The story of Largo (Lisbon) is one of the two stories filmmaker Yilmaz Vurucu has been closely following for his feature documentary, proudly co-produced by Eutropian.
The Eutropian team had originally visited Largo Residencias to do a case study for the Open Heritage project, and created a short film as part of the Open Heritage series.
Largo had been renting the building they were based out of at the time, operating it as a social business, residencies for artists, and hostel. The work of Largo is one worth being awestruck at, as they played a major role in connecting with the community in and around Intendente and transformed the square. The gentrification of the area resulted in them being evicted from the place they came to know and refer to as their home.
Luckily, a compound only a few hundred metres away from the square was available. Having functioned as a center for the Gendarmarie, this location had been empty and lay unused for a while. Plans are in place to utilize the space as a site for for future social housing (by the municipality).
The Largo group managed to obtain permission to utilize this plot as a temporary base. The new Largo (Quartel) now operates on a wider and larger scale, with the same enthusiasm, core team, and motivation to be expected from this inspirational initiative. Their goals and principles are the same, yet methods are now adapted to the reality of their new setting. Though it’s temporary, they hope to play an active role in the development of the space and neighborhood.
Filmmaker and Eutropian colleague Yilmaz Vurucu visited Lisbon to document the transition and follow up on this inspiring story. Yilmaz will be heading to Bratislava to follow up on the Market Hall soon, before he begins editing the awaited feature documentary.
When asked what the upcoming feature documentary was (really) about, Yilmaz responded: “When creating the case study videos, I found both the story of Largo as well as that of the Market Hall Alliance to be inspirational. Both initiatives had an observable impact on their communities: I thought this would be important to document and share with the rest of the world. In the case of Largo, we see a group that is dedicated to somehow connecting artistic practice with community engagement and using it as an impetus to promote understanding, dialogue and social inclusion.
That’s why I not only focus on the communities and their experiences, but also delve into pertinent theoretical questions such as the meaning of commons, what the concept means in terms of identity (or identification) and belonging; especially in cities that remove or erase identity and create unrecognizable pockets of “blobs” that just “blend in” with little to no connection to their environment(s).
I feel, amidst a barrage of social, economic and environmental issues confronting us on a daily basis, we’re in desperate need of such organizations – to help us connect with each other, identify with our neighborhoods, and exchange. Our cities are so diverse, it’s almost as if we’re in need of places that bring us together so we can learn from and understand each other.”