Over the last years, the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated some of the processes of social marginalisation already at work in Italy. These dynamics need to be studied and understood, so that we can act precisely to prevent them from manifesting again in the future.
To delve deeper into this topic, in Spring 2020 Codici and cheFare applied to Grant 57 by Fondazione di Comunità Milano, with the project FUORI BORDO – Cosa succede quando l’emergenza spinge fuori dalla società (OUTBOARD – What happens when the emergency pushes people out of society), which focuses on district 5 of Milan.
To better understand these processes of exclusion we analyse a vast array of factors, not only economic ones. In the first research phase, we focus on four key sectors – schools, social and educative services, cultural spaces, volunteer solidarity work – to profile and contact for interview those who were not reached by these modalities of engagement during the pandemic. This allows us to retrace the pathways to exclusion, from the perspective of all those involved.
The full understanding of what happened and how is then be fed back, through workshops, to the participants and the citizenship, in order to develop tools to prevent and counter the arising of social exclusion. In this way, exactly as with evacuation plans in case of fire, the surrounding community knows how to act in order to keep everyone included in the event of any future emergency which forces us once again to abandon public space, halt service delivery, close gathering places, etc.
Thus, good practices of mutual aid, ready to be put in place in case of a new emergency, can be shared through public art actions, able to trigger widespread local attention, through training processes for social and cultural workers and through a toolkit to deal with future emergencies. We document the initiative with a digital publication.