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Portfolio as Content writer


How maps can critically portray local and global realities

Written for NION Berlin

As never before, humankind has many tools at its disposal to make a difference when it comes to improving social conditions and tackling the status quo. One of these tools are maps. Map-making, when done it in a critical and cooperative fashion, can lead to emancipatory processes for communities at local and global levels. It then becomes a form of resistance, it questions how (public) space is conceived and shows how power affects the representation of reality.

For centuries, maps have been tools that served human beings as an idea of how the planet looked like. Gerardus Mercator was a Flemish geographer and cartographer who, in 1569, designed a world map with a new kind of projections for navigation that are still used nowadays – yet, it has also been demonstrated how shapes and sizes of each country on the Earth are basically distorted. Did you know for instance that the whole African continent can include USA, India, China and even more countries within itself? If you are more curious about that, check out the true sizes of our beautiful planet.

In any case, we were talking about maps, weren’t we? Maps started being collected in books known as atlases, named after the Greek Titan Atlas, who has also been credited to be a philosopher and astronomer, and who was punished by Zeus to bear on his shoulders the whole weight of the heavens – it must have been such a burden! Mercator believed Atlas to be the first geographer and, since he used to produce a huge amount of maps, in 1595 he decided to publish some of them in a book that he entitled “Atlas”, as a form of reverence to the mythological figure.

Since then, maps have been a symbol of portrayal of reality. At first produced by a few people on behalf of authorities and power holders, maps became products of the given true knowledge – thus a sort of ramification of the hegemonic view of the world. Then, during the 19th century, with the rise of the nation-states, geography entered the set of school subjects. Atlases turned out to be widespread items, even commodified, shaping the worldview of children and pupils, as new citizens of their own societies.

A socioeconomic system that might change the world

Written for NION Berlin

The capitalist system has been facing a multilayered crisis. The ongoing accumulation of capital and exploitation of assets – that vary from information systems to workers’ labor and natural resources – are gradually bringing humankind towards a disruptive point. Is there a solution, a viable alternative to solve this crisis from within the same system? Will it be possible later on to transcend it and transition to a new one?

Recently, I’ve written about an approach that helps corporations and companies shift towards a different way of conceiving finance and economy, that is to say putting purpose and accountability first, thus replacing profit as the ultimate goal.

Consistent with this topic, some weeks ago, Naho, Maike and I attended a very interesting event about Commons and Peer to peer approaches, hosted by Revision and P2P Foundation. The concepts and the ideas that emerged out of it prompted us to share a sort of introductory piece as it is about a matter of a certain relevance but also way too broad to be covered by a single blog post. Nevertheless, let’s navigate it together!


When history meets nature:
a conversation between memories and cherry blossoms

Written for NION Berlin

There are places in Berlin where once greyness, a sense of emptiness and general malevolence soaked the air. Nature and human architecture sort of embraced it all. In those urban portions of land, the Berlin Wall stood – with its imperturbable presence. Nowadays, in different spots throughout the city, cherry trees from Japan took over, delighting senses of the passers-by, offering a calm feeling of reconciliation.

The symptoms of a perfect day to come reached my eyes as a warm sunlight entered the bedroom. A crystal-clear blue sky was another hint that served as a background outside the window. After getting ready and exchanging the last updates with Maike, I got on my bike and rode through Berlin to reach her somewhere we both didn’t happen to visit before.

April in Berlin may be unpredictable and seesawing when it comes to the weather; yet, it also brings wonderful shades of pink that are visible for a relative short timespan on special trees: cherry blossoms, charged with a meaningful touch of history – and authentic generosity.


Let’s redesign the concept of corporate ownership!

written for NION Berlin

Most companies rely on a model that allows owners, profit and shareholders to have a privileged seat at the table of benefits and accountability – whereas not much space is left to employees and society at large. Purpose companies have a totally different approach.

Recently, I went together with NION Chief Community Catalyst Naho to an event at Kino International (a very nice cinema located in former East Berlin) and I just thought of sharing a couple of words about it. Of course some concepts need introduction, especially if you’re not so familiar with them. But after reading this article I bet you will have that sparkle to dig more into the topic!

The event was called “Why self-owned companies are needed to unfuck our economy v.2” and was organized by the Berlin startup Einhorn and the Purpose Foundation. It was a follow-up of a previous event I was not aware of, that has taken place in January. The huge amount of people who took part and who were on the waiting list brought the organizers to schedule another one.

