Transcript: Ep. 1 - Medellin | Sep 10, 2017

A logo on a black background fades in and reads: "TVO Originals".

(rock music plays)

The opening sequence appears on screen showing an animated map of South America over an aerial view of a modern city. Colombia appears highlighted in red. A white dot reads "Medellín. Colombia."

Mikael Colville-Andersen walks out of an airport and takes a taxi. He is in his early fifties, clean-shaven with grayish short hair. He wears a white shirt under a beige open-necked jacket.

Mike says I'M REALLY EXCITED TO BE IN
MEDELLÍN. IT'S WELL-KNOWN FOR
ALL THE WRONG REASONS THROUGH
THE 80'S AND 90'S BECAUSE
OF THE DRUG WARS,
PEAKING WITH THE WORLD'S
HIGHEST MURDER RATE.
NOW, MEDELLÍN IS KNOWN FOR
THE TRANSFORMATION OF THE CITY
AND THE THINGS THAT HAVE BEEN
HAPPENING NOT LEAST SINCE EARLY
2000. I WANT TO FIND OUT WHO IS
BEHIND THIS. I WANT TO MEET THEM
AND I WANT TO HEAR IF WHAT I'VE
HEARD ABOUT MEDELLÍN IS REAL.

Mike stands barefoot as an animated city in the shape of an electronic circuit crawls up his leg and arm. Amazed, he looks at his arm and then shows the palm of his hand to the screen. On his hand and in yellow letters, the title of the show reads "The Life Sized City." He turns his hand to show an animated skyline popping up. The title of the show reads "With Mikael Colville-Andersen."

Mike says THIS IS MEDELLIN. FOR DECADES
IT WAS WITHOUT A DOUBT THE MOST
DANGEROUS CITY ON EARTH.
IT WAS HOME TO THE WORLD'S MOST
VIOLENT DRUG CARTEL,
LED BY THE INFAMOUS
PABLO ESCOBAR. ESCOBAR WAS
AT WAR: WITH OTHER GANGS,
WITH THE STATE, WITH THE ELITE,
WITH FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS.
THIS GUY WAS BASICALLY AT WAR
WITH EVERYONE. IN 1991,
AT THE PEAK OF THE ESCOBAR
YEARS, MEDELLÍN ACHIEVED
THE DUBIOUS TITLE OF
MURDER CAPITAL OF THE WORLD.
CAR BOMBINGS AND OPEN-AIR
SHOOTINGS WERE PART OF EVERYDAY
LIFE HERE. CORRUPTION WAS RIFE.
ESCOBAR WAS EVEN ELECTED
TO CONGRESS. HE WAS KILLED
IN 1993. AND WITH THE STRONG
WILL OF THE PAISAS, THOSE
WHO WERE BORN AND BRED IN
MEDELLÍN AND WHO STAYED HERE NO
MATTER HOW HARD THINGS GOT,
THE PLACE STARTED TO CHANGE.

A TV news clip shows a male police officer seizing drugs, Escobar giving a speech, soldiers in the woods, a huge fire and people carrying a coffin into a white car.

Mike continues WITH OLD AND INNOVATIVE
PROJECTS - I MEAN, THEY'VE
INSTALLED CABLE CARS UP
MOUNTAINSIDES AND BUILT OUTDOOR
ESCALATORS - MEDELLÍN WENT
FROM A NO-GO ZONE TO AN URBAN
INSPIRATION FOR CITIES ALL OVER
THE WORLD. AND I'M HERE TO
FIND OUT HOW. ODDLY ENOUGH,
MY FIRST STOP IS A BLAND
SHOPPING MALL IN
A RICH NEIGHBOURHOOD.

Mike takes a photo as he rides a cable car. In a roundabout, the animated map of Colombia appears. A white dot reads "El Tesoro shopping mall."

Mike continues BUT LAURA WANTED TO MEET HERE,
BECAUSE THIS WAS HER MEDELLÍN
WHEN SHE WAS YOUNG.

Laura Villa and Mike walk around a modern shopping mall. She is in her mid thirties, with shoulder-length curly light brown hair. She wears a white blouse with colourful flowers and torn jeans.

Laura says THIS WOULD BE ONE
OF MY FAVOURITE PLACES
WHEN I WAS A TEENAGER.
SO WE WOULD GO TO THE CINEMA,
WE WOULD GO TO...
I DON'T KNOW, JUST COME AROUND
AND HANG OUT HERE,
BECAUSE THIS WAS THE PLACE
WHERE OUR PARENTS WOULD
ALLOW US TO COME ON FRIDAY NIGHT
OR SATURDAY AFTERNOON.

In slow motion, Laura stands by a monument showing tribal designs. A caption appears on screen. It reads "Laura Villa. Social Entrepreneur, Innovative Colombia."

Mike says SO, CLEARLY, SHOPPING MALLS
IN THE WORLD. BUT HERE IN
MEDELLÍN, AT THE PEAK
OF THE TROUBLED TIMES,
THEY PLAYED A DIFFERENT ROLE.
THEY WERE QUITE SIMPLY
THE SAFE HAVEN FOR FAMILIES
TRYING TO LIVE A NORMAL LIFE
AND HOPING TO SEPARATE
THEMSELVES FROM THE VIOLENCE.
YOU COULD FIND ALMOST ANYTHING
OF COURSE, BUT ALSO MOVIE
CASINOS, CLINICS, EVEN A VET.
IF YOU WERE WEALTHY ENOUGH,
YOU COULD FULFILL ALMOST
ALL OF YOUR NEEDS WITHOUT EVER
HAVING TO SET FOOT ON
THE DANGEROUS AND OFTEN
DESERTED STREETS OF THE CITY.

People shop and walk up and down escalators in a shopping mall.

Mike says DID YOU FEEL SECURE HERE
AS A TEENAGER?

Laura WHEN YOU GROW UP LIKE THAT,
YOU DON'T REALLY RECOGNIZE
THINGS, YOU KNOW,
BECAUSE YOU'RE USED TO THEM.
THE TIME WHEN I REALLY GOT
PERSPECTIVE AND COULD UNDERSTAND
THAT BETTER WAS WHEN I MOVED TO
HAMBURG. I LIVED IN GERMANY WHEN
I WAS 15. AND WHEN I WENT THERE,
I UNDERSTOOD SECURITY WITHOUT
THE DOGS AND THE BODYGUARDS,
AND THE SECURITY WINDOWS
IN THE CARS, AND ALL OF THOSE
THINGS THAT WE THOUGHT SECURITY
WAS ABOUT. BUT IT WAS MORE LIKE
BEING A 15 YEAR-OLD GIRL ON A
STREET AT 2 A.M. IN THE MORNING,
AND HAVING NOTHING TO FEAR.

A barbed wire fence protects the shopping mall.

Mike says I HEARD ABOUT A CAR BOMB
IN A SHOPPING CENTRE.

Laura says YEAH. IT WAS JANUARY 2001.

Mike says WAS IT HERE?

Laura says YEAH, IT WAS.

