a three-day design workshop, including interviews, transect walks, and focus groups, we explored the city, observing the complexity of urban encounters, shifting positionalities, and contested identities and power relationships. Paternalism, patriarchy, and power imbalance were palpable in the SPRAR program because of its nature of conditional hospitality. Victimization, apathy, and passivity were equally present. Our presence, the presence of outsiders, students and researchers, made it even more accentuated at times despite the open, professional, and often humble attitude of LDA workers.

In particular, when visiting the shared accommodations where refugees were hosted, the sort of “violence” inherent to hospitality as well as the excruciating dilemmas of humanitarian work became manifest. Within the flats, hospitality is enacted simultaneously as a dispositive of control and protection. Refugees and asylum seekers have to follow rules from curfew to alcohol consumption, while aid workers pay visits to enforce the rules, resolve housemates’ disputes, and give fines in case of broken rules. Despite LDA's effort to oppose the conventional humanitarian approach where the refugee is seen as the passive receiver of aid, ultimately the very problematic essence of hospitality hinders the possibility to support avenues for refugees’ agency to challenge and fragment power. House rules largely limit people's freedom in the house, and deeply affect its emotional and social meaning. The same rules also deeply affect care workers by turning their work into that of policing. Particularly affected are those who engage with passionate political sensitivity with refugees and who struggle to reconcile the legal meaning of protection with the universal right to freedom and the political imperative to host and help.

If hospitality turns the home inside out, where do refugees find home (or the attributes of home)? With this question in mind, we started exploring the meaning of home and its spatial occurrence. Meanings of home are diverse and often contradictory. As Michael Jackson (1995: 122) puts it, home is “always lived as a relationship, a tension … like any word we use to cover a particular field of experience, home always begets its own negation … It might evoke security in one context and seem confining in another.” Similarly, we have found that for some of our refugee interlocutors, home is a familiar and comfortable space where particular relationships are lived. In this sense the idea of home relates to privacy, intimacy, domesticity, and comfort according to cultural origin and context. Sometimes home is perceived as a safe, enclosed domain opposed to perceptions of external space as dangerous and unknown, as a protected inside in an increasingly alienating outside. However, the house is not a space that offers total freedom. Given the presence of house rules, a sense of intimacy and privacy turns into oppression, with residents subject to diverse forms of control in the home environment. Instead of being a “private space” distinguished from the public realm, a refuge, removed from public scrutiny and surveillance, might turn into the opposite of home.

According to dozens of interviews and conversations held since 2014, it emerged that the physical, social, and emotional meaning and perception of home and consequent behavior in the house is largely influenced not only by cultural and economic factors but also by a number of paradoxes produced by hospitality, including: the mobility of a long migration journey and forms of immobility imposed by legal and bureaucratic processes; the possibility of permanence in the host country and the risk of constant transience; exclusion from the local host community and inclusion into supranational aid communities; and economic dependence and the pressure to obtain an autonomous livelihood.

The amount of time and effort that refugees and asylum seekers invest in maintaining the house, purchasing personal objects, and building relationships with the host community highly depends on individual trajectories. For many people, the journey to Italy is a protracted one, with multiple departure points. Italy is not necessarily the intended “arrival country”; most often, for Syrian refugees, it is a transit country on the way to Germany, and to the UK for refugees and migrants from Senegal and Nigeria. This point is very important and could be referred back to Jørgen Carling's (2002) notion of arrested mobilities, which emphasizes the current state of “involuntary immobility” that is imposed on an increasing number of would-be migrants and asylum seekers around the globe as the result of restrictive policies of movement. Nevertheless, people on the move continue to experiment with forms of inhabitation in their imagined countries of settlement. The result is a series of unfinished journeys sustained through processes of temporary integration.

