Seek and learn to recognize who and what , in the midst of the inferno, are not inferno , then make them endure, give them space. 1 – Italo Calvino

There are three ‘provisional conclusions’ at the end of the fi rst volume of the Homo Sacer series. These are some provisional considerations of the last: ‘Today it is not the city but rather the camp that is the fundamental biopolitical paradigm of the West’. 2 Agamben explains his thesis by saying that it ‘throws a sinister light on the models by which social sciences, sociology, urban studies, and architecture today are trying to conceive and organize the public space of the world’s cities without any clear awareness that at their very centre lies the same bare life (even if it has been transformed and rendered apparently more human) that defi ned the biopolitics of the great totalitarian states of the twentieth century’. 3

The almost two decades that passed since this rhetorical bomb exploded in the cheerful marketplace of ideas was more than enough for the victims’ blood to get cleaned and the survivors’ anger to be quelled, as if nothing happened. So today is a perfect day to come to terms with the bad news, which is what Agamben got right, as well as the good news, which is what he fortunately got wrong. Let me start with the bad news.