The article is inspired by the recent conviction of the Mayor of Riace, Domenico Lucano, sentenced to 13 years and two months in prison. The ‘Mayor of Migrants’ is, however, only one piece of a much larger mosaic of social actors, extras and relationships, which together bear the true responsibility for the failure of a futuristic, pioneering project: the naturalization of global and intercultural development through migration. A project that now more than ever seems to be destined to remain overshadowed by a wave of media hype. The article tries to bring to the surface a hidden ocean of hopes and ideas, the true ‘core’ of the ‘Riace model,’ sadly transfigured into a mute ectoplasm by too much perfunctory talk, alongside the paltry ‘efforts’ of too many not-so-disinterested communication experts and façade activists.
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