In March 2020, a video of Italian mayors scolding citizens for failing to stay at home went viral. Only ostensibly insignificant, these clickable white men reveal new forms and affects of digital governance at the heart of twenty-first century politics.
COVID-19 brought to the fore the pathology of our metropoles. It is a pathology rooted in their economic structure, which draws from precariousness.
How we decide to act as public anthropologists in this crisis will define the future of the discipline.
I figure I was seven years old when Apollo 11 landed on the moon. I remember being at my neighbors’ house, sitting on their oval braided rug, watching the small-screen TV. I can still picture those fuzzy black and white images of the spacecraft and astronauts. Neil Armstrong uttered his famous words: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” I get chills when I replay that moon landing on the internet.
The transformation of the Northern League from Umberto Bossi’s federalist party to Matteo Salvini’s Italianist one, tells us an important story about the charismatic leaders and their supporters.