Decolonising cities: participatory approaches to transcultural placemaking

  • Ricatti, Francesco (Primary Chief Investigator (PCI))
  • Frisina, Annalisa (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • Grassi, Samuele (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • Dutto, Matteo (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • Focardi, Filippo (Chief Investigator (CI))

Project: Research

Project Details

Project Description

In recent times many initiatives have developed against the presence of colonial monuments and other colonial vestiges. Statues of slaveholders, colonists and racist leaders have been targeted, together with street names, and other manifestations of the colonial past in contemporary cities. There is an urgency to develop effective models for the development of cultural and academic initiatives that may be able to decolonise cities in sophisticated and nuanced ways. This project focuses specifically on Italian colonial legacies within contemporary cities in Italy as well as two of the main centres of Italian mass migration (New York and Melbourne). In Italy, we aim to analyse the legacy of Italian imperialism within small to medium sized town (Padova and Prato), and how artists, academics and activists have questioned the collective representation of Italians as “good people”; in the USA, through a collaboration with local scholars, artists and activists at the Calandra Institute CUNY, we will be looking at the role of Columbus in the celebration of Italian American identities, and how this has recently been challenged by activists, community leaders and academics; in Melbourne, we will be looking at the work of artists of mixed Indigenous and Italian heritage, as they make sense of their family history, the complicity of Italian migrants in settler colonialism, and the legacy of colonisation within a multicultural context. These three different case studies will provide an important comparative analysis of different contexts of decolonisation and different ways in which contemporary cities can be decolonised through participatory approaches involving migrant communities.
Short titleDecolonising cities
Effective start/end date1/01/2231/12/22