Doing militant co-research in Bologna | Into the Black Box

debate, discussion — 15.3.2024 15:00

On behalf of the collective Into the Black Box, Niccolò Cuppini (University of Applied Sciences of Southern Switzerland) and Maurilio Pirone (University of Bologna) will talk about their operaismo-inspired blend of research and militant activism in Bologna. The presentation (in English) will be followed by two brief counterpoints from Enikő Vincze, from Căși Sociale Acum, and Szakáts István, from AltArt as well as by a discussion, moderated by Oana Mateescu (FSAS-UBB). The event is organized in collaboration with FSAS-UBB.

What does it mean to develop subversive knowledge for social transformation? It entails generating knowledge to support struggles. This isn’t about merely ‘understanding’ or ‘interpreting’ reality, but rather about creating knowledge that can be used as a tool to actively intervene in social conflicts and transformation processes. To develop such knowledge, the Into the Black Box collective has spent the past few years reworking and translating methods developed by the Italian ‘operaismo,’ a heretical approach that emerged within revolutionary movements during the Sixties and Seventies. Two key instruments characterize this approach: militant inquiry and co-research. In this presentation, Into the Black Box will discuss these political perspectives conceptually and provide concrete examples of their application, ranging from the logistics struggles that began a decade ago in Northern Italy to the challenges faced by riders of food delivery platforms that emerged prior to the pandemic. These struggles around the logistical networks of Bologna and within and against the territorialization of digital platforms developed many connections with other experiences of social organization. In fact, transnational logistical flows and digital platforms are developing significant impacts on the urban texture, defining new lines of hierarchization and exclusion in the city, especially regarding the housing question. Therefore, the presentation will conclude by discussing recent experiences of housing struggles in Bologna, briefly describing the political work of PLAT (Piattaforma di intervento sociale) and some emerging nodes and potentials around urban struggles.

For more information about Into the Black Box: