Tre incontri a tema per fare il punto sulla fragilità abitativa: i modelli di vita alternativi che cambieranno Milano

A degree in political philosophy and social sciences from Cambridge and a professional CV developed in the field: it is in Tel Aviv, in Israel, and in northern Thailand, that in its recent past, together with humanitarian organisations, she dealt with refugees and asylum seekers.

Today, Erica Petrillo, 33 years old, has a master's degree from Maastricht University Dutch - where she learned to observe artistic disciplines from a sociological perspective - and a collaboration with +2050 by Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli, is the first 'curator in residence' of Base Milano.

The Milanese institution has entrusted the project of the public program CASE to her: a cycle of three monthly meetings to bring the housing emergency to the public's attention.

“The topic emerged almost naturally in relation to the debate that is affecting Milan,” he tells us. "The protest of the students, camped in the Leonardo Da Vinci garden, in front of the entrance to PoliMI, says a lot about the state of the housing offer of the Milanese capital", the city is running the serious risk of appearing inhospitable to the most fragile, almost repelling.

“Trying to unite the issues that emerged in 'The invention of Milan', Lucia Tozzi's book, and those raised in Andrea Bagnato's article, on a possible complicity between design week and real estate speculation, I thought it was a good starting point to address the issue in a serious way", without therefore falling into the polemical game of invective or clickbait.

“The objective is to act on Milan only after having analyzed the urgency, first in speculative terms and then in relation to the European situation”, in order to propose solutions it is necessary to understand the reference framework.

CASE holds together both dimensions of the house, the symbolic one and that of the project, the same ones that the English term divides into 'home' and 'house'.

But CASE, contrary to what one might imagine, does not ride on local trends, rather it takes as an example precise and specific episodes that happen in Europe and the Mediterranean, to regenerate the very meaning of 'living'".

The starting question is: how can we create a more just, more sustainable, more inclusive society?

"Our task is to bring to the public's attention 'case studies' of small communities that experiment with alternative forms of being together", first semantic analysis.

Pelin Tan, the protagonist of the first meeting in January, introduced with her lecture the theme of refugee camps: how to live in these spaces set up along the coasts of the Mediterranean, in Italy, in Turkey, in Greece?

Her practice, as a sociologist and art historian, brings together dimensions of activism and academic research: "Pelin lives on the border with Syria, in the south-east of Turkey, teaches at Batman University, and is able to stay so much in a university classroom as well as on the street.

Her commitment, on the one hand, denounces the precariousness of what, built to be temporary, is instead permanent, on the other it highlights new forms of co-habitation from which we can learn".

Liminality, therefore, as a field of investigation: "the issue to be resolved everywhere in the camps is the management of coexistence between communities of different religions and ethnic groups. It is interesting to see how by imagining a wall that becomes a porous corridor, people come closer to almost naturally activate the dynamics of inclusion", and the discussion on the futility of raising institutional barriers.

In the second episode of 28 February, Berta Gutierrez and Alkistis Thomidou, of Forty Five Degrees, together with Rosario Talevi (and Erica Petrillo) will instead look at the housing issue from a european perspective: both, the collective and the practitioner - among the founders of the floating experiment -, based in Berlin, work on the theme of nomadism.

If the former carry out an itinerant research practice along the 45th parallel north, an imaginary line that ideally divides Europe and crosses Italy in the Piedmont area, the architect, with her alternative knowledge dissemination center — a place of experimentation nestled in the middle of a swamp -, seeks to rethink the methodologies of pedagogy, to break down and recode the traditional division between teachers and students.

The question that unites both is: how do you build a peaceful and virtuous coexistence between different species, migrating from reality to reality?

Field observation is the only way to imagine alternative ways of life, if you like complementary to those we are used to in our urban context”.

The third episode will focus directly on Milan to activate a self-construction workshop open to all. Coordinated by Francesca Gotti, a doctoral student expert in squatting, linked to many Milanese collectives including 'Abitare in via Padova' and 'Milano in movement', "the event March 15 will be the opportunity to create an object, a kind of device, a mini agora, with archive and service desk functions, to be entrusted to the committees of via Padova.

A sort of architectural manifesto in memory of the housing emergency".

To complete the 'training plan', the publication of three zines to collect, "and take into your own HOMES".

At the end of the journey, Erica Petrillo will have taught us to reflect on the question of living, adopting the right point of view. "To impact the current state of affairs, it is necessary to activate not only different housing policies and provide more subsidies for public housing, but also to rethink 360 degrees everything that defines the word 'living': from the needs of its communities, to the working conditions of those who make them up to the sharing of knowledge". So more than politics, real estate strategies, money, 'living' is a question of culture: the real revolution is reading and then, with the right vocabulary, taking to the streets.