Villa Futuro is a story development project and an ongoing Ph.D. research by media artist Gonzalo H. Rodríguez at the Konrad Wolf Film University of Babelsberg. The project is inspired by the autonomous, communal urban cosmos and high level of social mobilization of the inhabitants of marginal cities in Villa El Salvador (Peru), Ocupaçao Izidora (Brazil), and Kowloon Walled City (Hong Kong) among others.
Foregrounding the potential of the artistic research to produce critical knowledge, the project experiments with digital media in the tradition of narrative moving images by inquiring about creative practices of contemporary philosophical reflection to elaborate a conceptual and aesthetical relation with those marginalized urban spaces. The project is addressing a Latin American artistic tradition of dealing with contexts of marginality such as the slums as cartographies of permanent disruption that destabilize concepts of territoriality and challenge official narratives around their communities. The research‘s methodological approach is set up as a transmedia storytelling project is realized through four media assemblages, which are narratively interwoven: a web-based participative platform, a mixed-media installation, audiovisual lecture-performances, and a short VR essay film.
The story developed by the transmedia storytelling project imagines a marginalized space called Villa Futuro. This space is formulated as a narrative cartography that experiments with digital media to create a threshold position where subjects are radically displaced to a fictional “periphery.” By handling digital media not just as cutting-edge technologies, but as narrative networks connecting seemingly unrelated spheres, Villa Futuro is proposing a mechanism of recontextualization in the sphere of appearance of technological means and marginalized urban spaces. By fictionalizing reality through the development of a story that affirms the capacity of any person to reconsider different realities as connected, rather than divided, Villa Futuro is asking the extent to which digital media offer narrative and non-site-specific frameworks of artistic practice that engage with marginal spaces by questioning meanings, seeking connections, and confronting supposedly unrelated realities as spaces of possibility.
So then, by visiting this website you are accessing a narrative platform. It is structured in a participation-based storytelling development, which means that you can contribute to create the story of the slum Villa Futuro.
If you want to know more about the artistic research or be part of the creation of this story take a look to the media assemblages.