When purpose and shared accountability take over and overcome profit


SwEquality: justice and dignity in the world of disability in Sweden

Written for Study in Sweden [Swedish Institute]*

I suppose that, during my activity as a blogger and digital ambassador, you’ll find out that I’ve so many interests. Before coming to Sweden, I read something about the importance given to human rights and everything concerned dignity and equality. Well, these are part of my interests. I’m aware that I’ve to deepen my knowledge about that, and this piece may be a very little contribution to what equality really means in Sweden.

I’ve chosen to focus on the equality regarding people with disabilities. Why? You should know that I come from a country (Italy) where, despite the presence of a law against any kind of discrimination and a law safeguarding the rights of disabled people, some people still behave unfairly against disabled people, discriminating them, or not respecting them; or, last but not least, architectural barriers still portray the overall national urban landscape.

Anyway, things are changing slowly, thanks to organizations, associations and activists’ work. I’ve been following the activity of one of them, Iacopo Melio, who has been opening my eyes as well as our country’s eyes in the struggle against discrimination and the pursuit of better and equal conditions of life in the society. I really admire him and what he’s trying to do. He inspired me to find some information about the policies adopted by Swedish government and then to talk about that in this virtual space. So, many thanks Iacopo!

In my first two months as a student in Gothenburg, I have had a very good impression concerning the quality of some public buildings and of the streets and their structure, operational and efficient for everybody, at least in the city centre and in some areas I’ve been; nevertheless, it was told me that some improvements have to be done in other areas, such as Majorna.


SwEquality, part 2: from Germany to Sweden, dreaming a life here. Meet Victoria!

Written for Study in Sweden [Swedish Institute]*

A few pieces ago, I talked about the equality and the dignity concerning disabled people in Sweden. You might want to know more about, if you have not read it before… so there we go, you can find it here.

Anyway, let’s narrow the focus a little bit and let me tell you about how lucky I was a few days ago. I’m going to tell you about a person whom I had the great pleasure to meet and to talk to; let me introduce her to you: Victoria!

I didn’t think it could have been possible, making an experience like this abroad. But here I am! And you know what? I’d like to spend my future here in Sweden”.

She comes from Germany and she’s an Erasmus student here in Gothenburg. Because of a muscular disease she is using an electric wheelchair and has assistants with her 24 hours per day who help her to do everything she cannot do herself, like housework or dressing.

“You know, I chose Sweden and I decided to come here and try a completely new experience for me. My parents helped me a lot, too, even though they were very sceptical if this could work for me. Honestly, it was the same for me at the beginning. I’ve previously been in Gothenburg last year, for a short vacation. I really liked it, so I wanted to come back and therefore I did everything I could to make this happen. Now, I’m an Erasmus student. I’ve been here since August and I’m planning to come back as soon as possible, perhaps in two years. My aim is getting a Master’s degree at Gothenburg´s University.”


Meet Martin Molin – Let your eyes and your ears feel the magic

Written for Study in Sweden [Swedish Institute]*

He might be perceived and considered a genius; but guess what he thinks about ‘being a genius’: “I don’t believe in any of this about geniuses and talents. Especially not when it comes to music. As long as you have a dream, you can succeed. (…) Believe in your dream and don’t let others judge you. You might not be going wrong with what you are doing, you just have to find the right context for you”. And you know what? I understand him. It’s not that easy to be confident about this perception of ‘being a genius’. I personally think that sometimes talent is just there, and it’s up to us to somehow find it out. But he basically says that everyone has talent: it’s up to us to work hard in order to unfold it. And yes, his insight gives me hope, as it should give it to you. So I like it.

Coming back to us, the person I’m referring to is a very (and objectively) talented Swedish musician, called Martin Molin. He’s part of a folktronica and post-rock band, Wintergatan. Before going straight to the point where you’ll probably be thinking “W-o-w”, just let me introduce briefly Martin. Born in 1983, he has struggled so much to become the great artist that currently is. After finishing the school, for three years he has tried to enter a college in order to pursue his musical dreams. Always rejected, he didn’t give up, and eventually an academy accepted his application. For our ears’ sake. And he has written many songs for his band even though he said: “I’ve tried writing lyrics, but I’m totally useless at it. All I can write is emails, so I’ll stick to that”.