Feelings around home may greatly change according to the positive or negative outcome of the asylum application. The latter becomes an obsessive thought that obscures any other and sometimes hinders action, leading to passive inaction and apathy, as is well documented (Brun and Fabos 2017). It is also reflected in the approach toward the house, which shifts from the initial sense of safety, trust, and euphoria to a sense of immobility and frustration. A sense of disengagement and withdrawal pervades the house when protraction decreases motivation and willingness to engage with the process, the local community, and housemates. Rejection and despair prevail at the end of the program, when refugees find themselves homeless again because they have not obtained the necessary papers and they are liable for deportation. In the case of a positive outcome, the meaning of home changes completely, and starts relying on ideas of future, tenure, and personal and familial security. However, as soon as they have their papers, refugees have to leave the program, often without having secured a job and sufficient means to cover rent. Furthermore, they have little knowledge of the private rental market, and in the absence of any social and public housing options, they might end up in informal and precarious accommodations.

During transect walks and urban explorations with refugees and asylum seekers, we observed the presence of networks (often of a religious nature and between same nationality groups) and social interactions occurring at different locations around the city (mainly around sports events and in some civic spaces organized by LDA and its partners). As elsewhere in Europe, many African migrants in Brescia attend Christian, Afro-Christian, and Pentecostal churches. Unlike many mosques and Islamic cultural centers, these are self-organized spaces from below, often developed outside any institutionalized framework of intervention, and part of a transnational network providing more than religious services. These spaces are revelatory of an infrastructure of care. This is a survival strategy, a way of navigating and learning the city that we call inhabitation. Here, refugees and migrants are no longer only beneficiaries of care, but rather play key roles as caregivers (Fiddian-Qasmiyeh 2016).

Returning to the initial question: Where do the refugees find home? It seems to us that many attributes of home such as privacy, safety, security, care, belonging, and the possibility of imagining a future are found outside the house, in these small, less formal and precarious networks. We could argue that for people on the move, rather than home being a fixed place, it is a condition, the experience of “being-at home-less” in the world.

Conclusion

The SPRAR urban accommodation scheme sets out some valuable principles and objectives, establishing some normalcy in refugees’ lives and embracing diversity and coexistence. While this model has potential to fulfill these conditions, it suffers from two shortcomings: first, it does not disrupt the image of refugees as beneficiaries in its current conception, and second, it is only a temporary cover-up that ultimately fails to support refugees—and other groups—in their long-term trajectories. However, the existence of other infrastructures of care and same-nationality networks can and do fill the gap.

Hospitality practices inevitably emerge not just as the material embodiment of the ambiguities of humanitarianism, but as their complicit and instrumental medium. This is to the extent that the material organization and spatiality it forms do not only reflect but also reinforce social orders, thus becoming a contributing factor in reoccurring forms of containment, suspension, and control. LDA's work suggests, however, that hospitality not only involves the creation of subjects in the form of the host-guest and their relations of identity and difference and welcome and rejection, but also inevitably produces space. Hospitality then becomes an inhabitation.

What appears important in the LDA and the DPU co-learning teaching-based experience attached to it is the possibility to steer it toward practical, material recommendations that could potentially improve the lives of those who are pressured by the city (Rodgers and O'Neill 2012: 6), and that is embedded into a critical reflection of SPRAR. Focusing on dwelling in the public spaces of the city, a 2019 DPU workshop interrogated urban mobility both as a fundamental need and as a right that produces stratified citizenship. Talking to public transport users and planners and collecting migrant and refugee stories, different systems and spaces of transport emerged as a cultural product and simultaneously as a social and economic reproducer of inequality and gender discrimination. Listening to refugees and other urban actors, the spatial strategies coproduced in the limited spaces of such encounters focused on the transformative processes occurring in the city. Challenging the top-down criteria according to which transport planning is deliberated, and the one-way approach to hospitality and integration that never considers those “who have to integrate,” DPU students proposed new transport routes and modes of use based on what people value. Framing mobility as a subjective matter is clearly at odds with orthodox transport planning methods, enabling a conversation between planners and “users,” whether residents or refugees, to happen outside the canonic space, leveling knowledges and ideas of expertise.

