« Creativity is fancy, glamorous and desirable. Who can be against creativity? At the same time it is used selectively for economic purposes and consists of precarious and hard work.
In this film, the search for creativity is linked to existential struggles for affordable housing and working space in Amsterdam, such as temporary accommodation, squatting, anti-squatting and some institutional synthesis: « breeding places » Amsterdam.
This film is more than a local documentary on Amsterdam. It explores the latest urban re-/development pattern in advanced Western capitalist cities. The hype around the creative city began already a decade ago, it is global in scope and about to reach its peak. After Richard Florida’s influential book « The Rise of the Creative Class » (2002) creativity has advanced to be the role model of urban regeneration:The New American Dream.«
« The neoliberal transformation that swept through the world economy during the 1980’s, and along with it the globalization process that picked up speed, brought with it a deep transformation in cities all over the world. For this new finance-centered economic structure, urban land became a tool for capital accumulation, which had deep effects on major cities of developing countries. In Istanbul, which already lacked a tradition of principled planning, the administrators of the city blindly adopted the neoliberal approach that put financial gain ahead of people’s needs; everyone fought to get a piece of the loot; and the result is a megashantytown of 15 million struggling with mesh of life-threatening problems.
Especially in the past 10 years, as the World Bank foresaw in its reports, Istanbul has been changing from an industrial city to a finance and service-centered city, competing with other world cities for investment. Making Istanbul attractive for investors requires not only the abolishment of legal controls that look out for the public good, but also a parallel transformation of the users of the city. This means that the working class who actually built the city as an industrial center no longer have a place in the new consumption-centered finance and service city. So what is planned for these people?
This is where the “urban renewal” projects come into play. Armed with new powers never before imagined, TOKI (State Housing Administration), together with the municipalities and private investors, are trying to reshape the urban landscape in this new vision. With international capital behind them, land plans in their hands, square meters and building coefficients in their minds, they are demolishing neighborhoods, and instead building skyscrapers, highways and shopping malls. But who do these new spaces serve?
The huge gap between the rich and the poor in Istanbul is reflected more and more in the urban landscape, and at the same time feeds on the spatial segregation. While the rich isolate themselves in gated communities, residences and plazas; new poverty cycles born in social housing communities on the prifery of the city designed as human depots continue to push millions to desperation and hopelessness. So who is responsible for this social legacy that we are leaving for future generations?
While billions of dollars are wasted on new road tunnels, junctions, and viaducts with a complete disregard for the scientific fact that all new roads eventually create their own traffic, Istanbul in 2010 has to contend with a single-line eight-station metro “system”. Due to insufficient budget allocations for mass public transportation, rail and other alternative transport systems, millions of people are tormented in traffic, and billions of dollars worth of time go out the exhaust pipe. What do our administrators do? You guessed right: more roads!
Everything changes so fast in this city of 15 million that it is impossible to even take a snap-shot for planning. Plans are outdated even as they are being made. A chronic case of planlessness. Meanwhile, the population keeps increasing and the city expands uncontrollably pushing up against Tekirdağ in the east and Kocaeli in the west. But does Istanbul really have a plan?
In 1980 the first plan for Istanbul on a metropolitan scale was produced. In that plan report, it is noted that the topography and the geographic nature of the city would only support a maximum population of 5 million. At the time, Istanbul had 3.5 million people living in it. Now we are 15 million, and in 15 years we will be 23 million. Almost 5 times the sustainable size. Today we bring water to Istanbul from as far away as Bolu, and suck-up the entire water in Thrace, destroying the natural environment there. The northern forest areas disappear at a rapid pace, and the project for a 3rd bridge over the Bosphorous is threatening the remaining forests and water reservoirs giving life to Istanbul. The bridges that connect the two continents are segregating our society through the urban land speculation that they trigger. So what are we, the people of Istanbul, doing against this pillage? If cities are a reflection of the society, what can we say about ourselves by looking at Istanbul? What kind of city are we leaving behind for future generations?
Ecological limits have been surpassed. Economic limits have been surpassed. Population limits have been surpassed. Social cohesion has been lost. Here is the picture of neoliberal urbanism: Ecumenopolis.
