A project by Natascha Sadr Haghighian, Marina Christodoulidou, Peter Eramian
The video installation «The Broken Pitcher» focuses on an event from 2019: In Cyprus, a family is negotiating the foreclosure of their family home in a bank branch. The outcome of the conversation remains open, but seems unpromising for the people concerned.
The video work consists of a first part in which the bank appointment is re-enacted by actors. A speculative reconstruction of the bank room, conceived on the basis of the family’s memory logs, serves as a set and was developed in collaboration with a group of artists. The second part of the video various people interviewed react to the reenactment. Their answers reflect perspectives on the internationally widespread problem of real estate speculation and the resulting debt: from interest groups in Cyprus, housing activists from Barcelona, Berlin and Beirut, from people who have experienced something similar, as well as from lawyers, economists and artists.
The scene and history we see take place in Cyprus but is the exactly same one that we see every week at PAH assemblies. The conversation the family in Cyprus has with their bank, is the exactly same one that we have here in Spain with our banks. The bank employees, to whom we have access, all say the same thing, in Cyprus and in any capitalist country in the world, that they can do nothing and that it is the mysterious «board of directors» who decide. In Spain now, it is not only banks but also vulture funds that they don’t even have an office in the country.
Foreclosures in Cyprus were imposed as a measure by representatives of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund during the time of the economic crisis of the Cypriot government from 2012. The situation of the family portrayed in the film is representative of many others in Cyprus and in Spain. In Spain we have had more than 1,000.000 evictions without housing alternative since the financial crisis. The conservative government at that moment sold public housing, rescued Spanish banks with public money and offered tax reductions to vulture funds. More than 140.000 million of Euros were or given in cash to banks or as public guarantees without asking anything in exchange. Nothing, just public money transferred to private banks. We socialized banks losses but kept privatizing their wins. Main Spanish banks made 20.850 million of Euros of benefits in 2022.
«The Broken Pitcher» focuses on collaboration and dialogue. It negotiates the question of how the financial system works and how one could intervene in its processes and change them. In Munich, the work will be shown on several evenings in a public space at the museo Lebanchhaus June and August 2023. After the screenings, there will be time for an exchange like the one we participated on June 30 with Haig Aivazian, an artist based in Beirut founder of the online magazin The Derivative, and Michael Koppe, a member of the Munich-based new building project Görzer128 part of the Mietshäuser Syndicate. Here the link to the PDF handout.
Cyprus, Germany, Lebanon, Spain, US…. this in an international fight because the capital changes in seconds from country to country, and we, the people, should fight together. At PAH we have been doing it during the last 14 years. In this page esta página we share what we have learned and in this video how we organize our welcome assemblies, the heart of PAH. We can fight and we can win. If we do it together, there is still hope.
¡Si Se Puede!