Heritage and regeneration in Calabrian villages – some preliminary findings
Bella Dicks, Cardiff University
This talk will present some initial reflections following a period of qualitative fieldwork in Calabria this Summer, researching the fate of four Calabrian paesi in the internal areas that have long been economically marginalised and are now facing accelerating depopulation. The rates of depopulation are such that these and many other similar paesi are facing abandonment in the near future unless something is done to reverse the tide. This is understandably causing considerable concern at a local level, although there has yet to be a concerted policy response at the regional or national levels. The focus of the talk is on exploring the obstacles and opportunities these paesi confront in their local responses to this alarming situation.
The project I undertook focused on four paesi in the Cosenza province. Each presents different realities and contexts in terms of their current responses to depopulation. In two of these, there are tourism initiatives underway, a third has set up an 'accoglienza' project (under the national programme SAI - Sistema di Accoglienza e Integrazione) and the fourth is attempting a mix of the two. In the fieldwork, I interviewed individuals from each location who represent selected local associations, residents, local councils, social innovation projects and heritage development.
In the talk I will introduce some of the emergent themes that interviewees discussed, focusing on how they articulated their own experiences of living and working in these paesi. The aim is to understand how they frame the problems and their causes, who is actively participating in initiatives to tackle them and how, and what obstacles and opportunities are felt to exist.
Katia Pilati, University of Trento
Chiara Bassetti, University of Trento
Alice Dal Gobbo, University of Trento