Such an approach not only calls for a renewed social responsibility in shaping the political spaces of refuge, but importantly also directs action toward their realization, invoking the need to redesign the spatial taxonomies of humanitarianism. Rethinking such taxonomies and practices in the territories of refuge requires a shift that allows inquiry into and along persons, things, spaces, and abstract locations and to think the politics of refuge spatially. This politicized perspective confirms inhabitation as transformative practice, a practice that creates sociality and identity.

Acknowledgments

The authors wish to acknowledge the generosity and the critical friendship of Agostino Zanotti, Maddalena Alberti, and LDA staff in learning from their progressive and embedded practice of hospitality in Brescia.

Notes
1

In October 1941, Bischof drew up the first master plan for a facility designed to hold 97,000 inmates with Fritz Ertl, a graduate of the Bauhaus.

2

Médecins Sans Frontiéres (MSF 2016, 2018) reports that for every 100,000 refugees and asylum seekers who are hosted in government-run structures, 10,000 live in informal settlements close to urban areas without any access to water, sanitation, and basic health care. These individuals (a) are waiting to submit their asylum request; (b) have had their asylum request rejected; or (c) have never applied because they do not intend to remain in Italy but have not yet secured the resources to leave. Furthermore, even individuals who are currently hosted in the reception centers or are part of protection schemes could potentially end up living in informal settlements, if their asylum request is unsuccessful or if they cannot afford a house once they have obtained their papers.

3

The so-called reception system is more articulated and convoluted, also including a “first aid and assistance” component, formed by “hotspots.” Hotspot facilities were created following the European Agenda on Migration in 2015; they are located close to arrival routes with the initial purpose of identification and fingerprinting procedures, before transferring refugees and asylum seekers to first-line or second-line reception centers. They have now partly changed their function, having become “places for migrants’ redistribution on land” (Garelli and Tazzioli 2016; Tazzioli and Garelli 2018), and they involve often protracted (illegal) detention where human rights abuses and poor living conditions are well documented (Amnesty International 2016). Similar precarious and inhumane conditions are well documented within the infamous Centers for Identification and Expulsion (CIE), which were recently renamed Deportation Centers (CPR) (LasciateCIEntrare 2016).

4

First-line reception consists of around three thousand Emergency Accommodation Centers (CAS, or Centro Accoglienza Straordinaria) distributed across the national territory. The lack of adequate structures and services, coupled with the protraction of the refugees’ stay, as well as mismanagement, corruption, and violation of human rights, characterize these centers. Furthermore, there is little clarity on the exact location and the governance and management system, as there exists no obligation by law to disclose information (Cittadinanzattiva et al. 2016). Campomori (2016) notes that the first line receives 70 percent of refugees and asylum seekers.

5

Article 32, Law 189/2002, “Modifica alla normativa in materia di immigrazione e di asilo.”

6

This multidisciplinary program researches the urban practices and politics of the design of cities. It is part of the Development Planning Unit (DPU) at the Bartlett at University College of London. The authors are both tutors in the program.

7

Local Democracy Agency in Zavidovici - Associazione Ambasciata Democrazia Locale a Zavidovici ONLUS and DPU partner to co-produce a mutual learning space to exchange reflections on hospitality practice, civil society engagement, and solidarity in their complex relations with the urban dimensions. LDA and DPU self-reflexivity was central to the operation and to allow a safe space for encounters and learning.

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  • Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, Elena. 2016. “Refugee-Refugee Relations in Contexts of Overlapping Displacement.” International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. http://www.ijurr.org/spotlight-on/the-urban-refugee-crisis-reflections-on-cities-citizenship-and-the-displaced/refugee-refugee-relations-in-contexts-of-overlapping-displacement/ (accessed 20 April 2019).

