Parallel infrastructures

28 Jun 2009 | 221 words | africa india europe migration rain

Have been spending the last 2 days in Torino for a succession of workshops and conferences, and have used my spare time to revisit some of the places that here we had planned to install the expertbase during the big torino biennial back in 2002 (before we were kicked out of the exhibition). Seems that those parts of the city that we were working in have remained relatively unchanged by the construction madness caused by the 2008 winter games.

However it appears that there has been a change among the migrant street hawkers selling all kinds of goods on the streets of the city. It appears that this trade has been taken over by Indian migrants that have replaced the Senegalese migrants that were all over the place back in 2002. However they still seem to operate in the same networked fashion that i observed back in 2002. On friday evening there was a brief (and relatively unannounced) thunderstorm, and all the street sellers were conveniently offering umbrellas:

I talked to one of them under the arcades of via Po and he confirmed that they do receive advance warnings that bad weather is coming from migrant street sellers in other cities. This enables them to anticipate on the type of merchandise they are offering (and provides a very convenient weather forecast).