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Communication Research and Practice


Edited By Adrienne Shaw and D. Travers Scott

This volume brings together a range of papers that fruitfully engage with the theme of the 2017 Annual Conference of the International Communication Association, held in San Diego, California: Interventions. Here "intervention" points to a range of communication practices that engage with a political event, social phenomena, industrial or socio-cultural practice, in order to alter and disrupt events and the norms and practices that contribute to their occurrence.  Interventions prohibit events from proceeding in a "normal" course. Interventions approach or critique practices and phenomenon resulting from tensions or absences occurring in: events, structures, (institutional governmental, media industry), discourses, and socio-cultural and subcultural events. Intervention presents the opportunity to explore boundaries, assumptions and strategies that appear to be different or irreconcilable, viewing them instead as possibilities for productive engagements. Communication interventions—in both research and practice—insert insights from diverse voices, marginal positions, emerging organizational practices and digital technologies, to broaden and enrich dialogue. Interventions bring complex reframings to events and phenomenon. Interventions seek to alter a course and effect changed practices in a range of spheres: governmental and social institutions, cultural and nongovernmental groups; industry and organizational life, new media and digital spaces, socio-cultural environments, subcultural groups, health environments, affective and behavioral life, and in everyday life.

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16. Yarnbombing Interventions: “Let’s Patch It!” (Pamela Pietrucci / Andrea Baldini)


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16. Yarnbombing Interventions: “Let’s Patch It!”


At 3:32 am on April 6, 2009, an earthquake of a 6.3 magnitude struck L’Aquila, a city in central Italy. The historic center of L’Aquila, a medieval town, did not resist the destructive seismic wave and was turned into rubble. The consequences included 309 victims, 1,600 people wounded, and damages estimated to exceed 10 billion Euros. Not only did several centuries-old houses collapse, but also many modern buildings, such as the students’ residence of the University of L’Aquila—built in the 1960s and renovated in 2000—crumpled, exposing the poor standards of construction that have been applied for decades. In the aftermath of the earthquake, the top-down response of the Italian authorities, with their governmental reconstruction and urban renewal plans, attracted significant criticism. The historic center was turned into a “red zone” inaccessible to civilians and patrolled by the military. Moreover, post-disaster housing policies, the Progetto C.A.S.E. and Progetto M.A.P (Project “Homes” and Project “Map”), promoted the construction of temporary homes in the outskirts of the city, cutting off residents from public transit and relocating them en masse into what they defined as “dormitory neighborhoods.” This double displacement—from their city center and from their homes—made it extremely difficult for the local residents to socially interact, thus threatening their civic and public life (Baldini & Pietrucci, 2017; Pietrucci, 2014). Commentators have extensively criticized the official...

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