Ecumenopolis aims for a holistic approach to Istanbul, questioning not only the transformation, but the dynamics behind it as well. From demolished shantytowns to the tops of skyscrapers, from the depths of Marmaray to the alternative routes of the 3rd bridge, from real estate investors to urban opposition, the film will take us on a long journey in this city without limits. We will speak with experts, academics, writers, investors, city-dwellers, and community leaders; and we will take a look at the city on a macro level through animated maps and graphics. Perhaps you will rediscover the city that you live in and we hope that you will not sit back and watch this transformation but question it. In the end this is what democracy requires of us. »
« Dans les pays occidentaux, on peste contre des produits bas de gamme qu’il faut remplacer sans arrêt. Tandis qu’au Ghana, on s’exaspère de ces déchets informatiques qui arrivent par conteneurs. Ce modèle de croissance aberrant qui pousse à produire et à jeter toujours plus ne date pas d’hier.
Dès les années 1920, un concept redoutable a été mis au point : l’obsolescence programmée. « Un produit qui ne s’use pas est une tragédie pour les affaires », lisait-on en 1928 dans une revue spécialisée. Peu à peu, on contraint les ingénieurs à créer des produits qui s’usent plus vite pour accroître la demande des consommateurs. »
« ‘Inside Job’ provides a comprehensive analysis of the global financial crisis of 2008, which at a cost over $20 trillion, caused millions of people to lose their jobs and homes in the worst recession since the Great Depression, and nearly resulted in a global financial collapse. Through exhaustive research and extensive interviews with key financial insiders, politicians, journalists, and academics, the film traces the rise of a rogue industry which has corrupted politics, regulation, and academia. It was made on location in the United States, Iceland, England, France, Singapore, and China. »
» Bulgarian reporter Kristina Vladimirova has prepared a 15-minute documentary to determine why Turkish TV series have attracted such extraordinary interest in her country. She said the Bulgarian viewers with whom she spoke felt close to the family models in the Turkish series
Several Turkish television series, which began airing on Bulgarian television last summer, have become the subject of a documentary in the country.
More than 10 Turkish TV series, including “Gümüş” (Silver), “Binbir Gece” (1001 Nights), “Yabancı Damat” (The Foreign Groom), “Yaprak Dökümü” (The Fall of Leaves), “Asi” and “Annem” (My Mother) have drawn great interest from Bulgarians. The shows’ high viewer rates have become the subject of a documentary in the country.
In her 15-minute documentary, Kristina Vladimirova, a reporter from the private BTV channel that airs “Gümüş,” “Yabancı Damat” and “Yaprak Dökümü,” talked to scientists and audiences in an attempt to determine why the series have attracted such extraordinary interest.
“When compared to Latin American series, Turkish ones get 50 percent more ratings,” said BTV Program Coordinator Ventzislava Konova.
Given the present dominance of the TV medium, Plamen Bochkov, an anthropologist at New Bulgarian University, said, “If Shakespeare were alive today, he would write scripts for TV series.”
Social psychologist Plamen Dimitrov compared the female characters of Turkish series to heroes in tales such as “Snow White” and “Cinderella,” arguing that the contemporary media has filled the place previously filled by older children’s stories. “There is no emptiness in culture, old children stories have become the themes of TV series,” he said.
Vladimirova said women were always in the background in Latin American TV series because of the strong effect of the Catholic Church. Turkey, however, was a place where modern and traditional worlds met and families were central, she said. “There is a respect for old people in modern Turkish families.”
Vladimirova said the Bulgarian viewers with whom she spoke felt close to the family models in the Turkish series. “The respect for the elderly affected Bulgarians.”
Image of Turks changed
Turkologist Jana Jelyazkova said Bulgarians had different opinions about Turkish people before watching Turkish TV series but that “they have now seen the truth.”
The documentary argues that Turkish TV series have affected Bulgarians’ domestic relations and even name traditions. There are reports that newborn babies were given the names of characters from the series and that Bulgarians’ travel destinations had even changed as well.
“The number of Bulgarian tourists traveling to Turkey has increased by 40 percent. They want to visit the places where TV series are made,” Jelyazkova said.