When humility meets photography: an amazing seminar with Christoffer Collin

Written for Study in Sweden [Swedish Institute]*

Back to Gothenburg after another meeting with my friends and fellow colleagues as Digital Ambassadors for Study in Sweden, I thought it was nice to share with you all a part of the amazing days spent last week with them. There would be a lot to say to be honest, we’ve been in three different places (Jönköping, Gränna and Omberg – have a look at what Supritha has written about that here). Anyway, I’m gonna focus on something else in particular, to be more precise about an awesome seminar that we had with a famous Swedish photographer. He gave us some hints and tips, however he shared with us moments of his life and his career.

His name is Christoffer Collin. Do you know him? Or probably you’re among his 1.3 million followers on Instagram.

Almost six years ago, he wasn’t a professional photographer. He was working in his small town, Karlskoga, in a small company as a project leader. He had (and still has) many hobbies, like playing football and sharing moments with family and friends. He loved looking at others’ pictures, but he wasn’t really pushed to go out and taking cool pictures or even become professional. Of course he liked shooting with his phone, just for fun – what he didn’t know at that time was that it would turn out to be his future profession, a passion and a way of living.


Accommodation and togetherness in Sweden: what is a kollektiv?

Written for Study in Sweden [Swedish Institute]*

Human beings try to fulfil their needs, whatever they can be. When it comes to living under a safe roof, we may say that this can be one of the most important cases in which one particular need is satisfied. However, what if living safely is not the only requirement?

According to some statistics, Sweden is placed at the top of special ranks regarding the amount of single-person household. Many people in this Scandinavian country seem to be living alone – and the reason why this happens could be partly related to political and historical actions undertaken over the course of the last decades. A new idea of society has arised in the ‘70s, bringing with itself two main concepts: individualism and independence. A revolutionary idea, to a certain extent, something that would literally shape the Swedish society in the following decades. Individualism and independence have permeated all aspects of society, from childcare and healthcare systems, to housing and the way how to design estates. However, the importance of socialising has not decreased, as it would seem after reading these few lines.


Provocative digital screens for an innovative marketing campaign

Written for Study in Sweden [Swedish Institute]*

When it comes to dealing with social and ethics-related issues such as smoking, it’s not expected to convince people to stop making use of cigarettes or whatever. There might be many reasons why people start smoking – however, there might be many reasons to make them change their mind, likewise.

People normally smoke outside and especially in public open spaces such as streets. So, in order to let them know how important health is for human beings, a good and efficient way would be advertising something that can try to let them think about their choice: smoking. Anyway, a big question mark arises: how to get the attention of so many passers-by?


Il lungo inverno di Arpad Weisz

[In Italian] Written for Minuto Settantotto

È veramente strana la vita. Sei uno dei migliori allenatori d’Europa, se non il migliore, e all’improvviso ti ritrovi catapultato in una realtà completamente differente, una realtà fatta di divieti e limitazioni che non ti permettono di vivere tranquillamente, che non ti permettono di farti lavorare nell’ambiente che il destino ti ha cucito su misura: il calcio.
Chissà cosa avrà pensato in quei giorni, i primi giorni in cui tutto il suo mondo cambiò colore. Arpad Weisz, marito di Ilona e padre di Roberto e Clara, allenatore del prestigioso Bologna, era ormai un italiano d’adozione, ma di fatto un ebreo-ungherese. E nel 1938 essere ebrei in Italia era sinonimo di appartenenza ad una “razza” inferiore, dunque costretti, senza se e senza ma*, a subire le conseguenze delle ingrate leggi razziali promulgate dal governo fascista di Mussolini. Arpad aveva portato il Bologna sul tetto d’Italia e d’Europa, ma dopo quel 16 ottobre 1938, la sua ultima partita da allenatore nel campionato italiano, per lui l’inverno che stava cominciare sarebbe durato in realtà fino al 1944, nella fredda terra polacca, macchiata dal sangue delle vittime dell’inumano regime nazista. Arpad e la sua famiglia avrebbero chiuso gli occhi lì, per sempre…


