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A child born in the city has thus far had one probability out of St. Louis Map Free three of being born in its shanty towns. Today almost St. Louis Map Free a billion-and-ahalf people inhabit slums, the ecosystem of the future, human rejects who eke out an existence in areas St. Louis Map Free made out of rejected urban materials: cardboard, plastic canvas or tin plates. In about thirty years three-quarters of humanity St. Louis Map Free could find itself in that universe of cement-steel-glass plus shack-like hovels.

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For some years I have been trying to come to grips with the emptying out of the villages around me, with the delocalization of the region in which I was born: The largest Calabrian cities are somewhere else, abroad. And in the last few years this land, a land of flight, a land from which to depart, has become a place of arrival, where newcomers are welcomed and sometimes expelled. The great shifting of peoples makes me live with unease and bitterness, with distress and uncertainty the problem of the fate of my region’s hinterland, the end of the villages, of the villages resembling Christmas nativity scenes.

In the meanwhile cities clone themselves; they become like one another all over the world, with the same streets, the same shopping malls, the same department stores. Already two-thirds of British cities can boast the same High Street, the street of shopping, equivalent to the American Main Street. Your travel destination is, one store at a time, one street at a time, even the cities of Europe and Italy now tend to resemble each other.

Nostos and algos

“Nostalgia” is one of the most beautiful and enticing terms coined in the modern era. It evokes the flaring up and the breaking down of times and places, individual and collective lacerations and dispersions, departures, flights, returns, losses, rebirths. It brings about a happy combination between nostos, return, and algos, pain. In European vocabularies it appears for the first time in the Dissertatio Medica de Nostalgia presented on June 12 1688 at the University of Basel by Johannes Hoffer, a young Alsatian student of medicine.

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