Race Matters: The Materiality of Domopolitics in the Peripheries of Rome


This essay explores the political struggles around the making of the peripheral neighbourhood of Nuova Ponte di Nona in Rome, examining the place that housing occupies in securitarian domopolitics as a politics of protecting one’s home while at the same time (re)producing the materiality of the neighbourhood along class and race divides. The essay calls for a greater analytical focus on issues of materiality in the recently emerging debates on ‘domopolitics’ or ‘the politics of home’—a politics which constructs various scales of territory as a ‘home’ to be protected against invading outsiders cast as enemies. It conjoins debates around urban materiality with debates around the fear of racialized others outside the home as constitutive of the development of the ‘domestic fortress’. In this regard, the essay takes up the argument on the centrality of race in securitization moves, providing empirical support for the increased analytical emphasis on the workings of race alongside those of class, and on the embeddedness of racializing practices in corporeality and urban material culture.