Thursday, November 10, 2011

23 de Enero

This quick video, narrated by Alfredo Brillembourg of Urban Think Tank, describes 23 de Enero, a Carlos Villanuevian socialist housing development built in the 50's. It was the largest of such "suburban"-model planned housing complexes developed in Latin America - to be completed with schools, shops, cultural, and recreation spaces. The development was built by the Dictator Carlos Jimenez, appropriated by the military elite, and then, in 1958, it was swarmed and occupied by the poor - and renamed 23 de Enero in commemorating the date of the overthrow of dictator Jimenez.

Now, extensive self-built informal housing has grown up between the large housing blocks. Six hundred thousand people now occupy the area originally planned for 50 thousand residents. The area has been a hub of powerful leadership and tenacious and adaptive popular movements in historical and current Latin American socialism.

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