During the past 4 years, the disused classrooms of an Art School and the rooms of a clinic never actually opened became a place where the stories of approximately 90 families are interwoven. Two buildings - situated in the heart of Tor Marancia, in the XI° Section of Rome Council, and renamed "Casale de Merode" - transformed into a squat thanks to Coordination of Citizens against the Housing Crisis. The tenants converted the vast, abandoned spaces into modest apartments (each one about 15-20 sq.mts) in order to face the noticeable increasing of the housing emergency in Rome. The reasons why they are homeless are different. Some of them once had their own house and then they lost it: like Sonia who, after a disastrous marriage, found herself living on a camp-site.

Others, like Nadia, after a period of time in a centre for abused women, had to find a roof for herself and her son. Along with them there are students, researchers, nannies, immigrants with various ethnic backgrounds who live in the most appalling conditions. But running a squat also requires commitment, presence and dedication to the cause: the internal organization, from cleaning the building to collecting funds for maintenance, is self-managed by the tenants through weekly assemblies that guarantee every single one of them the right to participate. All together, left alone with their own problems by institution but united by a collective need.


LIVING QUARTERS by Matteo Bastianelli