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free lecture: From Tute Bianche to the Book Bloc

February 23, 2011 18:00

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the Lecture Theatre, Courtauld Institute, Somerset House, Strand, London, WC2R 0RN





What thread links the political experience of Tute Bianche with the Book

Blocs we have seen last autumn on the streets of Rome and London? What is

the link between the alter-globalisation movement of Seattle and Genoa and

the student and youth movements that are now setting Europe on fire?


These two movements belong to two very different historical and political

moments: that one exploded in the peak time of the expansion of

globalization, while the current one gives voice to a generational rebellion

against the crisis and the policies of austerity launched by most European

government. Also, while Tute Bianche practiced civil disobedience and used

shields and helmets as part of a long-term identity and political project,

the current student movements focus on multiplying conflict: from the

creation of Book Blocs to interrupting traffic on roads and stations, from

the occupation of universities and monuments to assaulting the palaces of




However, there are some elements of continuity as well: the relationship

between conflict and consensus, strong in the Tute Bianche experience, is

now re-emerging in the line of action of the student movement; the critique

of globalization of Genoa and Seattle returns today in the defense of the

welfare state against the infinite violence of banks. The utopian vigor of

the ‘another world is possible’ is now lost, but the awareness that another

world is necessary remains as strong within the systemic crisis of global






*Francesco Raparelli *was born in Marino (Rome) on 17th January 1978. He has

a PhD in philosophy from the University of Florence. His research spans from

philosophy of language to theory of sovereignty, from subjectivity in modern

political thought to the transformation of productive processes. He has

always been involved in Italian radical movements, from Disobbedienti and

Tute Bianche to the Onda movement in 2008, to the current wave of riots,

which started from La Sapienza University in autumn 2010. He is part of the

social centre Esc in Rome, of the editorial board of


of Global  <http://www.globalproject.info/>and he is the director of the

free press DINAMO. In October 2009, his book on the recent history of

Italian student movements, La Lunghezza dell’Onda, was published by Ponte

alle Grazie.


*Marina Montanelli* was born in Formia (Latina) on 25 May 1985. She

graduated in philosophy of language at La Sapienza University in Rome and

she is now studying philosophy and critical theory. She has been active in

the Onda movement and she is now actively involved in the current student

uprising. She is part of the editorial board of





This event was organized by Daisy Jones (Courtauld Institute Student Union)

and Federico Campagna( <http://th-rough.eu/writers/federico-campagna>Through

Europe), in collaboration with the Courtauld Institute, London.




The seminar will start at 6pm, on Wednesday 23 February 2011, in the Lecture

Theatre, Courtauld Institute, Somerset House, Strand, London, WC2R 0RN,

United Kingdom. This seminar is free.



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