Mike says IN THIS SHOPPING MALL?

Laura says YEAH, IT WAS BELOW THE CINEMA.
IT WAS IN THE GARAGE,
IN THE PARKING LOT.

Mike says YES. EVEN HERE, BETWEEN
THE MASSIVE CONCRETE WALLS OF
WHAT HAD BECOME ONE OF THE FEW
SANCTUARIES IN MEDELLÍN,
VIOLENCE FOUND ITS WAY IN.

Footage shows firefighters working among rubble.

Mike says SO WE'RE ON THE TOP LEVEL
OF THE PARKING. THE SHOPPING
MALL IS RIGHT ABOVE US.
SO HOW DO YOU FEEL, STANDING
HERE WHERE A BOMB WENT OFF?
DO YOU THINK ABOUT THAT, LIKE
WHEN YOU PARK YOUR CAR IN HERE?

Laura says THERE ARE A LOF
PLACES IN MEDELLÍN WHERE
A BOMB EXPLODED, SO...

Mike says O.K. SO, ALL RIGHT...
NEVERMIND.

Laura chuckles.

Mike says LAURA BRINGS ME DOWNTOWN,
WHERE SHE NEVER WOULD HAVE GONE
SAFE IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD,
SHE STILL RETAINS AN ELEMENT
OF CAUTION.

The animated map of Colombia floats above a car tunnel. A red line connects two dots. They read "El Tesoro" and "New North."

Mike says SO LAURA, I NOTICED ONE THING.
AT THE SHOPPING MALL, YOU HAD
SOME REALLY NICE KIND OF
HIGH-HEEL SHOES ON, BUT YOU'VE
CHANGED YOUR SHOES.
WHAT'S UP WITH THAT?

Laura looks at her pair of sneakers and says YEAH, SURE. WELL, IT'S A GOOD
PAIR OF SHOES TO RUN IN CASE
YOU NEED TO RUN.

Mike says O.K. GOOD TO KNOW.
GLAD I DIDN'T WEAR
MY FLIP-FLOPS TODAY.

Laura says THIS IS A CITY WITH A LOT
OF PROBLEMS, AND WITH A LOT
OF YOUNG PEOPLE LOOKING FOR
OPPORTUNITIES, AND IF THEY DON'T
FIND OPPORTUNITIES, THEY'LL JUST
GRAB WHAT THEY CAN.

Mike says THERE'S A GREAT MIX OF PEOPLE.
EVERYBODY KIND OF INTERACTS
QUITE EASILY HERE ON THE STREET.

Laura says IT WASN'T LIKE THIS,
10 OR 15 YEARS AGO.

Mike says WHAT DID IT LOOK LIKE?

Laura says YOU WOULDN'T LIKE TO CROSS
THIS NEIGHBOURHOOD,
NOT EVEN WITH A CAR.

Mike says O.K. REALLY?

Laura says YOU KNOW, I WOULD
GO WITH A CAR, AND THERE
WAS A RED LIGHT HERE,
I WOULDN'T RESPECT
THAT RED LIGHT.

Mike says IT'S HARD TO IMAGINE NOW,
WHEN YOU SEE
ALL THESE STREET VENDORS,
AND YOU SEE PEOPLE ON BIKES...

Laura says AND THE ART, YOU KNOW.

Mike says YEAH, TOTALLY.
THIS IS LOS DESEOS PARK.
ONCE AN EPICENTRE OF VIOLENCE,
ITS COMPLETE RENOVATION
IN 2003 SPARKED RENEWAL
IN THE ENTIRE NORTHERN
PART OF MEDELLÍN.

Laura says THIS WAS THE FIRST PARK,
AND THIS REALLY BECAME LIKE
A VERY IMPORTANT REUNION SPOT.
THIS IS REALLY BEAUTIFUL,
YOU KNOW? IT'S SUCH A SIMPLE
THING THAT MAKES PEOPLE
SO HAPPY.

They walk towards children having fun and getting wet with water features.

Mike says THE SIMPLE PLEASURES
OF URBAN LIFE!
THIS KIND OF PLACE,
CREATING MORE OF THIS URBAN
SPACE, MORE DEMOCRATIC SPACE,
IS THAT SOMEWHERE THAT MEDELLÍN
NEEDS TO GO?

Laura says YEAH, SURE. BECAUSE CRIME IS
DUE TO LACK OF OPPORTUNITIES,
AND THIS IS GIVING
OPPORTUNITIES. I WISH,
WHEN I WAS LITTLE, I WOULD
HAVE HAD THIS OPPORTUNITY
OF PLAYING, BUT YOU SAW WHERE
I GREW UP. I GREW UP IN A
COMMERCIAL CENTRE. YOU CANNOT
COMPARE THIS KIND OF FUN WITH
THE COMMERCIAL CENTRE.
THIS IS HEALTHY, YOU KNOW?
THIS IS GOING TO MAKE
A HEALTHY SOCIETY.

Hector approaches them and hugs Laura.

Mike says HECTOR DIDN'T GROW UP IN A
SHOPPING MALL. NO! HE WAS
DODGING BULLETS IN COMUNA 8,
CONSIDERED BY MOST, UP UNTIL
ZONE. THOUGH THEY COME FROM
TOTALLY DIFFERENT WORLDS,
LAURA AND HECTOR'S FRIENDSHIP
IS LIVING PROOF THAT THIS CITY
IS CHANGING.

As Hector gets on his motorbike, an animated caption appears on screen. It reads "Hector Valencia. Break-dancer and community leader."

Mike says HECTOR TAKES ME TO HIS BARRIO.
I WANTED TO SEE
HOW PEOPLE HAVE TAKEN MATTERS
INTO THEIR OWN HANDS IN ONE
OF THE ROUGHEST AND TOUGHEST
PARTS OF TOWN.

The animated map of Colombia shows a red line connecting two white dots. They read "Parque Los Deseos" and "Comuna 8."

Laura drives a car and Mike sits next to her.

Mike continues STILL CONTROLLED
BY GANGS, COMUNA 8 ISN'T
THE TYPE OF PLACE YOU JUST
WANDER INTO, HOPING TO DISCOVER
THE QUIRKS OF LOCAL LIFE.

Mike shouts HECTOR!

Laura stops the car and shouts HECTOR! MARIO!
DO YOU SEE HIM GUYS?

Mike says NO, I DON'T SEE HIM.

Laura says I THINK HE'S GONE. IS HE GONE?

A crew member says I DON'T SEE HIM. HE'S GONE,
YEAH. YEAH, HE'S GONE.

Laura says O.K.

Mike says WE SHOULD GO.

Laura says O.K. THIS IS THE CHURCH.
THIS IS HIS HOUSE!
O.K. THIS IS HIS...
O.K. YEAH. THIS IS WHERE
HE LIVES.

Mike says O.K. GOT IT.

Laura says HE'S THERE. O.K. GOOD. I DON'T
KNOW IF THEY'RE VERY HAPPY WITH
US HERE. O.K. NO, THEY'RE HAPPY.
I THINK WE'RE GOOD TO GO OUT.

