Over the last few years, Roma camps have been handled as an endless emergency, but in reality this is a permanent situation that requires the constant engagement of municipalities and regions throughout Italy.
It always follows the same pattern: illegal nomads' camps arise in the outskirts of towns, their enlargement and proliferation are not prevented in any way by local authorities, and eventually residents rise up in protest and demonstrations, which often result in violence or intolerance. But things do not necessarily have to come to such a head. In Rome, for example, an ad hoc Commission has been set up to deal with the Roma issue as a matter of urgency and the city Prefect has been appointed to this task force. So, according to what we have been told, the "Nomad Emergency" should be rapidly resolved. But how to deal with it? An example of this emergency management is provided by the Castel Romano camp, where in 2005 the Roma coming from another notable settlement of the capital located in Savini Alley, were "temporarily" accommodated. To put up this camp as a matter of urgency, the Civil Protection was involved; environmental constraints were suspended in the area where now prefabricated buildings stand (the Decima-Malafede Park); and essential services - such as water and lighting - were provisionally supplied without carrying out permanent works or excavations in order to avoid environmental degradation. Moreover, the camp management, security and surveillance were entrusted to a cooperative society. During the first year of construction and management alone, more than €10 million was spent. Through the images and accounts gathered by Emiliano Pappacena and Emilio Casalini, we audit the accounts of the camp management; we verify the real situation of this emergency, which is handled by means of continuous derogations renewed over the years; we check the actual schooling of Roma children; and we compare the progress that has been made with the objectives that the municipality, the region and the local authorities involved had set.
Authors: Emilio Casalini and Emiliano Pappacena. Broadcast by Un mondo a Colori/Crash - © Rai Educational, 2009.