Pierre Ndaye Mulamba, l’eroe scomparso

[In Italian] Written for Minuto Settantotto

1974. Una sera di giugno, in Germania Ovest. “Vedete, la nostra magra figura bal’abbiamo fatta. Ormai siamo, o meglio, siete fuori dal Mondiale. Miseramente.” “E adesso sapete chi vi tocca? Quel Brasile campione del mondo in carica, sapete? Ragazzi, diteci: avete voglia di tornare a casa fra qualche giorno, vero?” Basiti, quei ventidue uomini, che in quel momento avrebbero dato chissà cosa per essere da tutt’altra parte piuttosto che in quella stanza d’albergo semi buia, si guardano fra loro. “Avete voglia o no? Al Brasile servono tre gol per qualificarsi. Provate solamente a beccarvi quattro gol, o più, e delle vostre quattro mura non avrete che un lontano ricordo. E i vostri cari? Eh, i vostri cari…” Gli sguardi, persi e inesistenti, cercano disperatamente un punto nel vuoto che possa dar loro conforto. Ma niente. La porta si chiude alle loro spalle. Adesso che i “bravi” di Mobutu Sese Seko sono andati via, qualche lacrima solca il viso di alcuni dei ragazzi dello Zaire, fra cui il bomber della nazionale, uno degli attaccanti più forti del continente africano dell’epoca e non solo: Pierre Ndaye Mulamba.
Questo pezzo tratterà la figura proprio di quest’ultimo, per molto tempo dimenticato e costretto a vivere per diversi anni in povertà e sofferenza. Nel 1974 lo Zaire aveva vinto la Coppa delle Nazioni Africane. Mobutu, negli anni precedenti, aveva voluto accrescere la sua fama anche attraverso il gioco del calcio, estremamente popolare in Africa, avviando un programma di miglioramento strutturale dei club e di conseguenza della nazionale, riportando in patria i calciatori congolesi che giocavano in Belgio. Ed i risultati portarono appunto alla conquista della Coppa continentale, bissando il successo del 1968. I “leopardi”, allenati dallo jugoslavo Blagoje Vidinic, guadagnarono anche l’accesso alla Coppa del Mondo del 1974, dopo aver brillato nelle qualificazioni. Mulamba fu top scorer con ben nove reti in sei match disputati durante la competizione africana del ’74, un record storico tuttora esistente. Ma… chi è Pierre Ndaye Mulamba?


“Questo club deve rimanere puro”

[In Italian] Written for Minuto Settantotto

Il nostro club non può essere distrutto in questo modo. I musulmani non dovrebbero semplicemente giocare per il Beitar”.

Questo era, e senza dubbio lo è ancora, il pensiero di una buona parte dei tifosi del Beitar Gerusalemme, uno dei club storici della città secolare, “il club della nazione”. Il culmine dell’odio assoluto e indissolubile viene raggiunto tre anni fa, durante il corso della stagione 2012/2013 del massimo campionato di calcio israeliano.

È la storia di Dzhabrail Kadiev e Zaur Sadayev, due calciatori ceceni di religione musulmana. Una storia breve ma contornata dalla follia razzista di alcuni tifosi del Beitar. Dopo un inizio di stagione un po’ altalenante, il Beitar si riprende e a metà campionato si ritrova nella parte sinistra della classifica. L’obiettivo è centrare una delle prime quattro posizioni. L’inferno però sta per sopraggiungere dalle parti del Teddy Stadium, la casa del club giallonero.


Italia, lavoro: stanno uccidendo la sicurezza. E la dignità

[In Italian] Maggio 2018 / Pezzo ispirato dalle notizie relative all’incidente che ha causato la perdita di una gamba a un fattorino di “Just eat”, a Milano, e alla perdita della vita di Angelo Raffaele Fuggiano, ennesima vittima all’Ilva di Taranto.

Oscilli fra la sopravvivenza e la morte, se lavori in Italia. Sì: se perdi il controllo, perdi la vita. E come biasimarti, se dietro all’atto del perdere il controllo si nascondono mille preoccupazioni, pensieri legati a un futuro migliore che non ti permette di vivere il presente, pensieri che ti fanno rinnegare un passato sbagliato o semplicemente pensieri su un passato che poteva essere differente, che poteva riservarti un percorso diverso, che poteva non portarti in quel preciso istante dove perdi il controllo. E perdi tutto.
Ti capita di essere in bici, corri perché quella consegna può fruttarti un paio di euro in più, quel paio di euro che puoi guadagnare su un altro come te, che nello stesso momento corre in un’altra parte della città. Quella consegna è troppo importante, adesso. Macchine che ti sfrecciano accanto, volti di persone indaffarate che corrono perché chi ha tempo non aspetti tempo. Pedali, respiri affannosamente, è vero che il tempo corre più veloce di te, ma la tua forza di volontà può batterlo, il tempo. Maledetto semaforo rosso. E’ una strada particolare, non c’è una vera e propria pista ciclabile, devi arrabattarti fra un bus che ti suona perché stai occupando lo spazio riservato alla fermata, ed un’altra vettura il cui conducente parla freneticamente al telefono, con una sola mano al volante. E adesso c’è un tram – non ci voleva. Se c’era un modo per rallentarti ancora di più, ecco che ti si presenta davanti. Ma già alla
vista del tram, quella tua forza di volontà che ti contraddistingue aveva già elaborato una soluzione, tradotta dall’adrenalina che si diffonde in tutto il corpo, raggiunge i tuoi piedi e da lì passa direttamente sui pedali e il telaio della bici, che ora diventa un tutt’uno. Avevi già deciso di superarlo, quel tram.
Quella consegna è troppo importante. Superi il tram. Ma quella consegna resterà sospesa.