Mike says LET'S GET ONE THING STRAIGHT.
HECTOR IS A RESPECTED MEMBER OF
THIS COMMUNITY. PEOPLE TRUST
HIM. BUT FOR US TO FILM HERE,
HE HAD TO GET THE PERMISSION
FROM THE LOCAL GANG, BECAUSE
NOTHING HAPPENS HERE WITHOUT
THEIR BLESSING.

Mike greets children in the street and says HIGH FIVE! YEAH!
WHEN YOU COME HERE
AND YOU SEE THAT VIEW,
MAYBE BEHIND US OR THIS VIEW
HERE, THIS IS HOME.

Mike, Laura and Hector take a walk around a modest neighborhood. Hector is in his twenties, with a goatee and brown hair. He wears a black cap, blue jeans and a checked shirt over a blue and red T-shirt.

Hector says I SEE MY CHILDHOOD.

Mike says IT'S
MI BARRIO.

Hector says YES, RUNNING FROM THE SHOOTINGS,
THE BOMBS, WE CALL THEM "PETARDOS."

Mike says YEAH.

Hector says BUT YOU CAN SEE NOW,
THERE’S A COOL ATMOSPHERE.

Mike says YEAH. SO WHEN WAS
THE LAST TIME THAT
YOU WERE HERE, LAURA?

Laura says I THINK IT WAS AROUND
EIGHT YEARS AGO.

Mike says AND WHY HAVEN'T YOU BEEN BACK?

Mike says WELL, THE LAST TIME THAT
I VISITED HIM, I EXPERIENCED
A SHOOTING. AND I GOT REALLY,
REALLY, VERY SCARED.
NOW I'M HERE, AND I'M GLAD
THAT I'M HERE.

Mike says GOOD. THAT'S GOOD.

Laura chuckles.

Hector says THIS IS NOT A PARADISE,
FAR FROM THAT.

Mike says NO.
YEAH.

Hector says BUT I THINK THE PEOPLE HERE
ARE CHANGING THE WAY THEY FACE
THEIR LIFE, TO DO THE THINGS THAT
THEY WANT.
THEY ARE MAKING A NEW CITY
THAT OVERCAME THE SUFFERING.

Mike says BUT YOU CHOOSE TO LIVE THERE.

Hector says I’M OKAY, BECAUSE I’M TRYING TO DO
SOMETHING TO CHANGE A LITTLE THE
THINGS THAT I DON’T LIKE
ABOUT MY NEIGHBOURHOOD.

Mike says RIGHT. O.K. YOU KNOW, IT COULD
BE LIKE A
BARRIO,
A SLUM
OR A
FAVELA,
BUT YOU KNOW...

Laura says YEAH, THE VIEW!

They go up a public staircase and turn to look at a range of mountains.

Mike says THE VIEW!
IT'S THE MILLION-DOLLAR VIEW.
THIS IS WHAT CITIES
SHOULD BE LIKE.
SOMEBODY BUILT A HOUSE, SOMEBODY
BUILT A HOUSE, ANOTHER HOUSE,
NOW WE NEED A ROAD. SO THERE'S
NO STRUCTURE. IT'S HOW CITIES
WERE BUILT, LIKE IN EUROPE,
LIKE, YOU KNOW, 1000 YEARS AGO.
NOW HERE, IT'S MORE RECENT.
SO IT'S STILL THE SAME
URBAN BEAUTY.
I LOVE IT.

Hector says IT’S LIKE A LABERINTH, BUT A
BEAUTIFUL ONE.

Mike says OH, WOW!

Mike stops and gets into a very narrow space between two adjacent houses.

Mike says THAT'S A LIFE-SIZED
STREET RIGHT THERE. ORGANIC,
BY THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE.

Hector says THIS WAS A GARBAGE DUMP BEFORE
AND THEY’RE PLANNING TO BUILD A GARDEN.

Mike shakes hand with a local man.

Mike says O.K. A PLAYGROUND
AND A GARDEN.

Then, Mike encounters a boy playing with a soccer ball.

Mike performs a trick with soccer ball and says GOT IT!

Carlos says MY NAME IS CARLOS.

Mike says THIS IS LIKE A NEW
HOUSE COMING, I GUESS.

Laura says YES, THIS IS A
PLANCHA.

Mike says PLANCHA,
WHAT'S THAT?

They walk into the roof of an ongoing construction.

Laura says IT'S LIKE THE FIRST MIGRANT
FAMILY COMES AND BUILDS
ITS HOUSE, AND THEY WILL
INHERIT THE AIR TO THE KIDS.
AND IF YOU HAVE KIDS,
THEY INHERIT THE AIR TOO.
SO THEY WOULD COME
TO THE THIRD FLOOR.

An animation builds upper floors above them.

Hector says THAT’S THE FUTURE OF THIS PLANCHA.

Mike says THIS IS THE SAME THING.
SO SOMEBODY... YEAH, YEAH.
IT'S GOING TO LOOK LIKE THAT.

Hector says AND IT WILL GO
ON AND ON.

Mike says SO IF YOU HAVE A REALLY BIG
FAMILY, YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE
LIKE AN EMPIRE STATE BUILDING.

Hector says MORE LIKE THE LEANING
TOWER OF PISA.

Laura chuckles.

Mike says PISA TOWER, YEAH, OF COURSE!
OH MY GOD.

Laura says I CAN SHOW YOU THE TRAMWAY
FROM HERE. THAT'S THE FRONTIER,
BECAUSE THAT'S COMUNA 9
AND THIS IS COMUNA 8,
AND IT'S TWO DIFFERENT WORLDS.

Mike says O.K.

Laura says BECAUSE THEY'RE MORE MIDDLE
CLASS, WHEREAS THIS IS REALLY
LIKE LOW CLASS.

Mike says SO THE PEOPLE IN
THIS NEIGHBOURHOOD,
THEY GO TO WORK IN THE CITY?

Hector says SOME PEOPLE WORK
IN THEIR HOMES.
THEY ARE TRADITIONALLY A LOT
OF SHOEMAKERS IN THIS
NEIGHBOURHOOD.
SOME PEOPLE NEVER COME
OUT OF THE BARRIO, NEVER.

Mike says WHAT IS THE DARK SIDE OF
THE URBAN STORY, HERE?

Mike plays football with local children in a street court.

Hector says WHEN I WAS ABOUT 15, THERE
WAS A WAR BETWEEN THE GANGS
IN THIS SECTOR.
SOMETIMES THERE WERE 2
TO 3 SHOOTINGS PER DAY.
FRIENDS, COUSINS, ALMOST
ALL OUR FRIENDS ARE DEAD.
EVEN MY MOTHER FELL IN THIS WAR.
THEY KILLED HER, ONE MORNING IN OUR HOME,
RIGHT IN FRONT OF OUR GRANDMOTHER.
AND THAT’S HARD.
I TOLD MYSELF I DON’T WANT
TO LIVE THIS FOR
THE REST OF MY LIFE.
I’D RATHER DIE NOW
OR MAKE A CHANGE.
IT’S A POWERFUL REASON
TO DO WHAT I’M
DOING.
I DON’T WANT TO SEE
THAT HATE AND FEAR,
AND SMELL BLOOD ALL THE TIME.
THE NEIGHBOURHOOD SMELL
LIKE BLOOD
AND GUNPOWDER ALL
THE TIME.
AND I THINKS IT’S GREAT
THAT I’M ABOUT
TO FORGET WHAT
THAT FEELS LIKE.

