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Zero Evictions Campaign

Now it is time for the real competition: together in solidarity against evictions, for the right to housing, no borders!

Launched on the 2008 World Zero Eviction Days, the first edition of the International Alliance of Inhabitants Video Contest, which supports the fight for the right to housing, has selected thirteen videos from eight countries around the world. These works vied for honour and the right to be shown during the 2009 WSF in Belém and during the main events of the Zero Evictions Campaign.

Public voting was very successful, taking into account the quality of the works, the differences and complementariness, as well as the need to listen to the people’s numerous voices, the IAI Coordination Committee decided to rewardall the videos.

The real contest, therefore, starts now. All the works are on one CD and on Housingtube (www.habitants.org) to bolster the struggle to face the evictions in solidarity and without borders.

It features works which dramatically or ironically expose the hidden face of the seemingly gleaming cities and brilliant policies, but which are often the result of evictions and destruction, and which offer no valuable alternative to the people concerned.

These stories denounce human rights violations, and in particular, the right to housing, which have been perpetuated in too many countries in the name of neoliberal policies, social exclusion, economic and racist policies.

There are also stories about resistance and alternatives, suggesting the possibility of living in another world, a world where the inhabitants will be the builders, and not mere customers and users of urban spaces.

It is perhaps for these reasons, that these stories are often ignored or treated superficially by the mass media, which consider them as marginal facts; while the depth of this urban and housing crisis should make them dig to the root of the failure of neoliberal globalisation. In fact, we are talking of over 1.2 billion homeless people in the world, who are either facing eviction or are living in sub-standard housing, and who rarely make the front-page news. Yet, it is not about ghosts, but rather about you, our neighbours and us.

Firstly, a huge thank you to all the participants in the video contest for the commitment, passion, courage, and talent of the works that they have presented. Thanks to the force of the images, words, and sounds, they help to bring to the fore, the voices of the inhabitants, the denunciations, suggestions and concrete experiences.

Now, it is our turn to make the collective construction of this glocal voice stronger, by accompanying these videos, from the WSF and throughout 2009 during the Zero Evictions Campaign initiatives and throughout the world.

To be continued, notably in the construction of the World Assembly of Inhabitants in 2011.