To repopulate is not a crime!

18/05/2017 admin 0
All across Europe, hundreds of people are re-building self-sufficiency in lands that nation-states devote to huge infrastructures, often useless or harmful. Is the occupation of abandoned villages an anti-urban choice? In a system of production that sacrifices so much territory to the needs of the city, we should rather consider these places as urban peripheries.
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A dead city

21/01/2015 admin 0

Like chinese boxes, this documentary not only brilliantly shows the institucional and political corruption behind the police-orchestrated hoax known as ‘4F’, which began on February 4th, 2006 in Barcelona’s calle Sant Pere Més Baix, but it also extends in a coil the understanding of horror to wider levels of society: from the police, to the judges, to the press, to social services, to the city council, to gentrification, in brief, to power in itself. Like before Joaquim Jordà’s De Nens (2003), now Ciutat Morta leads us from a particular history to the deep and terrifying comprehension of the general, of society, of the city. To the memory of Patricia Heras, the dead poet.

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The ghosts of San Berillo

21/03/2014 admin 0

Different cities follow one another on the same site and under the same name, writes Italo Calvino, born and dying without knowing one another, without communication among themselves. At time even the names of the inhabitants remain the same, and their voices’ accent, and also the features of the faces; but the gods who live beneath names and above places have gone off without a word and outsiders have settled in their place. It is pointless to ask whether the new gods are better or worse than the old, since there is no connection between them… We recommend you another Italian documentary movie: Edoardo Morabito and Irma Vecchio’s I fantasmi di San Berillo (2013), first prize at Torino Film Festival. The demolition of this old neighbourhood in the centre of Catania (Sicily), in 1958, was the biggest urban evisceration in post-war Italy, linked (as everything in the country) with Vatican’s Società Generale Immobiliare: 30.000 people where displaced towards the peripheries. It was the same year in which brothels were banned: prostitutes were forced to work underground, and what was left of San Berillo turned into one of the biggest “red light districts” of the Mediterranean. So the story of the neighbourhood went on for another half century, until 2001, when a new police operation evicted again prostitutes and transvestites from their houses and streets. Today many plots are still unoccupied, and some became new favelas (see this 2012 video). The documentary shifts visually from past to present, and the images are associated with the fascinating words of writer Goliarda Sapienza, born in San Berillo in 1924.

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Taksim halkindir- Taksim belongs to the people!

05/06/2013 admin 0

Early in the morning I find Taksim square already full of people and fully operational, among the flags of the left-wing extraparlamentary groups, and of associations of the civil society, from feminists to LGBT, from kurdish anarchists to muslim anticapitalists and marxists…A commentary from our correspondent in Istanbul: [in spanish and italian]

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The Pinheirinho massacre

31/01/2012 admin 0
In the morning of january 22nd, 2012, 2000 military police broke into the Pinheirinho settlement in Sao Paulo (Brasil) with helicopters, tanks, horses, tear gases, and began the eviction. Almost 10.000 people had been living there for about 8 yeras; they had just regularized their housing titles. But the eviction was promoted by a company whose director fled the country in 1990 for finantial crimes, and that now needs the land to speculate, keeping them empty. In preparation of 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games, some 170.000 people are under eviction all around Brasil. Residents of Pinheirinho strenuously resisted the eviction, that ended with 7 dead, and tens of wounded and arrested. Public houses had been promised to the evicted, now stacked in churches or gyms; but "those in charge of building social houses are part of the same bloodthirsty, prejudiced and deceitful elites as the governants..."
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Links on protests in Maghreb

30/01/2011 admin 0
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A competition of ideas against the demolition of a popular neighborhood

22/01/2011 admin 0
During the years 2009 and 2011, some members of our research group helped in the organization of Repensar BonpastorInternational Competition of Ideas promoted by a group of architects and urbanists from Barcelona with the collaboration of the International Alliance of Inhabitants. After various years of fieldwork (2004, 2009) in Bon Pastor's casas baratas, and helped by the stable relationships we entailed with a series of families of residents, we reached a conclusion: that in spite of the media and institution constantly repeating how this neighborhood is in need of "renewal" (the word they use to say "demolition"), other solutions are possible, for this group of social houses, "red" and popular, built by Barcelona's City Council in 1929: it could be possible to preserve the historical and social peculiarity that this neighborhood represents for its residents and for all the city. Cultures, habitus, techniques and languages developed during decades by the inhabitants of the 784 casas baratas, and deeply rooted in this particular style of housing, will not survive after the demolition of the neighborhood. Even many of its inhabitants, since "modernity" arrived to the neighborhood under the form of demolitions, had to leave the neighborhood or suffered violent evictions.
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Recipes to eliminate poverty in Buenos Aires

14/12/2010 admin 0
On december 8th, 2010, the Metropolitan and Federal Police attacked the 200 families who had settled in Parque Iberoamericano (Buenos Aires), as if it was an enemy army: the operation ended with two deaths and many injured. Then, the local gobernment and mass media promoted xenophobia, presenting the abandoned park as "squatted" by bolivians and paraguayans linked with drug dealing: so racist groups from the neighborhoods, together with violent hooligans - patotas de barrabravas , close and often directly hired by the local government- continued the job, killing two more of the settlers.