Mike says WE'VE BEEN ALL OVER THE
BARRIO
WITH HECTOR. AND NOW WE'RE GOING
TO GO SEE THE MAGIC THAT HE DOES
FOR HIS COMMUNITY,
TRYING TO REBUILD,
RESHAPE AND JUST MAKE THIS INTO
A BETTER PLACE TO LIVE.

At night, Hector teaches a break dance class in a center.

Mike continues THE STORY OF LAURA,
THE PRIVILEGED KID.
TEN YEARS AGO, SHE MET HECTOR.
DANCE BROUGHT THEM TOGETHER,
AND LAURA FOUGHT FOR YEARS
TO GET HIM A SPACE.
THE GUY IS A TWO-TIME
NATIONAL BREAKDANCE CHAMPION,
AND NOW HE HAS A PERMANENT SPACE
IN WHICH TO TEACH THE YOUTH,
THE YOUNG KIDS OF THIS
COMMUNITY, GIVING THEM ANOTHER
OPTION. NOT JUST THE DEFAULT
THAT HAS BEEN THE CASE
HERE FOR SO MANY YEARS: CRIME.

A sign sitting among trees reads "Jardín Botánico. Medellín."

Mike says IN ORDER TO REALLY UNDERSTAND
HOW SUCH AN IMPRESSIVE
TRANSFORMATION WAS POSSIBLE
IN COMUNA 8, AND PRETTY MUCH
THE ENTIRE CITY, I MEET WITH
SERGIO FAJARDO, ONE OF THE KEY
FIGURES IN MEDELLÍN'S
RENAISSANCE.

Sergio Fajardo walks greeting people.

Then, Sergio stands by a tree. He is in his late forties, clean-shaven with curly hair. He wears a light blue shirt. A caption reads "Sergio Fajardo. Mayor of Medellin, 2004-2007."

Mike continues SERGIO IS A VERITABLE POP STAR
IN MEDELLÍN. BUT HE DOESN'T
SING AND HE DOESN'T DANCE.
THIS FORMER MATHEMATICIAN
IS A CELEBRITY BECAUSE OF HIS
LEGACY IN TURNING
THE CITY AROUND.
AFTER EMBARKING ON AN EPIC
FOUR-YEAR URBAN PILGRIMAGE,
WALKING THE STREETS, POUNDING
THE PAVEMENT OF HIS HOMETOWN,
TELLING PEOPLE HOW HE AND HIS
FIX MEDELLÍN... YOU KNOW WHAT?
HE GOT HIMSELF ELECTED MAYOR.
NOW OF COURSE, MEDELLÍN'S
WAS NOT A ONE-MAN SHOW,
BUT SERGIO PROVIDED
THE LEADERSHIP AND THE IMPULSE
FOR CHANGE, ALLOWING CITIZENS
TO DREAM AGAIN AND TO RECLAIM
THEIR STREETS.

A TV news clips showing Sergio distributing flyers in the street and workers constructing buildings.

Mike and Sergio sit on a bench in the Botanical Garden.

Sergio says I, MYSELF, WITH OTHER PEOPLE,
I'VE BEEN THROUGH ALL THESE
PLACES. I KNEW HOW IT SMELLED,
WHAT PEOPLE LOOKED LIKE,
WHAT HAPPENED IN THERE.
WE KNEW EVERY SQUARE METER
IN MEDELLÍN. WE CAME INTO
POWER IN A CITY THAT HAS BEEN,
FOR DECADES, SUFFERING
OF VIOLENCE. WE SAW DESTRUCTION
IN MANY WAYS, BUT THIS CITY DID
LIKE THAT, BUT NEVER COLLAPSED.
AND WE CAME, AND WE SAID:
"WE CAN DO THINGS DIFFERENTLY."
AND WHEN WE CAME INTO POWER,
I ALWAYS SAID THAT THE WAY YOU
COME INTO POWER WILL DETERMINE
HOW YOU WILL GOVERN. IF YOU PAY
IN ORDER TO GET INTO POWER,
THEN YOU COME TO STEAL.
WE DIDN'T HAVE TO PAY ANYONE.
WE DIDN'T OWE ANYTHING
TO ANYONE BUT TO THE CITIZENS
OF MEDELLÍN. AND WE BEGAN
THIS TRANSFORMATION.

Mike says THIS WAS A CRUCIAL SECTOR FOR
SO DANGEROUS THAT NO ONE WOULD
DARE TO CROSS IT. IT WAS AS IF
THE NORTH, POOR AND FORGOTTEN,
AND THE SOUTH, WHERE LIFE WAS
A BIT EASIER. BUT SERGIO
AND HIS TEAM WEREN'T IN FOR
HALF-MEASURES. THEY TORE DOWN
THE WALL. THEY CONNECTED THE
CITY WITH BOLD URBAN PROJECTS:
MULTIPLE PARKS, A BOTANICAL
GARDEN, A MUSICAL CENTRE AND
LIBRARIES. THEY CREATED PLACES
WHERE PEOPLE FROM ALL WALKS
OF LIFE CONTINUE TO MEET.

An animated yellow arrow that reads "Social Urbanism" pops up on an aerial view of Medellin.

Sergio says WHEN YOU ARE EITHER POOR OR YOU
HAVE A EXTREME CONDITIONS,
USUALLY, THEY COME UP
WITH A SOLUTION THAT SAYS:
"WELL, WHATEVER YOU GIVE THEM,
IT'S SOMETHING BECAUSE
THEY HAVE NOTHING."
I SAY NO! WE ARE GOING
TO HAVE THE MOST BEAUTIFUL
THINGS FOR THE HUMBLEST PEOPLE.
THAT'S DIGNITY. THAT'S
RECOGNITION. THAT'S RESPECT.
AND THAT TOUCHES DIRECTLY YOUR
HEART. THE PEOPLE SAY: "MY WORTH
IS AS VALUABLE AS ANYONE'S."
THE BUILDINGS CAN BE DONE.
NOW, THE MOST BEAUTIFUL
BUILDINGS FOR THE HUMBLEST
PEOPLE IS A POLITICAL DECISION.
THE PUBLIC SPACE FIGHTING FEAR,
IT'S A POLITICAL DECISION.
IT'S A WAY OF UNDERSTANDING.
WE HAVE TO CONNECT.
THIS IS NOT AN ARCHITECTURAL
PROJECT. THIS IS A MEANS
THAT EXPRESSES THE CHANGES
OF OUR SOCIETY. AND THAT'S WHY
WE TALK ABOUT SOCIAL URBANISM.
SO YOU COME TO A PART
OF THE TOWN AND
YOU PUT SIMULTANEOUSLY ALL
THE DEVELOPMENT TOOLS.
SIMULTANEOUSLY, THAT'S VERY
DIFFICULT. SO IN A PLACE, PEOPLE
WOULD START TO SEE THINGS
HAPPENING. SO THAT IMMEDIATELY
CHANGES PEOPLE, AND WE CHANGE
THE CULTURE. WE CHANGE
THE SPIRIT OF MEDELLÍN.

