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Ready for some Good Reads from Europe and beyond? This time Veronica Pozzi, one of our Sixth Sense editors, takes up the challenge and shares with you some multimedia content. Follow this intriguing mixture of media, from an article about the way we structure European cities to a podcast on the Berlin Wall.

 

Veronica, Sixth Sense

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Modern Ghettos in Civilized Europe

 

Strolling around in Berlin's Museum of European Cultures, I once saw pictures of doorbells being used to show the social changes different cities have undergone. I was rather interested by the idea of demonstrating how waves of immigration have changed European cities through the years, so that doorbells have slowly started to feature not only local surnames, but also last names typical to other countries as well. 

Since then, whenever I visit a city I cannot resist the temptation to have a look at some doorbells here and there, daydreaming about what brought immigrants there and whether they feel integrated in the city's society. It's an easy way to grasp how a city has organised itself, how it copes with its past and current social issues and what kind of social mix characterises the quarter you are in at the moment. It is no surprise that if you are in the outskirts or deprived areas, you will most likely stumble across many doorbells of immigrants, let alone prisons or mental hospitals, as society tries to hide or not to think about these realities. 

On this topic, I was intrigued by the views that the Italian architect Guido Morpurgo shared on Eutopia magazine. His article poses the question of social identity in European cities and does not forget how European society is still far from having an integrative – and integrated – society. As Morpurgo argues, Europe has a long-standing tradition of ghettos, mostly associated with Jewish communities and the Third Reich. 

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