The documentary focuses on the story of “Art Lab”, from the occupation of 2011 to present day, although larger space is given to the more recent events. This period of time has allowed not only to investigate the issue and the reasons of those who chose to begin and pursue this adventure, but also to witness a number of situations that factually built the path of evolution of the collective movement. Every year is basically marked by a major battle. In 2013 the main struggle was environmental, to block the waste incinerator which was to be activated despite the “Movimento 5stelle” having made promises of closing it during the political campaign.
In June 2013 a national mobilization took place in the city against the incinerator, with participants (individuals and social centers) coming from all over Italy, but with a limited participation from the local citizens, partly because the once solid opposition alliance split up. In November, the plant was once again under attack just a few days after its opening. This time the actions taken were more confrontational, for example the entrance was blocked so trucks could not unload the waste, and the plant was theatrically invaded by the protesters. These demonstrations did not actually lead to concrete progress in closing the incinerator, but they helped keep the issue of waste disposal and air pollution in the spotlight. Meanwhile, “Art Lab” broke free from the system of alliances with other independent social centers, within which it could no longer successfully pursue its goals. Independence implies more freedom, but also more responsibility. It was time to start taking action in the territory again.
In June 2014, a striking action saw the temporary occupation of an important monument of the city, the “Ospedale Vecchio” (old hospital). Three days of debates, meetings, concerts that brought attention back to a decaying monument at the center of speculative interests.
The environmental battle was by no means set aside: the investigation on the incinerator and on the actions carried out by the multi-utility companies brought the collective movement to approach another local organization, “Rete Diritti in casa”, which fight for the right to housing. This way, the battle for a guaranteed minimum on utilities joined up with the battle for the right to housing. In October 2014, a couple of buildings in Borgo Bosazza were occupied, to meet the pressing demands of a group of families whose needs were not met by the local welfare system.
Last but not least, the current battle concerning the building that Art Lab has occupied. Whoever squats knows that sooner or later they will face the risk of eviction, or the possibility of negotiating a legalization. The University of Parma intends to renovate the building, and has included it in a large recovery plan together with other properties. The collective movement was offered to move into a new space which met all health and safety standards, but tthis option was considered unsatisfactory. “Art Lab” and “Rete Diritti in casa” then coordinated a new occupation in another University-owned building next door, which had housed a bed and breakfast, the management of which had been unsuccessful. Now “Art Lab” is also “Nomas Hotel”, a space that gives shelter to other families. The house of rebel students now also becomes the house of families living in poverty. Is a new chapter about to be written in the history of this city or is the end close?
This is the timeline, but in no way can a chronological scan take into account what happens from the inside, the debates, the constant questions, the plan-making. All of this cannot be read between the lines of the facts, and this is what “Into the movement” wants to convey.