villafuturo.com is an ongoing artistic research project by media artist Gonzalo H. Rodríguez inspired by the communal urban history and day-by-day experiences of the inhabitants of urban precarious places such as Villa El Salvador (Peru), Ocupaçao Izidora (Brazil) and Kowloon Walled City (Hong Kong) among others. They all (so different these places and their stories might be) are plenty of examples on how the contrast between the adversity of living conditions and the belief in a shared future can create the basis for establishing an autonomous, communal urban cosmos with a high level of social mobilization.

Highlighting art practices as tools to explore, enquire and produce new cultural perspectives, the research‘s methodological approach is set up as a digital platform that contains several artistic proposals and formats. Their aim is: to propose new narrative possibilities for the use of audiovisuals and digital media technologies that allow new approaches to the participative social phenomenon of precarious urban communities in the so-called “Third World.” Different to the individualized Western societies, participation is here, more than a political option, a necessity for survival.  We argue that the understanding of this aspect is cardinal in order to imagine strategies that produce change in those adverse living conditions. In this spirit, villafuturo.com is not only dedicated to reach a tacit understanding of the massive challenges of the slum’s dwellers but also to reflect on anyone’s possibilities and limitations to imagine the future as a community from her/his own realities. Thus, the focus of the project lies on aspects of agency encompassing possible future trajectories to understand the movements within the slums as a human condition creating social structures. “Villa Futuro” is the story of a slum that expects to break the dichotomy between the local and the global in the idea of a common future.

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.” The contents generated from this digital platform are copyleft under an Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 international license.

If you want to know more about the artistic research or be part of the creation of this story take a look to the artistic proposals.