Impact project: Barrio Saldías

In 2022, I have been a postdoc for the project Uneven Urban Democracy: Inequality and Political Participation in Buenos Aires, led by Dr. Sam Halvorsen at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL). Within the context of this study, Dr. Halvorsen and I have conducted fieldwork research in Barrio Saldías, a small informal settlement in Buenos Aires.

Due to long-lasting invisibility, Barrio Saldías is excluded from urban development initiatives on infrastructural upgrading. Near to Saldías is Roca Museum, a public cultural institute committed to recognising this neighbourhood as an integral part of Buenos Aires’ community.

Driven by the will to forge a long-term collaboration with local residents, the museum, and other stakeholders, we launched a major impact project, titled Barrio Saldías: Visibility, Representation, and Upgrading in an Informal Neighbourhood of Buenos Aires, realised thanks to the generous support of two grants by the Queen Mary Impact Fund (£ 50.623).

This project brings together QMUL researchers and key stakeholders to unleash the transformative potential of a documentary, an exhibition, a wall painting, and a book. These interventions will raise Barrio Saldías’ profile and visibility and enhance Roca Museum’s public engagement capacity, including through fresh collaborations with UK museums. By engaging with Buenos Aires’ policy-makers, we will spur infrastructural upgrading in and beyond Barrio Saldías.

The project is ongoing (Jan-Jul 2023). All its outputs will be available online soon. Meanwhile, you can watch the documentary (in Spanish) on the history of Barrio Saldías, realised by Roca Museum:

Public venues

On 10 May 2023, the ISMU Foundation, in Milan, hosted me as a speaker for the webinar Protezione Temporanea e Accoglienza dei Profughi Ucraini in Italia e in Spagna (‘Temporary Protection and Reception of Ukrainian Forced Migrants in Italy and Spain’). During my speech I have discussed Barcelona’s asylum policies before and after the Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022. The video recording of the webinar, in Italian, is available on YouTube:

On 20 October 2022, I chaired the roundtable The Politics of Refuge: Sanctuary Policies in the US, UK, and Europe, hosted by the TheoryLAB and The City Centre, Queen Mary University of London. Bringing together experts on sanctuary cities in the US, UK, and Europe, the roundtable has examined how these policies differ based on national context, the existing evidence for the effects they have, the common causes shared by sanctuary localities, as well as the racialised aspects of immigration enforcement. We had the privileged to host these outstanding guests:

  • Prof Benjamin Gonzalez O’Brien (San Diego State University)
  • Prof Elena Vacchelli (University of Greenwich, London)
  • Sophie Gregory (Lewisham Refugee and Migrant Network – LRMN)

This is the video recording of the event:

On 10 May 2022, I chaired the webinar The Rise of Sanctuary Cities During the European ‘Refugee Crisis‘, held at the Centre for European Research, Queen Mary University of London. The event has brought together leading scholars, policy-makers, and migrant rights activists directly involved in sanctuary initiatives in Europe. This was our outstanding line-up of guest speakers:

  • Prof Harald Bauder (Toronto Metropolitan University)
  • Hera Lorandos (Bourough of Sanctuary of Lewisham and Bourough of Sanctuary of Greenwich)
  • Ramon Sanahuja (Barcelona’s City Council and C-MISE)
  • Dr Sarah Spencer (University of Oxford)

Here you find the video recording of the webinar. I have also written a short summary of the event in the Europe Matters Blog.

Op-eds and blog entries (selection)

‘The Rise of Sanctuary Cities During the European “Refugee Crisis”.’ In Europe Matters Blog, May 2023

‘Mobilising for the Right to the City: Inequalities and Political Participation in the Neighbourhood of Saldías, Buenos Aires.’ In Uneven Urban Democracy, July 2022

‘How Corruption Drives Political Participation – and the People Most Likely to Mobilise.’ In ECPR The Loop (with Martín Portos), May 2021

‘Shelter from the Storm: ‘Virtuous’ Systems of Urban Asylum Governance Coping with Italy’s Immigration Crackdown.’ In Percorsi di Secondo Welfare (with Francesca Campomori and Mattia Casula), December 2020

‘Barcelona, a Beacon By the Sea.’ In Jacobin Magazine (with Pablo Castaño Tierno), July 2018

Arabic and Hebrew translations published in the Israeli magazine “Haokets”

‘Immigrazione: Antiche Controversie e Nuove Solidarietà.’ In Fondazione Giangiacomo Feltrinelli, May 2017

‘Milano 20 Maggio: Breve Reportage dal Cuore Pulsante del Corteo.’ In Gli Stati Generali (with Fulvio De Filippi and Niccolò Natali), May 2017

Policy briefs and funded research reports

Bazurli, Raffaele and Francesca Campomori. 2021. ‘Il Sistema di Asilo alla Prova del COVID-19: L’Incremento della Stratificazione dei Diritti.’ Quaderni della Coesione Sociale / Social Cohesion Papers, 3/2021: 1-7.

Bazurli, Raffaele, Francesca Campomori, and Chiara Marchetti. 2020. ‘Dall’Emergenza Sanitaria alla Sanatoria: La Condizione degli Immigrati nella Pandemia.’ Quaderni della Coesione Sociale / Social Cohesion Papers, 3/2020: 32-40.

Nasi, Greta, Maria Cucciniello, Valentina Mele, Giovanni Valotti, and Raffaele Bazurli. 2015. ‘Policy Recommendations for Adopting, Diffusing and Upscaling ICT-Driven Social Innovation in Public Sector Organizations.’ (LIPSE policy brief). European Commission, Directorate-General for Research & Innovation.

Nasi, Greta, et al. 2015. ‘Determinants and Barriers of Adoption, Diffusion and Upscaling of ICT-driven Social Innovation in the Public Sector: A Comparative Study Across 6 EU Countries.’ (LIPSE research report). European Commission, Directorate-General for Research & Innovation

Interviews and media coverage

My alma mater Scuola Normale Superiore, where I obtained my PhD in 2020, has published an article on its website presenting my new research project, Sanctuary Policies for Irregular Migrants in European Cities (SPIMEC). For this project I was awarded with a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship, which I will carry out at the School of Politics and International Relations of Queen Mary University of London. To read the article (in Italian) click here or on the image below.

I have spoken about the history of asylum and immigration in the city of Venice to the journalist Sophia Hill for her documentary Venice and the International Language of Food, released in May 2022. The documentary shares the story of Hamed Ahmadi and his restaurant Orient Experience, which has helped forced migrants to emancipate and feel part of the local community, while also touching on the history of the city and its globalised past and future.

On 2 May 2020, I have spoken about my research on the role of immigrant rights movements for policy change to Melting Pot Radio, the radio lab for the promotion of citizenship rights: