Illegal Dwelling - Conference
Feb 10, 2021 | Shankra Sri Lanka

Illegal Dwelling. An Ethnography of Living on the Fringe in the Western World.

The first place that comes in mind when we think about our identity is usually our home.

Humans have built, destroyed, moved and embellished personal dwellings for thousands of years. However, the relationship between social and cultural identity and our residences has radically changed overtime.

When have we stopped building our houses ourselves?

With this question, the anthropologist and researcher Andrea Staid will introduce the conference “Illegal Dwelling. An ethnography of living on the fringe in the Western World” at Shankra Festival in Sri Lanka 2022.

“Much is known about the informal, illegal, marginal housing conditions in the non-Western world, but what happens in Western societies? Do we/they all live in owned or rented flats as a one-person family? This anthropological and ethnographic conference analyses the types of informality of dwelling in the so-called first world - a world that is far away from the monolithic one we are used to think of”

In the conference, Andrea Staid shows the most varied housing experiences, from squats to tree houses, from Rom and Sinti camps to self-built houses and pueblos ocupados, eco-villages and urban slums, communes, co-housing and Wagenplatz, wanderers and tramps: spontaneous workshops that create- more or less consciously- new models of relation.

Andrea Staid is an anthropologist, activist and editor. He teaches at NABA, an internationally renowned art and design academy in Milan, researcher at the university of granada. Among the various books published, wrote The Damned of the Metropolis (10 reprints), Our Arms (2 reprints) and The people’s Arditi. The author of many other essays, his books have been translated in Greece, Spain and Germany.

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