Accepted paper:

The bad road: an anthropological analysis of some hidden dynamics of motorway A28 (north-east Italy)


Nadia Breda (Università degli studi di Firenze (Italy))

Paper short abstract:

Some hidden dynamics of motorway A28 (Italy): the undervaluing of the landscape, the cannibalization and criminalization of the environmental messages, the farmers' pain for land's loss, the emotional involvement of anthropologist herself, who experienced the method of the perduzione.

Paper long abstract:

The paper is about the A28 motorway in the North-East of Italy, running between the regions of Veneto and Friuli. This short road, planning of which dates back to the mid 1980s, was finally accomplished in 2009. The A28 was completed after a tough conflict. It was strongly contested by the Italian environmentalists because of its collocation on a line of springs ("risorgive") and its severe impact on an unusual wetland ("pal├╣"). During my fieldwork I had access to the official motorway planning documentation, activities of the environmentalists, mass media coverage, various government's sources and to the environmental impact assessments, as well as the contacts with the local residents. The anthropological analysis shows some hidden dynamics. On one side, the sponsors of the road denied and undervalued the natural surroundings, promoted the cannibalization and criminalisation of the environmental messages and the transformation of living environment into a cement jungle. The paper analyses how the motorway construction exposed the farmers' anxiety for the loss of the land, the emotional involvement of the environmentalists and the anthropologist. The environment has been affected as the result of the motorway construction of the motorway and the anthropological study remains a durable evidence of the process that had taken place.

panel P54
Road biographies