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Undoing commons. Diritto Alla Città, Attivismo Culturale e Pratiche di (Un-)Commoning nel Sud d'Italia


The Cantieri Culturali in the neighbourhood of Zisa (Palermo) represent one of those places where movements of urban commoning and practices of cultural activism have produced common claims through the conversion of a place destined to privatization into a powerful laboratory of social inclusion and cultural promotion. After reviewing the existing debate about commoning experiences in the cultural sector, the paper aims at inverting both the sight and the method: instead of reading the experience of the Cantieri Culturali through the existing debate, the debate itself will be critically questioned on the basis of what happened at the Cantieri between January and October 2012. This way the Cantieri become the place and the opportunity for what Spivak defined as "affirmative sabotage" (2013), i.e. the questioning of discourses produced around commoning practices in recent years, especially in the domain of critical and radical geography. In fact the paper stresses how most contributions on the topic have several bans, removals and camouflages: while promoting the commons as spaces of creative autonomy (Vasudevan, 2015) and pure resistance (De Angelis, 2003), they reduce and/or erase their critical impulse, thus preventing their transformative capacity and political sense. The radical separation of the common from the market and the state, the problematic lexical and theoretical synergy between common and community, the progressive processes of un-commoning that sometimes characterize these spaces represent some of the issues discussed in the paper