“…and the cities on a distant plain stood intact, before they rose in the air with the dust of sepulchral brick, and the people who lived there didn’t know. Only this moment, at dawn, is real to me. The bygone lives are like my own past life, uncertain. I cast a spell on the city, asking it to last…” [Czeslaw Milosz]
This film is more than a local documentary on Amsterdam. It explores the dominant urban re-/development pattern in the name of creativity. The hype around the creative city began already a decade ago, it is global in scope and about to reach its peak. It is the latest strategy for urban renewal in advanced Western capitalist cities. After Richard Florida’s influential book “The Rise of the Creative Class” (2002) creativity has advanced to be the role model of urban regeneration: The New American Dream. What is new about this dream? What happens when the hype is over? Housing as a job or the Right to the City?
“In contrast to the notion of globalization as signaling the transformation of the world into a single place or as denoting the “global human condition”, it can be argued that globalization is also a process that produces differentiation. But the alignment of differences is of a kind very different from that associated with such differentiating notions as national character / national culture / national society. For example, the corporate world today has a global geography, but it isn’t everywhere in the world: in fact it has highly defined and structured spaces; it also is increasingly sharply differentiated from noncorporate segments in the economies of global cities or countries where it operates. There is homogenization along certain lines that cross national boundaries and sharp differentiation inside these boundaries. The hierarchical nature of global networks is yet another form of differentiation even within the somewhat homogenized geography of centrality. Globalized forms and processes, though homogenizing, tend to have a distinct geography.” – p. 31
Six characters in six locations are documented by an immobile camera. In the absence of narrative, a tacit drama emerges from the architecture. Explored as a condition affecting each character, a sense of individuality is sought from the architectural context. This dialogue between the history and immediacy of places, activated by human presence, is framed as drama between individuality and location.