NewsroomStudy at DITResearchIndustry and InnovationLibraryServices and FacilitiesFaculties and Schools

Veronica Vierin

Veronica Vierin

P: +353-1-4027191
Campus: Aungier Street

Research Topic: Contesting Citizenship: Undocumented Migrants, Urban Spaces and Grassroots Social Activism in Italy

Italian political scientist Sandro Mezzadra has argued that ‘to get to the essence of citizenship' it is necessary to approach it not in terms of juridical status, but as an ‘action' (2001). For Mezzadra, contemporary manifestations of migration need to be recognized as social movements that are motivated by specific questions of freedom and demands for citizenship. Across various European urban locations informal constituencies, such as undocumented migrants and grassroots political groups, have negotiated their presence through processes of ‘autonomous' social practices and identity formations, which are transforming established norms surrounding citizenship. In Italy, for example, particularly in the city of Turin, illegal and ‘invisible' migration is a growing phenomenon. In the historical location of Borgo Dora/Porta Palazzo, where in some areas migrants represent 50% of the total population, small independent associations are making use of the ‘street' as a privileged space for cross-cultural communication and processes of ‘active' citizenship; Bibliomigra - a multilingual traveling library circulating books in different areas and Una Finestra Sulla Piazza (‘A Window onto the Square') - a ‘respite centre' comprising a network of sociocultural actors engaged with unaccompanied migrant minors, are two interrelated instantiations of such street-initiated projects contesting and rendering complex questions of citizenship and civic participation. Moreover, this strategic ‘re-appropriation' of public space ‘from below' not only gives back visibility to those displaced and marginalized groups, whose social and cultural status remains otherwise hidden and neglected, but further results in the significant modification of the material, social and demographic fabric of the urban landscape. This doctoral project stakes out the position that ethnographic practice-based media research has the analytical potential to offer an in-depth exploration of the ‘everyday practices' through which minoritised urban constituencies in Turin construct new ‘transnational social spaces' outside of and separate from, the political and juridical sphere of the Italian nation state.

She is the recipient of a 2008 photographic commission by the British Council, as part of the ‘OPENCities' project, which seeks to explore how migration can significantly contribute to city success. Participating cities include: Dublin, Belfast, Bilbao, Vienna, Sofia, Dusseldorf, Poznan, Bucharest, Madrid and Cardiff.


Selected Exhibitions

Out of Order, public screenings of short videos, Creative Arcade, Dublin, May.

Landside/Airside, Jeune Creation Europeenne, Biennale Itinerante d'Art Contemporain (France, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria, Italy, Spain, Portugal).

Collective show 'Centro-Periferia', Federculture, Rome.

OpenCities Photographic Touring Exhibition, sponsored by the British Council (Dublin, Belfast, Bilbao, Vienna, Sofia, Dusselforf, Poznan, Bucharest, Madrid, Cardiff, Shanghai Expo).

5 Degrees, The Ivy House, Dublin, Ireland.

RDS Art Exhibition, Dublin, Ireland.

Photoworks, DIT Graduate Show, Photographic Archive, Dublin.

Tomorrow, One-day-performance in Belfast, PS2 space.

Selected Conferences

'Visualizing a Space for Social Participatory Practices: Images from Turin'. International Visual Methods Conference. The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK, September.

'Alternative Practices of Active Citizenship: A Visual Ethnography of Migrants in Turin', Visualising Migration and Divided Societies Conference, Maison des Sciences de l'Homme, Paris 8.

'Inhabiting the Cityscape of Turin: "Illegal Citizens" and Urban Social Practices', Living Cultures - Contemporary Ethnographies of Culture Conference, Institute of Communication Studies, University of Leeds.

‘Migrant "Illegality" and Urban Practices of Social Inclusion: Images from Turin', AVPhD Symposium, University of Wales, Newport, UK.

‘Imagining the Cityscape of Turin: "Illegal Citizens" and Urban Social Practices', Migration Studies in Ireland: An Interdisciplinary Postgraduate Conference. A Cross-Institutional Collaboration, Trinity College Dublin Ireland.

‘Undocumented Migrants, Citizenship and Autonomous Social Practices in the Italian Urban Landscape', Global Photographies: Histories, Theories, Practices Conference, Institute of Art, Design & Technology, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin, Ireland.



top ^