SALONE, A LIFE IN A CONTAINER:
The Story of Sabrina Sejdovic’s confinement in the Nomadi Camp, Via di Salone
Between 2009 and 2010, the Municipality of Rome, definitively evicted Casilino 900. They destroyed the houses that the Roma, themselves, had built in the settlement and transferred them, with the promise that the move was temporary, until better housing could be built, to several containment camps, among them that of Via de Salone, where now, in 2020, they have been living for 11 years.
Sabrina Sejdovic, and her family had been living in Casilino 900 in their own home for decades when they were relocated to a container at Via di Salone, on January 27, 2009. She tells us of the before and after: the dislocation, the confinement and the containment.
The “Village of Solidarity”, as this program is unjustifiably called, began in 2006. It’s lack of care, and the cookie cutter nature of its houses contrasts with the dignity and vitality of those who live in the camps. The container imposes a change not only on the Romani culture but also in the resources with which they make a living.
Before the eviction, Stalker, a group of architects and scholars, together with the Roma of Casilino 900, designed and built a prototype house. They called it “Savorengo Ker Care, the house for everyone”. The house was finished on July 28th 2008. In December of the same year it was destroyed in a fire.
In the words of the press release, “Savorengo Ker, the house for everyone” is a house built by the Roma of 4 ethnic groups with the collaboration of Stalker and the support of the Department of Urban Studies of the University of Rome Three, which was born as an alternative to the container, the only solution provided so far by the administration.
The Savorengo Ker demonstrates that, for the same cost as a 32 square meter container, it is possible to build a 70 square meter two story wooden house, with living room, kitchen, bathroom, 3 bedrooms and terrace, and that the collaborative building process weaves links and relationships between different cultures and peoples.