Since 1989, the Italian Notav movement, located in the Val di Susa (Piemonte) is opposed to the construction of a passing through a 57 km long tunnel railway line between Torino and Lyon. The corridor has been designed within the framework of the European Transportation Network, in the name of sustainability. But the Notav movement has never been only a local mobilization, such as so-called NIMBY movements; from its very beginning, it has been developed around a European concern for the Alp mountains future, and represents nowadays the major social conflict on the Italian public sphere, a conflict that is defined from both sides as violent and illegal. As much as the railway line defenders, the Notav social stakeholders move forward the idea of an ecological position.
Through a two years field qualitative fieldwork, based on semi-directive interviews and a focus group I tried to reconstruct the different, and sometimes divergent, elements of the ecological dimension of the Notav movement. Highlighting the conflictive aspect that emerges from the “oppositional social space” (Negt, 1986) created by the Notav movement in Italy and, indirectly, in other European countries, my purpose, in this paper, is to define the outlines of the conception of ecology, as it is conceived by this Northern Italian movement. Without clearly claiming notions as “degrowth” or “counter-culture”, the Notav social stakeholders contest the institutional definition of sustainability, and promote the generic idea of “commons”.
This media entry was a contribution to the special session „The Notav Movement : toward a degrowth ecology ?“ at the 5th International Degrowth Conference in Budapest in 2016.