We invite you to film screenings about housing crisis!
Rents and housing prices are rising, while wages are lagging behind. Housing is becoming unaffordable for more and more people, and instead of being treated as a basic human right, it is becoming a luxury and an object of speculation. This is having a significant impact on the quality of life of people in cities and is particularly affecting socially disadvantaged groups. Combined with other crises, this is already leading to further indebtedness of households, a deterioration in their quality of life and, in a broader perspective, the emergence of far-reaching social problems.
Similar situation is taking place all over the world and the causes are more or less the same - commodification and financialisation of housing, speculation, gentrification and more. Along with this, the role of real estate agents, speculators and investment corporations is being consolidated at the expense of people living in rented accommodation. Especially in the post-socialist environment, the position of tenants is marginal, legal protection is weak, problems are individualised and downplayed, tenants struggle with short-term contracts that are not regulated in any way, and there are almost no entities in the Czech Republic that would provide tenants with support. It is precisely because of the existence of short-term contracts that tenants are in a very weak bargaining position, as they face immediate termination of the lease in the event of problems.
In the Czech space, however, the discussion dominated by developers and real estate companies is limited to the question of to build/not to build, rental housing is considered less valuable and the problems associated with it are seen as the individual concern of each household. That is why we decided to organize a series of film evenings that address the topic of the housing affordability crisis. Through the film evenings we want to provide people with information about the housing crisis, its causes and consequences and outline possible solutions. By recognising that housing problems are neither unique nor individual, people can be motivated to seek collective solutions.
The film evenings will take place in Brno (at the café of the Memory of Nation Institute at Radnická 10) and will always be accompanied with an introduction by a guest speaker and subsequent debate, which will lead to the identification of global and local causes of housing unaffordability and open a discussion on how civil society can respond to them.
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The film evenings are made possible thanks to the support of the Active Citizens Fund programme, which is funded by the EEA and Norway Grants. In the Czech Republic, the programme is administered by a consortium consisting of the OSF Foundation, the Committee of Good Will - Olga Havel Foundation and the Scout Institute.
|DATE||FILM||LINK TO EVENT||ANOTATION|
|20th of April||Push (2019)||https://bit.ly/40OSBGk||Property owners without names. Properties without tenants. Cities without residents. Why do attractive cities become mere backdrops where ordinary people can no longer live? UN Special Rapporteur on Affordable Housing Leilani Farha travels the world. Toronto, Barcelona, London, New York - everywhere the same situation is repeated. Rents are skyrocketing, but not incomes. City centres are being depopulated as middle-class people fail to cope with the unfortunate trend of ever-increasing prices. But their former apartments are empty. Financial groups have discovered that capital can be profitably parked in real estate. And town halls are struggling to find a way to reverse this worldwide trend.|
|11th of May||Whose city? (2017)||https://bit.ly/425VaW1||
Transformation of Berlin from the somewhat run-down and neglected, but highly dynamic and flexible city of the 1990s to today’s ever-more chic and exclusive city. The film moves back in time to the almost forgotten, but defining architectural disputes of the 1990s. With the fall of the Wall and the rest of the Eastern Bloc in 1989/1990, leading politicians and urban planners in Berlin all of a sudden became obsessed with questions of aesthetics and tradition in an attempt to normalize Berlin’s city scape, and according to the film, this helped pave the way for the ongoing neoliberal take-over of the city, since the fundamental question was no longer asked: Who are we building for?
|12th of June||Mietrebellen (2014)||The film is a kaleidoscope of the struggle of tenants in Berlin against eviction from their neighbourhood. The occupation of the Berlin City Hall, the Kottbusser Tor camp, the organised resistance against evictions and the struggle of pensioners for age-appropriate apartments and a leisure centre symbolise the new awakening of the urban protest movement.|
|July||Priced out (2017)
In the late 1990s, Nikki Williams, a single mother living in the only “ghetto” in Portland, Oregon, embraced the idea of gentrification. At that time, her black neighborhood was dominated by abandoned buildings and fear of drug dealers. Fifteen years later, Nikki was one of the last black residents on her block, as high-end restaurants and throngs of young white newcomers came to dominate the area. While some black residents said good riddance to the old neighborhood, others felt betrayed by city officials who had promised revitalization without displacement.
|August||Das Ist Unser Haus (2016) / Bellevue Di Monaco (2020)||The Bellevue di Monaco project is located in several buildings in the centre of Munich. The houses were originally supposed to be demolished to build luxury apartments, but the city's intention was reversed by a group of activists through guerrilla reconstruction of one of the apartments. The subsequent migration crisis of 2015 prompted the formation of an official cooperative, made up of several hundred local residents, which rented the houses and transformed them into a multifunctional centre. In addition to a cultural centre with a café, the houses house apartments housing both native residents and young refugees. Through voluntary educational activities, the local community helps the refugees to integrate more easily into society and they in turn enrich the town with their life stories, culture or traditional food, which create a specific identity for the place.|
|September||Ada for Mayor (2016)||Alcaldessa follows former activist Ada Colau for one year, from her time organizing the anti-eviction fight in Barcelona (Spain) to the day she is sworn-in as its first female mayor.|
|October||Housing Against Everyone (Bydlet proti všem, 2021)||Housing affordability is a big topic of our time. It hits hardest on those who are least likely to participate in the public debate - low-income, minority and single-parent households. The film follows a group of activists around Brno councillor and member of the Žít Brno movement Martin Freund as they try to convince politicians in the second largest Czech city of their vision of affordable housing for all. They are mostly met with ridicule, rejection, and even aggression. The filmmakers also spend time with the testimonies of the people themselves, who hope to have a roof over their heads in a few days. The film shows the futile efforts to move the rejectionist system, in which many politicians repeat phrases from alarmist chain emails and use them as arguments for their decisions.|
|November||Bedřiška, the settlement (Osada Bedřiška, 2020)||The Bedřiška settlement in Ostrava has long been classified as a so-called socially excluded locality. Bedřiška, however, is far from meeting the characteristics of an excluded locality as many of us imagine them. People like living here, they consider the settlement as their home and together they try to take care of their own houses as well as the public space. For example, a community centre has been set up here, where residents prepare leisure activities for children and meet to discuss current problems. Over time, their efforts have become a remarkable example of civic and community activism that has helped to negotiate changes to the disposal plans and, in turn, to push for the overall revitalisation of the settlement.|
||You take out a loan and pay back many times the amount you borrowed, or you lose your house for a few thousand, or suddenly you are in debt for the rest of your life... Stories of people drowning in debt, stories of those who got into this situation by misjudging their own situation, but also stories of those who drown in debt as prey to sharks in the poorly regulated loan market. A glimpse into the system!|