In Caracas, the most dangerous megacity on the South-American continent, petrol is cheaper than water, yet the rich spend billions of dollars on private security only to end up behind their own barbed wire fences. Over the last decennia, like a magnet gone mad, Venezuela's capital has drawn in millions of migrants. Now more than four out of its six million inhabitants live in self build constructions in the informal conditions of the barrios where only the laws of the strong rule.
Caracas: The Informal City is a portrait of a city that is rapidly becoming the prototype for the exploding urbanization witnessed on especially the African and South-American continents. Here a completely new socio-political and architectonic reality has been developing. Shot in the Spring of 2007 on location in the barrios of Caracas, the slums where Comandante Chavez has his powerbase, the film provides a unique perspective on the practice of the informal city by caracas based architects Alfredo Brillembourg and Hubert Klumpner, founders of the Urban Think Tank.
When the concept of the city is disintegrating, as Rem Koolhaas warns us, it is up to the architect to come up with an answer. That is exactly what Brillembourg and Klumpner are after; for them the practice of the barrios directs us to the architecture's only possible future: a renewed commitment with the potential of a city build by its inhabitants.