The paper explores the role and value of the so-called ‘balcony performances’ – community special events, organized during the first national lockdown in Italy in March-May 2020. Following the constructionist research paradigm, in-depth interviews were collected and analysed to understand how through engaging with special events, residents found ways to deal with uncertainty and distress during the time of lockdown. Balcony events allowed participants to connect with others at a distance, express and share their feelings and emotions and, eventually, transform fear and worry into hope and positivity. The paper reiterates the vital ritualistic role of events in community life and introduces a conceptual framework of the transformative power of events. The framework explains how during times of uncertainty, improvisational creativity within neighbourhoods, expressed in special events, can provide a platform for resilience building and community cohesion. The paper also puts forward a new perspective on residential balconies as event venues.
Antchak, VladimirGorchakova, ValentinaRossetti, Giulia
Oxford Brookes Business School
Year of publication: 2022Date of RADAR deposit: 2022-03-08