The shortage of affordable housing in big cities already stands as a global problem. The increasing privatisation of common housing properties, the rising costs of real estate and rent push out those who are unable to live in the city. Elsewhere, informal settlements represent both the failure of humane politics as well as the autonomy and self-organization of migrants. The traditional class struggle between work and capital appears to now be replaced by a struggle for space.
The film series Landscapes of Living focuses on how social, economic and cultural inequalities are inscribed into urban and rural living spaces. In addition to the political dimension of the housing question, the selection of international and predominately Latin American documentary films pursues the everyday worlds on the periphery as well as the topic of post-colonial migration and transformation processes.
The spectrum of filmic practices in Landscapes of Living – ranging from long-term observations to fictional constructions of reality to highly subjective narrative styles – makes apparent the areas of tension between appropriation and dispossession, participation and security in a special way. The mechanisms of social exclusion and structural violence are contrasted to narratives full of empathy, humour and resistance.
Florian Wüst curates film programs and exhibitions for international art institutions, cinemas and festivals. He is co-founder of the Berlin Journals – On the History and Present State of the City that address the social, cultural, and economic changes in Berlin and other cities.