Citizens walk around a large and beautiful public space covered by a geometrical wooden structure.

Mike says AS THE POLITICIAN WHO LAID
THE FOUNDATION FOR
THE TRANSFORMATION OF THE CITY,
AND AS A CITIZEN OF MEDELLÍN,
ARE YOU OPTIMISTIC ABOUT
THE FUTURE, THAT ALL
THIS HARD WORK WILL CONTINUE?

Sergio says I AM. NEW GENERATIONS ARE COMING
TO LIVE HERE, SO SOMETHING THAT
WAS A PLACE FOR FEAR AND NO
HOPE, HAS BEEN TRANSFORMED.

Mike says WE'RE GOING TO MEET A REALLY
COOL GUY WITH A LITTLE
URBAN INTERVENTION.

Mike and Felipe Arboleda shake hands by colourful street stalls. Felipe is in his early thirties, with a short beard and curly black hair. He wears a gray shirt with yellow motifs.

Mike says HEY!

Felipe says NICE TO MEET YOU!

Mike says NICE TO MEET YOU, PLEASURE!

As Felipe walks in slow motion, an animated caption appears on screen. It reads "Felipe Arboleda. Director of Inspira Lab."

Mike says WHAT FELIPE AND HIS CREW ARE
DOING IS QUITE SIMPLE, BUT IT'S
ALSO VERY NECESSARY. THEY'RE
ASKING THE PEOPLE OF MEDELLÍN
WHAT THEY WANT FOR THEIR CITY,
WHAT WOULD MAKE THE CITY CENTRE
MORE LIVABLE. THEY WANT
THE LOCAL AUTHORITIES TO MAKE
DECISIONS BASED ON THE EVERYDAY
NEEDS OF THE CITIZENS
THEMSELVES.

Felipe and a group of people set tables in the street.

Felipe says WE’RE GOING TO INVITE
THE PEOPLE TO TELL US WHAT
THEY WOULD ENJOY HERE
AND WHAT THEY WANT TO
DO WITH THE DOWNTOWN
AREA.

Mike places a boy on top of one of the tables. The boy leans and points to a map of the city.

Mike says WHAT IS HE DECIDING?

Felipe says TOMAS HAS DECIDED
HE WANTS A SPACE TO
PLAY SOCCER HERE.

Mike says WHY IS A BICYCLE
ROUTE IMPORTANT
IN THIS NEIGHBOURHOOD?

A young woman says I THINK
IT’S FUNDAMENTAL
BECAUSE WE HAVE TO
BRING BACK THE CITY CENTRE
AND ITS STREETS TO THE PEOPLE.

People stick post it notes all over the map.

Felipe says WE WANT TO CONNECT
OUR INHABITANTS’ VISIONS
WITH OUR GOVERNMENT’S VISIONS.

A girl shows her post it note to Felipe.

Felipe says IT’S A FREE THEATRE.

Mike says FREE THEATRE!
TEATRO LIBRE!

A young blond woman says THE PEOPLE
BELIEVE, THE PEOPLE DREAM.

Mike reads the notes and says LIBRARY, A QUIET PEDESTRIAN
AREA, MORE RESTAURANTS, LESS
CONTAMINATION, SOCIAL EVENTS.
A LOT OF OUTDOOR ACTIVITY.

The young blond woman says I THINKS THIS
IS POSSIBLE.

Mike says I'M GOING TO HAVE A VERY
SIMPLE IDEA. I'LL LEAVE
THE AMAZING VISIONS TO
THE LOCALS HERE, BUT I'LL JUST
REMIND YOU TO PUT IN,
FOR EXAMPLE, BIKE RACKS.

Mike writes a note and sticks it on the map.

Mike says AS YOU CAN SEE, THE WORK
TO MAKE MEDELLÍN A LIFE SIZE
CITY CONTINUES ON ABSOLUTELY
EVERY SCALE IMAGINABLE.

Then, Mike gets into a helicopter.

Mike says HIGH ABOVE MEDELLÍN,
WE CAN REALLY SEE THE
COLOUR PALETTE
THAT IS VERY APPARENT FROM
THE AIR.
THE LOW-INCOME NEIGHBOURHOODS
DON¡T HAVE A LOT OF MONEY
FOR PAINT SO
THEIR HOUSES ARE BRICK
WITH RED TILE ROOFS
AND OFTEN JUST METAL
ROOFS.
THEN YOU CAN SEE
THE RICHER NEIGHBORHOODS
THAT HAVE WHITE AND GRAY
BUILDINGS,
BECAUSE THEY CAN AFFORD
TO PAINT THEM NICELY.
SO YOU CAN SEE THE CLASS
DIVIDE IN THE COLOUR PALETTE
OF THE CITY IN THIS VALLEY.

An aerial view of the valley appears.

Mike continues WHAT WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND
IS THAT MEDELLÍN SITS IN
A VALLEY. THOSE WHO CAN
AFFORD IT LIVE IN THE SOUTH.
AND USUALLY, THE LESS MONEY
YOU HAVE, THE HIGHER UP
THE MOUNTAINS YOU'RE GOING TO
END UP. THE THING IS, MOST OF
THE JOBS OF MEDELLÍN ARE WAY
DOWN THERE, AND GETTING TO WORK
FOR THOSE WHO LIVE UP HERE IS
A CHALLENGE, TO SAY THE LEAST.
WE ARE TALKING HOURS ON FOOT
OR WITH THE HELP OF A SHAKY BUS
OF THE CABLE CAR SYSTEM, IT NOW
TAKES A MERE 20 MINUTES TO GET
TO THE CITY OR BACK HOME.

A caption on the aerial view of the city shows the cable car system stops. They read "Popular, Andalucía, Acevedo."

Mike continues CABLE CARS AS PUBLIC TRANSIT?
THAT IS WHAT I CALL AUDACITY.
I WANT TO EXPERIENCE FIRSTHAND
THIS BOLD TRANSPORT SYSTEM,
AND IN ORDER TO GET TO
THE CABLE CARS, I HAVE TO TAKE
THE METRO. IT'S STILL THE ONLY
ONE OF ITS KIND IN COLUMBIA...
FOR NOW.

Mike and Santiago Uribe Rocha take the metro. Santiago is in his late thirties, clean-shaven and bald. He is wearing a blue shirt and gray trousers.

Santiago says I THINK THE METRO
STARTED EXACTLY AT THE
BEGINNING OF OUR
TRANSFORMATION.
IT WAS NOT JUST A TRANSPORT
SYSTEM, BUT
AN INTEGRATION SYSTEM.

