Pollen and Rust. Memory, Work and Deindustrialization in Sesto San Giovanni (1985-2015). Our research has been funded by the Lombardy Region; and we have worked in partnership with a local Foundation (ISEC – Institute for the history of contemporary age), an independent Association for ethnographic research (AVoce). One of the main requirements of the Lombardy Region’s call was the ability to reach out to a wider audience with respect to a strictly academic one. The call put a strong emphasis on dissemination, in order to involve /solicit the interest of the general public and go outside the university rooms. We intended our project as a project of public history and our research resulted in different research products: the documentary “Pollen and Rust” is one of them. The documentary has no voice-over, not a single narrator; it is the result of a tight editing of almost 50 interviews. We have asked people: How they remember both industrial work and its loss; How they remember the aftermath of the closings; How they use the history of deindustrialization to understand the present and think about the future. We mainly interviewed former workers: blue and white collars, local trade union leaders, residents. We interviewed mostly male workers, but also women. We interviewed mostly older workers, but also younger ones, in training [for becoming mechanics or chef in a school located in a former Falck building and new creative professionals. In the documentary, we did not make any attempt to determine whether the steel plants in Sesto should or should not have been closed, instead we tried to elicit the “reasons” people invoked, and the options they faced. Our ultimate aim was to deconstruct the predominant inevitability discourse for closing. That is why we interviewed middle and top managers as well: in particular, we met some of the Falck technical staff -mostly industrial engineers who spent their career in the firm - and the Falck top HR Executives who arrived at Falck at the beginning of the ‘90s to manage both the layoffs and the social buffers during the plant’s closing. In their experience of job insecurity, middle managers surely had more personal resources to mobilize in respect to workers (more human capital, for instance, and likely more financial resources), but they also have less or no access to social buffers, and stronger expectations about their own career and on upward mobility. At the same time, in the transition, they experienced a total lack of social visibility. One of the main findings in our research has been that the most visible tension in the sense-making and memory of the abandoning the steelworks is the one between old middle managers and new top managers, especially the HR managers that came to Falck from outside at the beginning of the 1990s, new managers that held key positions knowing little or nothing about steel making and the Falck company. So far, little or no attention has been paid to this perspective, which is also the middle class perspective vis a vis the broken promises of the upward mobility which was embodied in post war growth, and ist triad (big government /big business and big labour). We believe that this general trend in the big business under the Globalization pressure is quite well exemplified in the Falck case. Not everyone is scarred by Deindustrialization: Deindustrialization is experienced differently, with winners and losers: at Falck we could explore those kind of fractures. So I believe that the documentary captures at least 4 narratives: the workers, the trade unionists, the insider middle managers, the outsiders top managers. But there is one more narrative: we took interest in considering not only those who are displaced from manufacturing jobs, but also their children; we took also interest in considering how those affected by Deindustrialization remember it, but we also met people who have no direct experience of industrial work: for them Deindustrialization is not based on memories, but rather inscribed in their parents’ narratives or in Sesto’s industrial heritage landscape. Sesto has experienced Deindustrialization, but not a post-industrial transformation; the city is rather in a slow process of moving from an industrial past towards a still uncertain future The huge moloch of the second industrial revolution was demolished or emptied, but what is left now? “What has been labeled Deindustrialization in the intense political heat of the late 70s and early 80s turned out to be: a more socially complicated, historically deep, geographically diverse, political perplexing phenomenon than previously thought” [COWIE and HEATHCOTT 2002]
Il polline e la ruggine. Memoria, lavoro, deindustrializzazione a Sesto San Giovanni (1985-2015) Film documentario di Riccardo Apuzzo, Roberta Garruccio, Sara Roncaglia e Sara Zanisi «Le Rust Belt di tutto il mondo non sono mai qualcosa di statico, rappresentano il dramma culturale di comunità in transizione, di persone che faticano a trovare posto al proprio passato nel proprio presente» (Kathryn Marie Dudley, The End of the Line, 1994) Come può il cinema documentario offrire uno strumento di indagine storica ed etnografica sulla società contemporanea? Come si ripensano i luoghi che sono stati industriali e sono oggi in mezzo a una trasformazione incerta? Come si ripensano e li ripensano le persone che li hanno vissuti e che li vivono? Quale relazione esiste tra passato industriale e memoria di chi ne ha fatto e ne fa esperienza oggi? Come coinvolgere la comunità e restituire i risultati di una ricerca su questi temi? “Il polline e la ruggine” cerca di rispondere a queste domande. È un film documentario che nasce da un più ampio progetto di ricerca dal titolo “Laboratorio Industria. Trasmettere e narrare le culture del lavoro e le metamorfosi degli spazi attraverso gli archivi delle fabbriche di Sesto San Giovanni” promosso da Fondazione Isec e Dipartimento di scienze della mediazione linguistica e di studi interculturali dell’Università degli studi di Milano e finanziato da Regione Lombardia - Fondo Sociale Europeo: la ricerca, realizzata da Roberta Garruccio, Sara Roncaglia e Sara Zanisi, ha permesso di raccogliere quasi 50 interviste in profondità con imprenditori, sindacalisti, dirigenti e lavoratori delle imprese dismesse. La ricerca ha intrecciato questa documentazione orale, ora conservata presso la Fondazione Isec, con una vasta documentazione di archivio, tra cui fotografie, filmati, mappe, progetti. “Il polline e la ruggine” vuole contribuire a conservare e fare conoscere le narrazioni e le rappresentazioni di un luogo trasformato dalla deindustrializzazione, Sesto San Giovanni, concentrandosi in particolare sulla dismissione delle acciaierie Falck e sui significati talvolta molto diversi che le persone attribuiscono agli stessi processi.
Il polline e la ruggine : Memoria, lavoro, deindustrializzazione a sesto San Giovanni (1985-2015) [Moving Image] / R. Apuzzo, R. Garruccio, S. Roncaglia, S. Zanisi. - Disco ottico. - Milano : Istituto per lo studio della età contemporanea (ISEC), 2015 Nov.
|Titolo:||Il polline e la ruggine : Memoria, lavoro, deindustrializzazione a sesto San Giovanni (1985-2015)|
|Data di pubblicazione:||nov-2015|
|Parole Chiave:||memory; oral history; ethnography; job loss; job Insecurity; deindustrialization|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore SECS-P/12 - Storia Economica|
Settore M-STO/04 - Storia Contemporanea
|Appare nelle tipologie:||11 - Applicazione o prodotto multimediale|