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.

Roma camp at via Salviati 2

Deteriorated housing conditions in an authorized settlement in Rome.

Roma camp at via Salviati 2

Typical container for a family of 4 or more persons.

Model of typical container found in Roma camp via Salviati 2

Designed for a family of 4 or more persons, this housing unit falls far short of the legal minimum standards for space, light, and privacy dictated by the building code of Rome and international human rights charters for adequate housing.

Roma camp at via di Salone

Typical living containers on concrete slab, with perimeter fence and flood light in background.

Roma camp at via Gordiani

Authorized and slated for expansion in 2010. View of main entry gate and industrial zone adjacent.

General map of the eighteen Roma camps in and around Rome

Approximately nine of the camps were currently authorized and built by the Province of Lazio (here indicated by blue dots).

Schematic map of the Venice Jewish ghetto created in 1516

This map was used to examine and compare the morphology of the 16th century ghetto system in relation to the Roma camps of today.
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