    • Search Google Scholar
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  • Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, Elena, and Yusif M. Qasmiyeh. 2018. “Refugee Neighbours & Hostipitality.” Refugee Hosts, 20 March. https://refugeehosts.org/2018/03/20/refugee-neighbours-hostipitality/.

    • Export Citation
  • Foucault, Michael. 1980. The History of Sexuality, Vol. 1, An Introduction. New York: Vintage House.

  • Garelli, Giulia, and Martina Tazzioli. 2016. The EU Hotspot at Lampedusa. OpenDemocracy, 26 February. https://www.opendemocracy.net/can-europe-make-it/glenda-garelli-martina-tazzioli/eu-hotspot-approach-at-lampedusa.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Garces-Mascarenas, Blanca, and R. Penninx. 2016. Integration Processes and Policies in Europe. Springer: New York.

  • Gill, Nick 2018. “The Suppression of Welcome.” Fennia 196 (1): 8898.

  • Jackson, Michael. 1995. At Home in the World. Sydney: Harper Perennial.

  • Heidegger, Martin. 1951. ‘Building Dwelling Thinking’ in Basic Writings (1978 [1927–64]) ed. David Farrell Krell. London: Routledge.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Krzyzanowski, Michał, Anna, Triandafyllidou, and Ruth Wodak. 2018. “The Mediatization and the Politicization of the ‘Refugee Crisis’ in Europe.” Journal of Immigrant & Refugee Studies 16 (1–2): 114.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Manara, Martina, and Giorgia Piazza. 2018. “The Depoliticisation of Asylum Seekers: Carl Schmitt and the Italian System of Dispersal Reception into Cities.” Political Geography 64: 43.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Marchetti, Chiara. 2017. “Cities of Exclusion: Local Authorities Refusing Asylum Seekers.” Paper given at “Retour des frontières ou ‘Global Seam’? Une réflexion sur la solidarité transnationale, les droits, et la citoyenneté au temps de la crise migratoire en Europe” workshop, Sciences Po–University of Milan, 27 June 2017.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • MSF (Médecins Sans Frontiéres). 2018. Fuori campo: Insediamenti informali, marginalità sociale, ostacoli all'accesso alle cure e ai beni essenziali per migrant e rifugiati. 2nd report. http://fuoricampo.medicisenzafrontiere.it/Fuoricampo2018.pdf (accessed 31 March 2018).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • MSF (Médecins Sans Frontiéres). 2016. Fuori campo. Richiedenti asilo e rifugiati in Itlaia: insediamenti informali e marginalità sociale. Report. http://fuoricampo.medicisenzafrontiere.it/Fuoricampo.pdf (accessed 24 July 2019).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Nancy, Jean-Luc. 2000. Being Singular Plural. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

  • Nikunen, Kaarina. 2014. “Hopes of Hospitality: Media, Refugee Crisis and the Politics of a Place.” International Journal of Cultural Studies 19 (2): 161176.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Landau, Loren, Wanjiku-Kihato, Caroline, Jean Pierre, Misago, Benjamin Edwards. 2016. Becoming Urban Humanitarians: Engaging Local Government to Protect Displaced People. Urban Institute. Research report. https://www.urban.org/sites/default/files/publication/84356/Urban%20Institute%20ReseaRes%20Report%20-%20Becoming%20Urban%20Humanitarians_FINAL.pdf (accessed 1 October 2018).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • LasciateCIEntrare. 2016. LasciateCIEentrare. Report. http://www.asylumineurope.org/sites/default/files/resources/20giugnolasciarecientrare.pdf (accessed 4 June 2017).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Latimer, Joanna, and Rolland Munro. 2009. “Keeping and Dwelling: Relational Extension, the Idea of Home, and Otherness.” Space and Culture 12 (3): 317331.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Rodgers, Dennis, and B. O'Neil. 2012. “Infrastructural Violence: Introduction.” Ethnography 13 (4): 401412.

