Forced Nomadism and “Frozen Transience”: Roma Mobilities in Rome Today
When we speak of the mobility of the Roma (“gypsies”) 1 of Europe today, we do not speak of culture, of their ancestral relationship to place, home, and movement. Their current situation, which has gained media attention because of France’s recently implemented policy of “voluntary repatriation”, is forced nomadism by another name. The Roma’s historic nomadism has been used, conveniently, as an excuse for the lack of housing and dwelling places they face today. “They don’t want regular housing.”’ – “They can’t live like us, in one place.” While the Italian word for gypsy, zingaro, is recognized as offensive today, like “gypsy” is here, the word still commonly in use in Italy is nomade, which carries with it a profound and sometimes instrumental misconception.
This proceeding is from the 99th ACSA Annual Meeting Proceedings, Where Do You Stand. Posted with permission.