Mike says SANTIAGO KNOWS ALL ABOUT THE
FIERCE WILL TO END INEQUALITY.
FOR NEARLY HALF HIS LIFE,
DEVELOPING A UNIQUE TAKE ON THE
CHIEF RESILIENCE OFFICER.
NEIGHBOURHOOD OF SANTO DOMINGO,
LOCATED IN COMUNA 1.

Santiago walks in slow motion and turns to face the screen. A caption appears on screen. It reads "Santiago Uribe Rocha. Chief Resilience Officer, City of Medellín."

Santiago says WE ARE SO PROUD
OF OUR METRO SYSTEM
BECAUSE WE KNOW THAT THIS
IS THE TRUE ESSENCE OF
HOW WE’VE BEEN
ABLE TO MOVE
FORWARD TO
BECOME A MODERN CITY
AND TO BE A MORE
INCLUSIVE CITY.
SO IT WILL COME
FROM EVERYONE.
IF YOU TRY TO DAMAGE
OR JEOPARDIZE THE SYSTEM,
PEOPLE WILL FIGHT FOR IT.

Mike says YEAH, THEY HAVE OWNERSHIP.

Santiago says THEY HAVE OWNERSHIP.

Mike says THAT'S AMAZING.

Santiago and Mike chat as they go downstairs into a hallway.

Santiago says ONE OF THE MOST
INTERESTING VALUES
OF RESILIENCE IS THE
VALUE OF LEARNING.
IF YOU HAVE AN ADVERSITY
THAT YOU OVERCOME,
AND YOU HAVE TIME
TO REFLECT ON THAT,
IT’S A LEARNING PROCESS.
THAT’S WHY MEDELLÍN
IS SUCH AND IMPORTANT
EXAMPLE FOR OURSELVES
AND FOR THE WORLD,
BECAUSE WE’VE BEEN
ABLE TO OVERCOME
MAJOR TRAGEDIES.
MANY TIMES
WE DON’T ACKNOWLEDGE
THAT WE ARE THE CITY.
THE CITIES ARE NOT ROADS,
OR BUILDING OR METRO
SYSTEMS.
CITIES ARE PEOPLE.
THE REASON WHY THEY ARE
BUILT IS BECAUSE WE
HAVE A COLLECTIVE IDEA.
AROUND THAT COLLECTIVE
IDEA WE CONSTRUCT
RELATIONSHIPS.

They get into a cable car.

Mike says YOU GUYS HAVE BEEN ADAPTING
FREELY FROM OTHER CITIES. DO YOU
FIND THAT TO BE A STRENGTH FOR
MEDELLÍN THAT YOU HAPPILY BORROW
AND STEAL AND... WHATEVER YOU
CAN, GRAB ALL THE GOOD IDEAS?
ONE OF THESE!

Santiago chuckles and says CLEARLY, AND
THIS IS A GREAT EXAMPLE
OF THAT.
ONE OF OUR LEADERS WENT ON
A WINTER HOLIDAY TO SWITZERLAND
FOR A SKI TRIP AND HE SAW A CABLE CAR
THERE. HE SAID:
WHAT IF WE IMPLEMENT A SOLUTION LIKE
THIS FOR OUR CITY.
AND WE NOW RIDE IN IT.
THOSE IDEAS HAVE BEEN
TAKEN HERE,
MODIFIED AND IMPLEMENTED,
AND THAT’S HOW WE TACKLE
ALL OF OUR ISSUES.

Mike says IS IT A PROBLEM THAT REALLY
THE TRAFFIC IS FROM UP TO DOWN,
AND THEN BACK UP AGAIN?
THE CITIZENS WHO LIVE
DOWN THERE, THEY'RE NOT
GOING UP VERY OFTEN. IF WE TALK
ABOUT RESILIENCE, IF WE TALK
ABOUT SOCIAL INCLUSION,
YOU STILL HAVE
ONE-WAY STREETS, AS IT WERE.
HOW DO YOU FIX THAT?

Santiago says PEOPLE
DON’T COME HERE TO
HAVE FUN.
THEY’RE NOT HERE
TO HAVE FUN OR TO
MAKE FRIENDS.
THAT SHOWS YOU HOW
WE ARE STILL SEPARATE
FROM EACH OTHER.

Back on the street, Mike says I MEAN, THIS IS ABSOLUTELY...
WELL, IT'S A HOLIDAY IN
COLUMBIA, AND EVERYBODY IS USING
THE CABLE CARS. THERE'S A QUEUE
TO GET BACK DOWN.

An animated cable car reads "3 lines, 8 stations, 267 cabins."
Santiago says YOU SHOULD COME AT
4:00 IN THE MORNING
BECAUSE THEY’RE GOING TO WORK.

The animated caption changes to "45,000people commuting every day ."

Santiago continues THE ONLY WAY TO GO
DOWNTOWN OR TO THE
INDUSTRIAL SIDE OF THE CITY
IS BY METROCABLE.
YOU’LL SEE THE QUEUE CAN
BE 10 TIMES LONGER
BECAUSE THE JOBS
ARE NOT ROUND HERE.

Mike says EVERYTHING YOU'RE TELLING ME
ABOUT RESILIENCE, ABOUT
TRANSPORT, ABOUT HOW TO CREATE
A BETTER MEDELLÍN IS ALL ABOUT
PEOPLE. YOU KEEP GOING BACK
TO PEOPLE.

Santiago says TAKE AWAY THE QUEUE,
AND THIS WON’T MEAN ANYTHING.
THE TECHNICAL CONNECTION
HAS BEEN MADE AND THEY
CAN GO AND WE CAN COME
HERE, BUT WE STILL HAVE TO
IDENTIFY THE HUMAN CONNECTION.

Mike says PUBLIC TRANSPORT IS COOL
AND IT WORKS REALLY WELL FOR
OUT, PEOPLE NEED A REASON TO GO
TO ANOTHER NEIGHBOURHOOD.
SO WE'RE IN THE COMUNA 13
NEIGHBOURHOOD AND WE'RE GOING TO
MEET A MAN WHO USES URBAN ART AS
A FORM OF EXPRESSION, BUT ALSO
AS AN IMPORTANT TOOL
FOR SOCIAL INCLUSION.
HOLA!

Mike and Jeihhco Castaño shake hands. Jeihhco is in his late twenties, clean-shaven. He wears a black cap with white stars, small earrings, and a white T-shirt with letters printed on it.

Jeihhco speaks Spanish. Subtitles read "Welcome, partner."

Colourful graffiti appear on a street staircase.

Mike says SO PEOPLE COME ON TOURS TO SEE
ALL THE DIFFERENT WALL MURALS
THAT JEIHHCO AND HIS CREW
HAVE DONE.

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Simón Mesa Soto. Local producer and translator."

Simón translates to Jeihhco what Mike said. Simón is in his early thirties, with a goatee and brown hair. He wears a black T-shirt.

