Video

Flux-Cities: Horto

soJin Chun

2019, 09:59 minutes, colour, Portugues with English subtitles

TAPECODE 1049.08

For this experimental multi-channel video project, Chun collects the living archives of the community of Horto, which is considered to be a living museum. Museu do Horto (Museum of Horto) has been registered by the community through the association of non-traditional museums, in order to legally legitimize the community and to collect their narratives of resistance. The Museum of Horto is unique since its archives consist of family histories, the residents, the houses, and the forest that are constantly shifting and evolving.

Horto is a bicentennial community situated inside one of the most affluent areas of the Rio de Janeiro Brazil.  Horto is unique in Rio de Janeiro as it is a peaceful area, without gang violence or drug trafficking that plague most impoverished neighbourhoods in the country. The residents from this humble community have a looming threat of eviction by the government.  Real estate developers and the national media giant, Globo, have economic interests in this area for their prime real estate.

Tracing back their history to the 15th century, the first wave of Horto’s residents came to work in plantations and later in the city’s Botanical Gardens. The city’s garden officials granted them legal rights to build their homes on this land.  Two centuries later, the Brazilian authorities are accusing them as squatters calling their residency an illegal invasion. In 2016, police kicked out one family from their home with the threat of tear gas while they were inside their home with their children.  I have been working with this community since 2016 to document some of the injustices and also some of the beautiful narratives told by local residents to create documents that legitimize this community and build tools that can help them fight for their rights to live in this area.

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