Una passione che va oltre il rettangolo di gioco convenzionale

[In Italian] Written for a closed personal blog about football and African societies

Il calcio in Africa non è solo uno sport. In realtà è un’affermazione applicabile allo stesso modo anche al resto dei continenti, ma nello spazio di terra che va da Tripoli a Città del Capo, il pallone che rotola è capace di infondere un po’ più di speranza e magia del solito. Anche se quel pallone rotola sotto ponti o cavalcavia, spiagge o zone sterrate.
Andrew Esiebo è un fotografo nigeriano e con le sue foto è riuscito a catturare e ad incorniciare proprio
quella speranza e quella magia. Il suo progetto fotografico chiamato “Love for it” (2010) mostra
l’importanza che il calcio riveste nella vita quotidiana nella città più grande del continente africano, Lagos,
in Nigeria. La nazionale di calcio nigeriana è storicamente una delle più importanti e conosciute a livello
mondiale, ma ciò che lega questa nazione al calcio non è solamente l’aspetto ufficiale e convenzionale.
Dietro tutto ciò, esiste un mondo fatto di ragazzi, sorrisi e una illimitata capacità di adattarsi ai luoghi più
disparati e stravaganti. Perché ogni momento è buono per correre dietro al pallone, per dimenticare i
rumori delle auto o le grida dei mercanti, per mettere da parte le difficoltà di ogni giorno e per vivere
momenti di felicità e adrenalina pura. Ma soprattutto, per sognare.


Sankara, rivoluzionario e amante del pallone (e dello sport) [parte prima]

[In Italian] Written for a closed personal blog about football and African societies

Il Burkina Faso è un piccolo Stato che si trova nel mezzo dell’Africa occidentale, senza nessuno sboccoall’oceano Atlantico e tremendamente legato all’arida striscia sub-sahariana del Sahel che attraversaorizzontalmente la parte settentrionale del continente africano. Fino al 1984 era conosciuto con il nome diAlto Volta, nome assegnato dagli ex colonizzatori francesi e rimasto inalterato fino appunto alla suddettadata quando, un giovane presidente, da pochi mesi a capo del suo Paese, decise di cambiare nome inBurkina Faso, letteralmente il “Paese degli uomini integri”.Probabilmente i più non lo conosceranno, o forse lo avranno sentito nominare di sfuggita, o solovagamente. Thomas Sankara è stato uno dei più importanti ed influenti personaggi politici e socialidell’Africa degli anni ’80.


Sankara, rivoluzionario e amante del pallone (e dello sport) [parte seconda]

[In Italian] Written for a closed personal blog about football and African societies

Nel pezzo precedente abbiamo visto chi era e chi è tuttora Thomas Sankara, cosa ha rappresentato e cosa ancora rappresenta oggigiorno nel Burkina Faso e in tutta l’Africa. Su questa figura ci sarebbe da dire molto ancora, ma in “Soka” ci focalizziamo adesso sul legame che Thomas aveva con lo sport, particolarmente con il calcio.

La passione per la pratica sportiva lo ha sempre caratterizzato ma è soprattutto nel suo periodo di
formazione nell’accademia militare di Antsirabé, in Magadascar, che cresce e si sviluppa maggiormente. Lo sport, in seguito, diverrà una componente fondamentale della politica sankarista. Il 4 agosto del 1984 ad esempio, primo anniversario della rivoluzione, il Consiglio nazionale della rivoluzione (CNR, l’organizzazione militare che fa parte del governo burkinabè) dà luogo ad una serie di eventi celebrativi fra cui match di boxe, corse ciclistiche e partite di calcio.

Portfolio: Work
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