Simón says MANY PEOPLE COME
HERE TO SEE YOUR GRAFFITI WORK.

Jeihhco says MANY PEOPLE COME
HERE EVERY DAY TO SEE
THE GRAFFITI,
TO GET TO KNOW THE STORIES.
GRAFFITOUR IS A HISTORIC,
AESTHETIC AND
POLITICAL TOUR
THROUGH COMUNA 13.
AND THROUGH GRAFFITI,
WE TELL STORIES
SOME OF WHICH ARE TOUGH,
AND OTHER FULL OF HOPE.

A animated caption appears on screen. It reads "Jeihhco Castaño. Artist and Founder of the Graffitour."

Jeihhco says THIS GRAFFITI
IS CALLED MARISCAL.
ON MAY 21 2002,
LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS
JOINED FORCES WITH
MILITIA GROUPS
TO TRY TO REMOVE THE
GUERRILLA ELEMENT
FROM THE COMUNA.
ONE OF THESE
STORIES IS OF A CHILD
WHO WAS INJURED OUTSIDE
HIS HOUSE AND
NO ONE COULD GET CLOSE TO HIM
BECAUSE THE ARMY KEPT
SHOOTING.
A WOMAN CAME OUT WITH
A WHITE FLAG AND WENT
UP TO THE CHILD.

A close-up shot shows a large eagle graffiti, followed by another one of an owl and elephants holding white cloths.

Jeihhco continues THEN MORE
PEOPLE CAME OUT HOLDING
WHITE FLAGS.
THAT IS WHY EACH ANIMAL
IS CARRING A WHITE CLOTH.
SO THAT’S WHY THE MARISCAL
GRAFFITI IS SO IMPORTANT.
BECAUSE IT SYMBOLIZES
THAT NON-VIOLENCE
IS ALSO AN ACTIVE
ELEMENT FOR PEACE.
TO ENSURE THAT WE DON NO
KILL EACH OTHER.

Next, they walk around the city and an take escalator.

Mike says THESE ARE THE ESCALATORS.
THIS IS ONE OF THE TALKING
POINTS ALL AROUND THE WORLD
ABOUT THE URBAN TRANSFORMATION
IN MEDELLÍN: THE ESCALATORS THAT
THEY'VE PUT IN TO GET THE PEOPLE
FROM THE LOW-INCOME
NEIGHBOURHOODS DOWN TO THE CITY
TO CONNECT WITH PUBLIC TRANSPORT
AND EVERYTHING THE CITY HAS
TO OFFER. I'M EXCITED.
Jeihhco and Mike stand in a viewpoint.

Jeihhco says THERE IS STILL MUCJ MYTH
AND STIGMA THAT THESE
NEIGHBOURHOODS ARE
DANGEROUS.
AND MANY PEOPLE DO NOT
COME OR WANT TO COME VISIT,
SIMPLY OUT OF FEAR.
SO, THE ESCALATORS, THE GRAFFITI,
THAT COMBINATIONS OF FACTORS HERE,
THE INTERSECTION BETWEEN ART
AND URBANISM, MAKES MANY
PEOPLE WANT TO COME HERE.

Mike says IS IT IMPORTANT TO TELL
THE STORY OF THE VIOLENCE AND
THE TRANSFORMATION, OR SHOULD
WE FORGET THE VIOLENCE?

Jeihhco says VIOLENCE IS STILL
PRESENT.
THIS PAST WEEKEND ALONE
THERE WERE 5 DEATHS
IN 24 HOURS
IN MEDELLIN.
IT’S NOT PABLO ESCOBAR
PLANTING BOMBS,
BUT THERE IS STILL
VIOLENCE IN THIS CITY.
THE CITY IS FULL OF
ARMED GROUPS.
IN THE NEIGHBORHOODS
WHERE THERE IS TURF
CONTROL.
THAT’S NOT HISTORY.
IT’S THE PRESENT.

Mike says JEIHHCO, WHEN YOU LOOK OUT AT
THIS VIEW, WHAT DO YOU SEE?

Jeihhco says TO ME, THIS IS
INSPIRATION FOR TELLING
STORIES
AND WRITING MY RAP.
EACH OF THOSE ROOFS
SHELTERS MANY DREAMS.
WHAT I SEE HERE IS HOPE.
HOPE THAT BECOMES STRUGGLE.
THESE STRUGGLES
SERVE TO IMPROVE LIFE
FOR FAMILIES, NEIGHBOURHOODS
AND THE CITY.

They bump their fists and hug.

Jeihhco says WELCOME, PARTNET!

(music plays)

A young man paints graffiti on a wall.

Simón says EVERY PERSON WHO COMES HERE,
THE RITUAL IS TO DRAW A SIGN,
TO SAY YOU'RE A PART
OF THE COMUNA. FOR THEM,
IT'S AN HONOUR THAT PEOPLE
COME HERE AND BE PART OF THE
COMUNA BY SIGNING THE CANVAS.

Mike sprays his signature and the title of the show on the wall.

An animated map appears on the street wall. A red circle highlights the center and a caption reads "Ayacucho Avenue. Pabellón del Agua station."

Mike says LISTEN TO THAT: A TRAMWAY
IN THE HEART OF MEDELLÍN.
THIS ROAD IS CALLED AYACUCHO.
IT WAS THE MAIN ROAD
FROM THE EAST LEADING
INTO THE CITY CENTRE.
JUST ONE OR TWO YEARS AGO,
IT WAS COMPLETELY PACKED
WITH CARS IN THE RUSH HOUR,
BUT RIGHT NOW IT'S THE QUIETEST
PLACE THAT I'VE SEEN SO FAR
THIS MORNING IN MEDELLÍN.
A MODERN TRAMWAY TAKING
45,000 PEOPLE A DAY INTO
THE CITY CENTRE, CONNECTING
WITH A CABLE CAR, CONNECTING
WITH A METRO FURTHER DOWN
THERE. THIS IS REALLY A SIGN
THAT MEDELLÍN IS DOING
WHAT IT CAN TO TAKE PUBLIC
TRANSPORT TO THE NEXT LEVEL.
AND WE'RE IN THE MIDDLE
OF THE TRAMWAY. COME ON!

The animated map appears next to Mike. A white dot reads "Oriente station."

Mike says JUST A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO,
THIS WAS A DEAD URBAN SPACE,
JUST A BUNCH OF ASHFALL LEFT
OVER FROM DECADES OF
CAR-CENTRIC PLANNING.
NOBODY REALLY KNEW WHAT TO DO
WITH IT. BUT WE'RE SEEING ALL
OVER THE WORLD PEOPLE TAKING
MATTERS INTO THEIR OWN HANDS.

People transplant tree plants in the street.

Mike continues A LITTLE BIT OF WHAT WE CALL
"TACTICAL URBANISM"; TAKING THIS
SPOT AND MAKING IT A LITTLE BIT
GREENER. IT MIGHT BE BANAL,
BUT YOU KNOW WHAT? IT ACTUALLY
MAKES AN IMPACT ON IMPROVING
THIS URBAN SPACE. AND TODAY,
I GET DIRT UNDER
MY FINGERNAILS. HEY!
HOW ARE YOU DOING?

