Category: Legalization of the Commons

LEGALISATION OF THE COMMONS As culture becomes the main economic driver of post-industrial cities, cities are becoming sites of urban rebellion and of commoning led by artists and cultural producers. Discussions around the commons normally revolve around the commons as: (1) a physical resource (2) intellectual property or (3) labour. In Italy, the lawyers from the Costituente dei Beni Comuni – a legal commission set up by the parliament during the referendum against the privatisation of water in 2005 – managed to transfer the legal framework for common good onto the realm of cultural organizations. Led by lawyer Ugo Mattei, occupied cultural centres such as the Teatro Valle become legalized commons (‘fondazione’ dei beni comuni). More recently, the municipality of Naples, in conversation with the group of lawyers (Giuristi Democratici di Napoli) associated with the activist space Asilo Filangieri (Naples) agreed to give to residents of the Asilo a monthly ‘social income’ in recognition of their role as generators of cultural and political – relational – value in order to cover the ordinary and extraordinary maintenance costs of the building – a spectacular UNESCO-protected palace in the historic centre. Unlike the agreement of Teatro Valle, which was under private law, the agreement between the municipality of Naples and the Asilo Filangeri is under public law, considers as commons both the physical space and the work of the activists and attempts to capture a broader political, cultural and economic notion of the public There is also considerable work that is being done on urban commons in Spain and on intellectual property right and industrial patenting in Greece. The issue of urban common also touches upon the legal and institutional relationships between political movements and various state levels and the coexistence of autonomous and horizontal forces within a common logistical infrastructure – including configurations of democratic confederalism, communalism and municipalism. What are the next strategic steps for IRI in terms of greater embeddedness in the urban fabric and of establishing ongoing collaborations with social centres and occupied spaces across Europe and the global South? What can IRI learn from the modus operandi of urban commons and how can IRI, and its network, support these? What practical tools can be developed – such as Basic Income pilot projects or an internal currency of the commons – to facilitate the struggles of commons that share similar languages and practices, for instance, in Spain and Italy? Or conversely how to activate south-to-South networks of solidarity across urban experiences and contexts, such as Greece, Turkey, Cairo, Zagreb or Palestine, that are radically different?


MASTER in Urban Commons, the Ingobernable and various social centres in Madrid and across Spain will collectively discuss and re-define the vocabularies, practices and strategies of urban commoning starting by sharing the experience of I beni comuni emergenti developed by l’Asilo Ex Asilo Filangieri in Naples.



The second gathering of the Institute of Radical Imagination takes place from 28th of May to 2nd of June 2018 at the Ingobernable, Madrid.

The five-days event in Madrid will consist in two parallel sets of events: a MASTER in Urban Commons, organized by La Ingobernable in collaboration with IRI and involving various Spanish urban commons and social centres and a three-day workshop about the Institute of Radical Imagination’s forms of governance, sustainability, future projects and potential collaborations with social centres and urban commons across Europe’s south, the Mediterranean and the global South.



L’Asilo November 29th / Scugnizzo Liberato November 30th > Fb


November 29th at L’Asilo

10:00 – 14:30 Organisational meeting of the IRI’s steering committee:

  1. The Institute of Radical Imagination Introduced by Mao Mollona.
  2. New forms of collaboration. The museum of the commons with Manuel Borja Villel.
  3. Relations, aesthetics and politics Introduced by Marco Baravalle.
  4. Translation. Collaborative platforms, common language and methodology of working in commons introduced by Raúl Sánchez Cedillo.
  5. Legalising the Commons and new Municipalism introduced by Giuseppe Micciarelli.
  6. Mapping the Institute of Radical Imagination introduced by Emanuele Braga and Marco Baravalle.