The periphery inside
Publish date 28-06-2022
The peripheries are identified as summations of shortcomings (of infrastructures, services, work): what is missing is to say what they are. What is not there defines you, explains Carlo, and over time you pass from what you do not have to what you are not. The periphery from a place of absences becomes existential: here you are at the intersection of two peripheries, between your abyss and the precipice of the city, but you say nothing and no one asks you for anything. In fact, the connective tissue of cities is more and more porous and brittle, work no longer creates bonds and one lives secluded and alone: avoiding oneself is the new instinct in these places where, as Luigi Zoia wrote, one lives the time of the death of the next.
"I go out when it's dark to take out the garbage - says Enzo da Mirafiori, southern suburb of Turin - I don't want to meet anyone, we never talk to each other and I don't know what to say, sometimes I've tried, then no one answered me so I adapted ». Paulo Freire called it the culture of silence: letting things go as they go, living in resignation. But how can you not resign yourself after 15 years of redundancy? How can you not resign yourself after 10 years of odd and badly paid jobs? How can you not resign yourself in the face of silence after you have sent a thousand resumes, you have presented yourself to hundreds of competitions and have always finished second? How can you not resign yourself when they fire you without telling you, because the contract expires and no one tells you "it went well, it went wrong, could you improve in this aspect?". Nothing, like an ante litteram dog you show up and find the door closed. "I can't do it - continues Carlo - what can I tell you, I'm always sleepy, I get depressed because I see the things I can't do, that sense of uselessness blocks me, having to be at the top of my career, by age and training , and find myself out of work. It is not unemployment that makes me think of the worst, but it is the weight of failure, the cowardice that assails me every time that, on purpose, I avoid all those places where I know I meet people I know, because I don't want to explain to them how things are (what do I do, what am I going to do, why I am not leaving, why I still live in the same street where I was born, why I didn't make it after university). Here, at the park, I came by chance, by chance you spoke to me, by chance I felt like answering you, because I never speak to anyone, nobody asks me about anything ». In the end, you are left with only silence because even the culture has been lost. If you pass by Mirafiori you will be able to see why.
NP March 2022