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Tales from Two Cities: Ten Years in the Megaslums of Karachi and Mexico City

Principal Investigator Dr David Hickman, University of York

Abstract  

‘Tales from Two Cities’ is a documentary project that will film over the course of a decade in two of the world’s largest megaslums: Orangi Town in Karachi and Neza -Chalco-Itza in Mexico City. We will produce one documentary per year fromeach of the two cities, and a feature-length film at the end of the decade, all focused on the life-stories of people who inhabit these contrasting urban worlds. Slum dwellers in both megaslums are challenged by vast inequalities of power, health, wealth and access to water and sanitation. But they are also creators in - and to varying extents of - these shifting ‘informal’ cityscapes. Communities and structures in megaslums are built, expanded, eroded and sometimes destroyed over time. By filming over a decade, these changes and patterns will become strikingly visible. The originality of this project is also that it is concerned with slum -dwellers’ creativity anad activity, not their passive acceptance of state policies and the status quo – it offers a unique and valuable portrait of the largest-scale urban transformations of modern times.

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