Tattooed City

architects Juri Armanda, Karl Geisler
project Face to Face: Urban Memories
written by Antonija Majača


In July 2001, three hundred thousand people gathered in Genoa to protest against the Group of Eight Summit. For three days, the capital of the Italian province of Liguria was the backdrop of a collective dream expressed by the slogan “a different world is possible”. On the other hand, more than fifteen thousand police and the army, violence on streets, in hospitals, in police stations, culminating in the murder of C. Giuliani, simultaneously created the image of a collective nightmare. The city was divided into two zones by using a model that has become ordinary for organizing international “high-risk” meetings. Anti-globalization activists were forbidden to access the red zone, which covered several square kilometers around the palace where the summit took place. The red zone was surrounded by the yellow zone, where demonstrations were partly permitted, but the police could intervene at any time and restrict/widen the circle. To navigate easier in the changed regulation of city space, the activists made digital demo maps before coming to Genoa and distributed them over the Internet.