UnionDocs is teaming up with Change Administration as a part of OUR HAUS, a project by Vienna-based group WochenKlausur who is taking part in the Austrian Cultural Forum’s tenth anniversary exhibition. OUR HAUS focuses on contemporary positions and practices for housing and public space.
For this event, Change Administration will screen a selection of films in collaboration with UnionDocs. The screenings will be followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers and other urbanists.
Selections from Living Los Sures by the UnionDocs Collaborative Studio
Experiments in Place and Collaborative Documentary
In the late seventies and early eighties, South Williamsburg was one of the poorest neighborhoods in New York City. It was troubled by drugs and violence, full of abandoned real estate, and badly under-served. Los Sures, a documentary from 1984 by Diego Echeverria, skillfully represents the challenges of this time, while also celebrating a community that was connected, coherent and full of culture.
UnionDocs is in the midst of a project that revisits this film and creates a constellation of companion documentary works that will update, annotate, and spiral off from the original. The final result will be Living Los Sures, an interactive, multi-layer documentary that seeks not just to extract important and unusual stories from the place, but to also create new shared histories and relationships between neighbors.
Couchsurferz, Selections from a 12 part cycle (15 minutes)
by Emma Brenner-Malin, Josh Solondz, Stephanie Chang
A journey into the homes of friends and strangers, in search of significance in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Sleeping on assorted couches, the surferz document the physical environments of their overnight stays, as well as the persons residing within them. Throughout the course of a year, the surferz explore relationships between themselves, their hosts, and the spaces they inhabit, as well as issues of representation, subjectivity, and agency in documentary filmmaking.
Whose Schools? (18 minutes)
by Claire Richard
The arrival of a charter school backed by corporations unites the gentrifying neighborhood of Williamsburg. Long time residents and new comers get together in the fight for local schools.
We got to know this neighborhood by exploring it through a series of filmed experiments and encounters in the mostly Latino and Jewish communities. The camera is considered as a compass that gives direction to a variety of inquiries. Guiding our interactions with the neighborhood, both in terms of physical space and its inhabitants, we found ourselves approaching the neighborhood as one big playground. The short sequences in this piece are the result of unexpected encounters with people, images, and local rituals. Objects were used as props to facilitate interventions with spaces and communications with people. The title, Before After, references a photography storefront sign along Lee Avenue in the heart of the Jewish neighborhood, and it reminds us that deciding when something is “over” or “finished” is easier said than “done.”
Pinned between Bushwick, Williamsburg and Bed-Stuy, the Broadway Triangle has stood as one of the most disputed spaces in New York City. It’s development into low income housing has sparked greater division between the already intensely divided communities.
Of Birds and Boundaries (22 Minutes)
by Annie Berman, Laura Mayer, Matt Yoka
A filmmaker’s search for the Williamsburg’s Eruv (a string the defines the boundaries of the Chasidic neighborhood and redefines public space as a shared private space) leads her to ‘Marty,’ an anonymous Chasid who volunteers to help with research. The result is the development of an unexpected relationship, a cross-cultural exchange between two unlikely collaborators.
Desperately Seeking Stagg Girls (18 minutes)
by Sonia Gonzalez
As she’s watching a 1980s documentary about South Williamsburg, the neighborhood she’s just moved in, a young French woman’s imagination is caught by a RIP graffiti signed by the Stagg Girls on a wall nearby her house. She then decides to track down those girls…