State-ordered Evictions of Associations


In the mid 1950s, central Italy became a battleground between the Italian national government and its political opponents. Under the leadership of Minister of the Interior Mario Scelba, the national government used a strategy of evictions of clubs and voluntary associations in predominantly leftwing areas from their meeting spaces and headquarters, to undermine the grassroots bases of the Italian Left. This map demonstrates how the program of state-ordered evictions of those groups targeted Emilia Romagna and Tuscany, in an intense period of evictions enforced by state police between mid 1953 and 1955. Read more...

Eviction places and dates

    About this project

    This map is a work in progress, a small part of my ongoing experimentation with digital visualizations of historical research. I chose to begin with this map of evictions because animating the unfolding events on a map seemed to be the best way to show the geographic and temporal clustering of the evictions. It demonstrates that these events constituted a shortlived yet intense campaign targeted specifically against central Italy.

    In addition, I plan to add more features to this map, accompany it with more explanatory text, as well as publish other visualizations and texts alongside it. Planned features: detail on the associations evicted at each site and the events surrounding them; detailed map of central Italy; incorporation of bibliographic metadata; zoom.


    • 1.0 April 17, 2013: Original commit.
    • 1.1 September 14, 2013:
      • Changed default Albers cartographic projection to transverse Mercator.
      • Added regional data and displayed regional boundaries.
      • Modified color scheme, using ColorBrewer colors.
      • Cleaned up script and improved comments; minor changes to HTML tags.
      • Minor text edits, expanded colophon.
    • 1.2 October 3, 2013:
      • Added "Play" button to begin animation.
      • Replaced Natural Earth data with data derived from Istat shapefiles, edited colophon to reflect.
      • Added animated time axis to clarify relation of animation to chronology.
    • 1.3 October 12, 2013:
      • Revised dataset to restore omitted points.

    Historical sources

    The data on this period of evictions is derived from original research for my dissertation on associations, place and cultural battles in Italy, 1945-1968. The sources on evictions include:

    • Parliamentary records (resoconti stenografici)
    • Newspapers: l'Unita', il Momento
    • Pamphlets and articles: Arbizzani, Luigi. “Lunga Vita Alle Case Del Popolo,” Emilia (Bologna, 1955); Iotti, Nilde. I Lavoratori in difesa delle case del popolo. (Reggio Emilia, 1955)

    Tools and technologies employed