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Between volunteering, resistance and the neighbourhood: investigating imaginaries of solidarity in contemporary Turin
This paper investigates imaginaries of solidarity that are apparent in contemporary Turin (Italy). It firstly provides a contextualized understanding of the concept of solidarity by retracing its many forms within the twentieth century’s social economic history and industrial identity of the city. It then examines the marks left, the continuities and discontinuities in the ways solidarity is conceived by Turinese today. To do so, it discusses examples from the ethnographic experience of the author (as part of the research project "Food Citizens?Collective food procurement in European cities: solidarity and diversity, skills and scale") as well as city level public debates. More precisely, this material allows to study solidarity as part of volunteering and neighbourhood-based social activities. The discussion explicates how imaginaries of solidarity reproduced in these activities are infused with images from the past while intermeshing with contemporary issues of legality, distinction mechanisms, and the city neoliberal agenda.