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Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology 
University of Warsaw

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The Site: Building Resistance - Trailer

The Site: Building Resistance [It.: Il Cantiere: Costruire la Resistenza] is a feature-length ethnographic documentary about the No TAV movement in Val di Susa, in the Italian Alps. The movement fights against the planned construction of a high-speed railway from Lyon (France) to Turin (Italy), which would run through the valley.

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The film emphasizes the personal and affective experiences of movement activists. It also highlights the emergence of a novel political imaginary that unites diverse subjects in a common struggle, simultaneously in defence of a local landscape and for an alternative to global neoliberal hegemony. Born in the 1990s as a committee of experts, environmentalists and local political activists, over the years the No TAV movement has grown into an extremely diverse assemblage, bringing together heterogeneous groups from inside and outside Val di Susa and many thousands of individuals of all walks of life. The documentary tells the movement’s story from a particular angle. Focusing on the initiatives taken up by activists against the drilling of a geological survey tunnel—the only major construction task started so far, in progress since 2011—The Site follows how the No TAV movement constructs its unity while thriving on the diversity of its members. The film is based on over a year of participatory research among No TAV activists in Val di Susa, carried out in 2014-2015. It features original images and archival footage of direct actions, riots, moments of conviviality, marches and demonstrations, in addition to interviews with movement members—from farmers and factory workers to bank clerks, and from young anarchists to retired former militants of 1968 and elderly Catholic activists.

The Site: Building Resistance was directed by anthropologist Mateusz Laszczkowski (University of Warsaw), and co-edited by Massimo Alovisi (TG Vallesusa). Running time: 56’.