  • Rozakou, Katerina. 2012. “The Biopolitics of Hospitality in Greece: Humanitarianism and the Management of Refugees.” American Ethnologist 39 (3): 562577.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Simone, Abdoumalique. 2019. Improvised Lives. London: Polity Press.

  • Tazzioli, Martina, and Glenda Garelli. 2018. “Containment beyond Detention: The Hotspot System and Disrupted Migration Movements across Europe.” Environment and Planning D. Published ahead of print, 19 February. https://doi.org/10.1177/0263775818759335.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Thacker, Eugene. 2009. “The Shadows of Atheology Epidemics, Power and Life after Foucault.” Theory, Culture and Society 26: 134152.

  • Triandafyllidou, Anna. 2018. “A ‘Refugee Crisis’ Unfolding: ‘Real’ Events and Their Interpretation in Media and Political Debates.” Journal of Immigrant & Refugee Studies 16: 12.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Tronto, Jean. 1993. Moral Boundaries: A Political Argument for an Ethic of Care. London: Routledge.

  • Woodrow, Nina. 2017. “City of Welcome: Refugee Storytelling and the Politics of Place.” Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies 31 (6): 780790.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Yuval-Davis, Nira. 2011. Power, Intersectionality and the Politics of Belonging. Aalborg, Denmark: FREIA—Feminist Research Center in Aalborg.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Zanotti, Agostino. 2011. “Dentro il conflitto.” Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso Transeuropa, 29 May. https://www.balcanicaucaso.org/aree/Bosnia-Erzegovina/Dentro-il-conflitto-94400.

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Contributor Notes

CAMILLO BOANO (https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1076-869X) is Professor of Architecture and Urban Design at Dipartimento Interateneo di Scienze, Progetto e Politiche, Territorio del Politecnico di Torino and Professor of Urban Design and Critical Theory at Development Planning Unit, University College of London, UK. Camillo's research has centered on the complex encounters between critical theory, radical philosophy, and urban design processes. He is working on a series of interconnected research projects in Latin America, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East on urban infrastructures, habitability, and citywide upgrades.

GIOVANNA ASTOLFO is Lecturer at the Development Planning Unit, University College of London, UK and Programme Co-Leader of the MSc Building and Urban Design in Development at DPU, where she combines teaching and research on a variety of global projects in Latin America, West Africa, and Southeast Asia, with a focus on informal urbanisms, continuous displacement and refuge, and housing rights. Her PhD research focused on land and housing practices in border cities, which triggered a three-year collective design investigation for the radical reappropriation of abandoned military land with a multistakeholder participatory process in different small and medium-sized cities in Italy.

Migration and Society

Advances in Research

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  • Agamben, Giorgio. 2019. “Costruire e abitare: Apertura anno accademico 2018/19 Università di Roma.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_LYyYKLb_8 (accessed 15 March 2019).

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  • Ager, Alastair, and Alison Strang. 2008. “Understanding Integration: A Conceptual Framework.” Journal of Refugee Studies 21 (2): 166191.

  • Amnesty International. 2016. “Hotspot Italia: Come le politiche dell'Unione Europea portano a violazione dei diritti di rifugiati e migranti.” Report. https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/eur30/5004/2016/it/ (accessed 4 June 2017).

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  • Bellacasa, Maria Puig. 2017. Matters of Care: Speculative Ethics in More than Human Worlds. Minneapolis, London: University of Minnesota Press.

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  • Benveniste, Emile. 1973. Indo-European Language and Society. Miami: University of Miami Press.

  • Berg, Mette Louise, and Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh. 2018. “Introduction to the Issue: Encountering Hospitality and Hostility.” Migration and Society: Advances in Research 1: 16.

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    • Export Citation
  • Boano, Camillo. 2019. “From Exclusion to Inhabitation: Response to Gray Benjamin. Citizenship as Barrier and Opportunity for Ancient Greek and Modern Refugees.” Humanities 8 (125): 18.

