documentary, 5omin, Venezuela, 2015
In spanish with english subtitles
director: irene sosa
Vertical Slum,a 50-minute video documentary, explores how architecture reflects ideology. It uses the Confinanzas Tower, also known as the Torre David, in Caracas, Venezuela as a case study of the huge social, economic and political changes of the past three decades of Venezuelan history. The building reflects the transformation from the extreme free market policies imposed by the International Monetary Fund in 1989 to the so-called socialism of the XXI century of the Hugo Chavez government. The building of the tower was conceived and begun during the economic boom of the early '90s but was left only 60% finished when the financial crisis hit in 1994 when the structure was abandoned for a number of years. In 2008 the Confinanzas Tower was given a new life when it was transformed by housing-hungry low-income families who turned the structure into their own highly organized community. Vertical Slum documents the history of the last 30 some years through the building from its early planning till its transformation into a vibrant social project and its dismantling and new abandonment.
Director: Irene Sosa has been a Professor of the Department of Television and Radio since 1999, and the Puerto Rican and Latino Studies Department at CUNY’s Brooklyn College. She is a Fulbright Scholar. A graduate of the MFA Film and Television, Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, she also holds a BA in Mass Communication from the Universidad Central de Venezuela. Sosa began working in film in 1982 and since then has been making documentaries. She has also worked as camera-person and editor in film and video, and collaborated with other artists in many multimedia installations and dance performances.