Housing Squats as “Educational Sites of Resistance”: The Process of Movement Social Base Formation in the Struggle for the House
By #UnequalCities Network member Carlotta Caciagli

Abstract: This paper aims to contribute to the scholarly work on the internal dynamics of contemporary housing movements. In particular, it explores the spatial strategies through which squat inhabitants change the configuration of the squat to turn an abandoned building into a house for multiple families. The main argument is that these strategies, requiring horizontal participation and solidarity, catalyse the transformation of a sum of people dispossessed of the house into a collective, political subject. Therefore, the author proposes to analyse housing squats as “educational sites of resistance”. The findings come from the author’s participant observation of Rome’s housing movement organisation Coordinamento Cittadino di Lotta per la casa. In addition to providing empirical knowledge, the paper aims to offer inputs for investigating to what extent the process of politicisation is shaped by the space and what constitute the peculiarities of a so‐recomposed collective subject.

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