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  • Brun, Cathrine, and Anna Fabos. 2017. “Mobilizing Home for Long-Term Displacement: A Critical Reflection on the Durable Solutions.” Journal of Human Rights Practice 9: 177183.

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  • Bulley, Dan 2015. “Ethics, Power and Space: International Hospitality beyond Derrida.” Hospitality and Society 5 (2–3): 185201.

  • Carling, Jorgen. 2002. “Aspiration and Ability in International Migration: Cape Verdean Experiences of Mobility and Immobility.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 28 (1): 542.

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  • Campomori, Francesca 2016. “Protection System for Asylum Seekers in Italy: The Weakness of Integration Policies.” Conference paper. Annual Conference Espa-net, 1–3 September 2016 Rotterdam. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/308792632_Protection_System_for_Asylum_Seekers_in_Italy_the_weakness_of_integration_policies (accessed 11 February 2019).

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  • Cittadinanzattiva. 2016. “InCAStrati. Iniziative civiche sulla gestione dei centri di accoglienza straordinaria per richiedenti asilo.” https://www.cittadinanzattiva.it/files/primo_piano/giustizia/inCAStrati-report.pdf (accessed 24 July 2019).

    • Export Citation
  • Dekkers, Wim. 2011. “Dwelling, House and Home: Towards a Home-Led Perspective on Dementia Care.” Medecine, Health Care and Philosophy 14 (3): 291300.

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  • Derrida, Jacques. 2000. “Hostipitality.” Angelaki 5 (3): 318.

  • Eurostat. 2016. “Asylum Applicants in the EU.” http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/main/news/themes-in-the-spotlight/asylum2015 (accessed 24 July 2019).

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  • Fawaz, Mona, Ahmad Gharbieh, Mona Harb, and Dounia Salame. 2018. Refugees as City-Makers. Social Justice and the City Program, American University of Beirut. http://website.aub.edu.lb/ifi/publications/Documents/research_reports/20180910_refugees_as_city_makers.pdf (accessed 25 April 201).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, Elena. 2016. “Refugee-Refugee Relations in Contexts of Overlapping Displacement.” International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. http://www.ijurr.org/spotlight-on/the-urban-refugee-crisis-reflections-on-cities-citizenship-and-the-displaced/refugee-refugee-relations-in-contexts-of-overlapping-displacement/ (accessed 20 April 2019).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, Elena, and Yusif M. Qasmiyeh. 2018. “Refugee Neighbours & Hostipitality.” Refugee Hosts, 20 March. https://refugeehosts.org/2018/03/20/refugee-neighbours-hostipitality/.

    • Export Citation
  • Foucault, Michael. 1980. The History of Sexuality, Vol. 1, An Introduction. New York: Vintage House.

  • Garelli, Giulia, and Martina Tazzioli. 2016. The EU Hotspot at Lampedusa. OpenDemocracy, 26 February. https://www.opendemocracy.net/can-europe-make-it/glenda-garelli-martina-tazzioli/eu-hotspot-approach-at-lampedusa.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Garces-Mascarenas, Blanca, and R. Penninx. 2016. Integration Processes and Policies in Europe. Springer: New York.

  • Gill, Nick 2018. “The Suppression of Welcome.” Fennia 196 (1): 8898.

  • Jackson, Michael. 1995. At Home in the World. Sydney: Harper Perennial.

