LIVEINSLUMS is an NGO (Non Governmental Organization) and a research agency, which focuses its efforts in favour of the informal settlements and territorial critical areas of big cities of Third and Fourth World, developing projects which are aimed at the exploitation of local resources. In these contexts LIVEINSLUMS acts by recognizing the settled communities as peculiar actors of the transformation processes, bearers of useful knowledge for the definition of the local context, of the logic of action and of the available resources that the community residents have.
All the projects that Liveinslums is carrying out are opposed to physical relocation of the slums and to any form of re-collocation. The association studies, together with the residents, projects which will improve the living environment. Projects also aimed to support a gradual consolidation of the informal settlements – making this way the neighbourhoods become more cohesive from a social point of view and offering more guarantees on the ownership of the housing –, to develop the local economy and to improve the income of the inhabitants.
The first step is to identify and to train a network of local collaborators, residents associations and committees, who could become directly involved in the implementation phases of the projects and could also become future leaders of the tangible and intangible products, working together with our Association.
Each project is coordinated by professional profiles belonging to different disciplines (architects, anthropologists, economists, sociologists, cultural mediators, agronomists, landscape architects) who bring a variety of skills, contributing this way to the qualitative development of the projects. We make use of specific forms of communication related to video and photography, which are developed from living the reality of the slums, telling in “live-motion” the quotidian, working alongside the local population and training local professional figures who will directly collaborate in order to carry out the work.
This is not a traditional photo-journalistic documentation, but a narrative form that will enhances the resources and will allow the inhabitants of the slum to be active subjects during the filming. In this way the slums communities activate an empowerment process that comes from a better understanding of the resources of their own territory.
The areas are empirically chosen, deepening the knowledge of the area and observing which are the points of reference for the resident community. The mappings related to the services, infrastructure and main active areas are always the result of a direct experience carried out on the field, and they are based on spatial detecting techniques, techniques of listening and involved observation, able to activate human relations, convivial and playful moments with the investigated environment and with the people living there.
All the professionals involved in the project are closely working with the local inhabitants and are directly participating in the projects (the architects work alongside the workers, agronomists with the farmers, etc.); the companies who work on the sites are not true construction firms with specialized employees, all workers are members of the community who join the association’s project. The use of low-cost techniques and local materials (recycled materials or any way, materials purchased in the slums) is a prerogative of all projects.