Displacement and Discrimination

‘Evictability' of Refugees in Revanchist Rome


  • Sandra Annunziata


Displacement, refugees, squatting, Rome


In this paper, displacements in the form of fast evictions of ‘refugees-squatters’ in Rome are analysed as intersecting with increased racial discrimination and the marginalization of refugees in Italy. Drawing on in-depth ethnographic research before, during and after the involuntary removal of refugees from the occupied building of Via Curtatone in 2017, the paper suggests that fast evictions of ‘refugees’ and/or ‘transit migrants’ in Italy is employed as an anti-migrant device. For precarious migrants in Italy, the housing question is of uttermost importance as it is connected to their access to welfare services. Fast evictions disrupt migrants’ ability to relocate and rearrange their lives in ways that such access could be sustained. Thus, the evictability of migrants in Italy has become a political tool to suppress solidarity practices among and for unwanted populations.


Aalbers, M. 2019. Introduction to the forum: from Third to Fifth-Wave Gentrification. Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, 110 (1), pp. 1-11.

Annunziata, S. 2018. Pratiche e discorsi anti-sfratto a Roma in clima di austerità. In, Coppola, A. and Punziano, G. (eds.) Roma In Transizione, Milan: Planum Publisher.

Annunziata, S. 2017. Anti-gentrification, an anti-displacement urban (political) agenda. Quaderni di UrbanisticaTre, n.13. pp. 5-9.

Annunziata, S. and Lees, L. 2016. Resistance to displacement in Southern European cities during austerity gentrification. Sociological Research Online, 21(3).

Desmond, M. 2015. Evicted: Poverty and profit in the American city. New York, NY: Crown.

Grazioli, M. 2016. From citizens to citadins? Rethinking right to the city inside housing squats in Rome, Italy. Citizenship studies, 21(4), 393-408.

Hayes, G. 2017. Regimes of Austerity. Social Movement Studies, 16(1), pp. 21-35.

Herzfeld, M. 2009. Evicted from Eternity. Chicago: Chicago University Press.

Lees, L., Annunziata, S. and Rivas-Alonso, C. 2018. Resisting Planetary Gentrification: the value of survivability in the fight to stay put. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 108(2), pp. 346–355 (republished in 2019, Social Justice and the City, Routledge: New York).

Lees, L., Shin, H. and Lopez-Morales, E. 2016. Planetary Gentrification. Polity Press: Cambridge.

Lancione, M. 2018. The politics of embedded urban precarity: Roma people and the fight for housing in Bucharest, Romania. Geoforum.

Mudu, P. and Chattopadhyay, S. 2016. Migration, Squatting and Radical Autonomy. Routledge, New York.

Mudu, P. 2014. Housing and homelessness in contemporary Rome. In, Clough Marinaro, I. and Thomassen, B. (eds.) Global Rome: Changing Faces of the Eternal City, Indiana University Press: Indianapolis, pp. 62-80.

SPRAR. 2017. Report of the international protection of asylum seekers in Italy. Available at: https://www.cittalia.it/images/Sintesi_2017_eng.pdf

Sethman, A. 2016. From Contention to Co-governance: The Case of the Right to Inhabit Movement in Rome (2000–2013). Antipode, 50(2), pp. 456–77.

van Baar, H. 2017. Evictability and the Biopolitical Bordering of Europe. Antipode, 49(1), pp. 212-230.




How to Cite

Annunziata, S. (2020). Displacement and Discrimination: ‘Evictability’ of Refugees in Revanchist Rome. ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies, 19(1), 377–384. Retrieved from https://acme-journal.org/index.php/acme/article/view/1965



Themed Issue- Narratives of Displacements (Guest Eds. Pull, Lind, Tsoni, Baeten)