  • Heidegger, Martin. 1951. ‘Building Dwelling Thinking’ in Basic Writings (1978 [1927–64]) ed. David Farrell Krell. London: Routledge.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Krzyzanowski, Michał, Anna, Triandafyllidou, and Ruth Wodak. 2018. “The Mediatization and the Politicization of the ‘Refugee Crisis’ in Europe.” Journal of Immigrant & Refugee Studies 16 (1–2): 114.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Manara, Martina, and Giorgia Piazza. 2018. “The Depoliticisation of Asylum Seekers: Carl Schmitt and the Italian System of Dispersal Reception into Cities.” Political Geography 64: 43.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Marchetti, Chiara. 2017. “Cities of Exclusion: Local Authorities Refusing Asylum Seekers.” Paper given at “Retour des frontières ou ‘Global Seam’? Une réflexion sur la solidarité transnationale, les droits, et la citoyenneté au temps de la crise migratoire en Europe” workshop, Sciences Po–University of Milan, 27 June 2017.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • MSF (Médecins Sans Frontiéres). 2018. Fuori campo: Insediamenti informali, marginalità sociale, ostacoli all'accesso alle cure e ai beni essenziali per migrant e rifugiati. 2nd report. http://fuoricampo.medicisenzafrontiere.it/Fuoricampo2018.pdf (accessed 31 March 2018).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • MSF (Médecins Sans Frontiéres). 2016. Fuori campo. Richiedenti asilo e rifugiati in Itlaia: insediamenti informali e marginalità sociale. Report. http://fuoricampo.medicisenzafrontiere.it/Fuoricampo.pdf (accessed 24 July 2019).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Nancy, Jean-Luc. 2000. Being Singular Plural. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

  • Nikunen, Kaarina. 2014. “Hopes of Hospitality: Media, Refugee Crisis and the Politics of a Place.” International Journal of Cultural Studies 19 (2): 161176.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Landau, Loren, Wanjiku-Kihato, Caroline, Jean Pierre, Misago, Benjamin Edwards. 2016. Becoming Urban Humanitarians: Engaging Local Government to Protect Displaced People. Urban Institute. Research report. https://www.urban.org/sites/default/files/publication/84356/Urban%20Institute%20ReseaRes%20Report%20-%20Becoming%20Urban%20Humanitarians_FINAL.pdf (accessed 1 October 2018).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • LasciateCIEntrare. 2016. LasciateCIEentrare. Report. http://www.asylumineurope.org/sites/default/files/resources/20giugnolasciarecientrare.pdf (accessed 4 June 2017).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Latimer, Joanna, and Rolland Munro. 2009. “Keeping and Dwelling: Relational Extension, the Idea of Home, and Otherness.” Space and Culture 12 (3): 317331.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Rodgers, Dennis, and B. O'Neil. 2012. “Infrastructural Violence: Introduction.” Ethnography 13 (4): 401412.

  • Rozakou, Katerina. 2012. “The Biopolitics of Hospitality in Greece: Humanitarianism and the Management of Refugees.” American Ethnologist 39 (3): 562577.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Simone, Abdoumalique. 2019. Improvised Lives. London: Polity Press.

  • Tazzioli, Martina, and Glenda Garelli. 2018. “Containment beyond Detention: The Hotspot System and Disrupted Migration Movements across Europe.” Environment and Planning D. Published ahead of print, 19 February. https://doi.org/10.1177/0263775818759335.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Thacker, Eugene. 2009. “The Shadows of Atheology Epidemics, Power and Life after Foucault.” Theory, Culture and Society 26: 134152.

  • Triandafyllidou, Anna. 2018. “A ‘Refugee Crisis’ Unfolding: ‘Real’ Events and Their Interpretation in Media and Political Debates.” Journal of Immigrant & Refugee Studies 16: 12.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Tronto, Jean. 1993. Moral Boundaries: A Political Argument for an Ethic of Care. London: Routledge.

  • Woodrow, Nina. 2017. “City of Welcome: Refugee Storytelling and the Politics of Place.” Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies 31 (6): 780790.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Yuval-Davis, Nira. 2011. Power, Intersectionality and the Politics of Belonging. Aalborg, Denmark: FREIA—Feminist Research Center in Aalborg.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Zanotti, Agostino. 2011. “Dentro il conflitto.” Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso Transeuropa, 29 May. https://www.balcanicaucaso.org/aree/Bosnia-Erzegovina/Dentro-il-conflitto-94400.

    • Export Citation

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