During the 2009-2010 cycle of fellowships, Jon Calame examined possible similarities between the Jewish ghettos of the 16th century (focusing on those constructed in Venice, Rome, Ferara, Florence, and Padova) and the Roma camps of today. Based on scholarly research related to the political motivations for Jewish ghetto construction, a conceptual model for the traditional "ghetto system" was sketched. The Roma camps on the periphery of Rome were subsequently considered in this framework and considered as heirs to the ghetto system. The project consolidated observations and findings appropriate for the support of legal action against the Province of Lazio in relation to the substandard housing provided by permanent settlements it designed exclusively for Roma inhabitants.
Jon Calame is a consultant with the non-profit research group Minerva Partners, active where the traditional built environment can contribute to community strengthening. His recent work touches upon the physical segregation of ethnic minorities. Jon was born in Long Beach, California in 1969 and currently lives in Portland Maine.