Accepted paper:

Between emergency and creativity in asylum seekers' reception in Valsusa

Authors:

Giulia Tabone

Paper short abstract:

As historical crossroad of different cultures, the Valle di Susa has long manifested a sense of community which, far from being culturally bounded, acknowledges the potential enrichment brought about by process of incorporation of alterity as a way to create original strategies of co-existence.

Paper long abstract:

As an historical crossroad of different cultures, the Susa Valley (Piedmontese Alps) has long manifested a sense of community which, far from being territorially and culturally bounded, acknowledges the potential enrichment brought about by the process of incorporation of alterity as a way to create original strategies of co-existence. In addition to the traditional projects for asylum seekers' reception, recent agreements allocating only few people to each village have directed pre-existing forms of bottom-up mobilization towards innovative forms of social inclusion. Thanks to the migrants already hosted, a network of local inhabitants and volunteers that originates from the local "NO TAV" movement is now serving as a bridge between migrants in different hosting communities. People who take part in this movement are showing a higher degree of solidarity with asylum seekers than the rest of the local population, and are involving themselves in various initiatives with migrants. Asylum seekers are by definition caught in an uncertain liminal phase, in which their personalities fluctuate between a sense of loss of social values and the need to learn new ones. By addressing liminality not only as a phase of interruption of the previous status, but also as a period in which the actors can produce new forms of creativity, the aim of this paper is to consider emerging strategies to incorporate alterity into the local communities, focusing on the important role of the new forms of creativity promoted by local inhabitants.

panel P020
People and wilderness coming back - negotiating mobility and 'immobility': the case of the Alps and other European mountainous regions