Archive for September, 2013

Agarrando Pueblo (aka The Vampires of Poverty)

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"Agarrando Pueblo"

“Agarrando Pueblo
(aka The Vampires of Poverty)” by Mayolo and Ospina 1978, Cali, Colombia

I recently re-visited this very important mockumentary from 1978 and need to make a note of it. “Agarrando Pueblo (aka The Vampires of Poverty)” was shot in Cali, Colombia, 1978 and is a satiric mockumentary critiquing the popularity of documentaries capturing Latin American poverty in the 1970s. Mayolo and Ospina coined the term “pornomiseria” or “pornography of misery” in reference to the objectification of poverty in Latin America for Eurocentric audiences.

The director and cameraman move quickly around the city requesting a taxi driver to take them to spots where they can capture poor children, crazy people and whores. The directors have a recipe of necessary vignettes to compose the documentary. When pedestrians confront the film makers they dismissively tell them that it’s to inform the world or that they don’t understand what this film is about. At one point the director is filmed some cocaine in his hotel bathroom between shots.

The film is available on Vimeo.

Written by ricardo

September 30th, 2013 at 8:16 pm

Turntable Garden and Cafe, Helsinki

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Turntable Cafe

An unused railway turntable


Turntable Cafe

The transformed railway turntable, now a garden and cafe

In August, Brooke and I had lunch at the Turntable Cafe located in old railroad yards of Helsinki. We were primarily doing research regarding urban composting and gardening. These railroad yards had been abandoned and in 2012, one of the railway turntables was transformed into a greenhouse and rebranded as Turntable, an experiment in urban gardening. During the summer months, every Friday lunch is available at Turntable and the food that is served is made from what is grown at the garden. Turntable is a great example of industrial wasteland being transformed into a productive area by a small group of people. The food was delicious and inexpensive.

Turntable Cafe

The transformed railway turntable, now a garden and cafe

Turntable Cafe

The interior garden

Turntable Cafe

There is water collection below the structure

Turntable Cafe

Even shopping carts have been transformed into mobile gardens

The greenhouse built around the turntable i-beams can easily be deconstructed. I found more information regarding Turntable on the portfolio site of Paiva Raivio, one of the artists who collaborated on the transformation of the railway turntable in to the garden and cafe, she states

Turntable is an urban garden, cafe, greenhouse and an open, public space situated in Pasila´s historical railway yard. It was set up by Dodo´s activists: Jaakko Lehtonen, Kirmo Kivelä, Joseph Mulcahy and myself.

The spot is where Dodo´s (an environmental NGO based in Helsinki) urban farming movement begun when gardeners took over a wasteland in 2009. In 2012 we transformed Turntable into an urban farming test lab and source for learning and inspiration. During it´s first year in action Turntable has offered various workshops, events and locally grown food in the Turntable-cafe. The garden also has a beehive, dry toilet, composts, cob oven and solar panels to produce energy.

Go to Paivi Raivio’s page on Kääntöpöytä / Turntable Urban Garden to read more and see photos.

Turntable Cafe

Turntable also has honeybees

Written by ricardo

September 28th, 2013 at 4:07 am