Carlos Cadena is in his mid-thirties, with a short beard and short black hair. He wears a white shirt and green trousers.

Carlos says WE NEED TO MOVE THIS FIRST.
I NEED YOU TO GIVE ME A HAND.

Mike says THIS ONE? YEAH. ALL RIGHT.

They carry a wooden pallet.

Carlos says AND WE'RE GOING TO HAVE
YOU PAINT THEM.

Mike says WHAT ARE YOU GOING
TO USE THESE FOR?

Carlos says WELL, THIS IS SORT OF A PARK
FOR PEOPLE TO HANG OUT.

Mike says THESE ARE BENCHES, BASICALLY.
WE'RE CREATING BENCHES.

Carlos says YEAH. WE WANT TO BE ABLE
TO SIT DOWN HERE. AND
IN A WHILE, WHEN THIS GROWS,
WE'LL ACTUALLY HAVE SHADOW.
WE'LL ACTUALLY HAVE A PLACE
FOR PEOPLE TO HANG OUT.

Mike says AND WANT TO HANG OUT, RIGHT?
YEAH, YOU WANT
TO MAKE IT ATTRACTIVE.

Carlos says THAT'S EXACTLY THE POINT.
As Carlos walks in slow motion and turns to face the screen, a caption reads "Carlos Cadena. Professor and co-founder of Ciudad Verde."

Mike says THIS IS CARLOS.
HE IS A TEACHER
AND HE'S A BRILLIANT THINKER.
BUT HE'S ALSO A DOER WHEN IT
COMES TO URBAN RENEWAL.

Carlos says BEFORE THE TRAMWAY WAS HERE,
THERE WAS JUST A CAR-CLOGGED
AVENUE. IT WAS TERRIBLE. IT WAS
ONE OF THE WORSE PLACES
IN THE CITY. JUST FILLED WITH
CARS, NOISE, POLLUTION, BUSES
AND MOTORCYCLES LIKE CRAZY.
WHEN WE WERE ABLE TO ACCOMPLISH
THE TRAM, WE GOT CARS OUT
OF THE WAY. BUT AGAIN,
IT'S REALLY HOT, REALLY
UNFRIENDLY. THERE ARE NO TREES
AND THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO LIVE
HERE. WHEN WE DO IT,
WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT
THE GOVERNMENT SEES AND ADMIRES
THE FACT THAT WE ARE DOING IT.

People paint wooden pallets next to in the middle of the street.

Carlos continues WE'RE DOING IT BECAUSE WE WANT
TO DO IT. WE DO IT WITH OUR OWN
PEOPLE, WITH OUR OWN MONEY,
WITH OUR OWN ENERGY.
AND WHEN WE DO IT,
SYMBOLICALLY, EH?
NOT ILLEGALLY. SYMBOLICALLY,
POSITIVELY, CREATIVELY,
THEN IT'S ALWAYS THE SAME
STORY. THEY COME AFTER US
AND SAY: "LISTEN, GOOD JOB.
HOW CAN WE HELP?"
YOU CAN CLEARLY TELL OTHER
PEOPLE WHO WALK AROUND HERE
LOVE IT, AND THEY BECOME OWNERS
OF THIS PLACE. A COUPLE OF
MINUTES AGO, YOU SAW SOME GUYS
WHO WERE WATERING IT.
WE DON'T PAY THEM,
WE DON'T KNOW WHO THEY ARE.
THEY DO IT BECAUSE THEY HAVE
AN INTENTION TO MAKE
SURE THAT THIS CONTINUES.

Mike helps them transplant a bamboo.

Mike says GOT IT.

Carlos says YOU HAVE YOUR OWN BAMBOO
IN COLUMBIA NOW.

Mike says THERE'S A GUY SITTING ON THE
BENCH THERE, WHO'S JUST HAVING
HIS BREAKFAST. YOU KNOW, ALL YOU
NEED TO DO IS JUST PUT PALLETS
DOWN ON AN EMPTY URBAN SPACE,
CREATE SOME FORM OF A STRUCTURE
AND AN ATTRACTIVE PLACE TO BE,
AND A GUY IS EATING
HIS BREAKFAST. LIKE, YOU KNOW,
WE JUST GOT HERE.
THIS IS THE NOT-SO-LEGAL
EL REGUERO FLEA MARKET, LOCATED
JUST UNDER THE ELEVATED TRAIN
WORKING HARD TO PROMOTE.
HERE, CITIZENS OCCUPY PUBLIC
SPACE IN THEIR OWN WAY, SELLING
ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING THAT
THEY CAN SCAVENGE FROM
THE CITY'S TRASH.

Juan Fernando Ospina is in his thirties, clean-shaven with curly brown hair and long dreadlocks. He wears a blue T-shirt and blue jeans.

Juan says THERE IS A HIGH RATE OF UNEMPLOYMENT
AND PEOPLE HAVE TO
FIND A WAY TO MAKE
A LIVING.
SO I’M GOING TO SHOW YOU
HOW SOME PEOPLE MAKE A
LIVING OUT OF SELLING WHAT
THEY PICK OUT OF
GARBAGE.

As Juan walks in slow motion and turns to face the screen, an animated caption reads "Juan Fernando Ospina. Photographer and Founder of Universo Centro Magazine."

Juan says YOU CAN FIND
ALMOST ANYTHING.
FOR EXAMPLE HERE,
TAKE A LOOK AT THIS.

Mike says WHEELS?

They stop and crouch to look at a blanket on the floor filled with objects.

Juan says I DON’T KNOW,
WHEELS, A FLASHLIGHT,
A REMOTE CONTROL
I DON’T KNOW FOR WHAT.
LOOK AT THIS ONE,
I’M GOING TO BUT
THIS RIGHT NOW.
IT’S THE KIND OF THINGS
I FOUND HERE THAT I LOVE.

Juan shows a toy with a broken bouncing head.

Mike says YEAH!

Juan says AT HOME, I HAVE MY OWN
MUSEUM OF THINGS I
BUY HERE.

Mike says SO YOU ARE, IN A WAY,
THE MUSEUM FOR THIS PLACE,
BECAUSE THIS PLACE MIGHT NOT BE
AROUND FOR A LONG TIME.

Juan says YEAH, IT’S THE KIND
OF PLACE THAT PEOPLE
DON’T LIKE TO SEE
IN THE CITY,
BECAUSE FIRST OF
ALL, THEY
DON’T PAY TAXES.
SECONDLY, IT’S NOT THE
CLEANEST PLACE
IN THE CITY.
IT’S FULL OF PEOPLE.
WHEN I COME HERE
I FEEL ALIVE.
HERE’S MY FRIEND ARQUIMEDES.

Mike says ARQUIMEDES!

Rodrigo Arquimedes Hoyo is in his thirties, clean-shaven with short hair. He wears a gray cap, a silver chain and a blue shirt.

Rodrigo says GOOD DAY, SIR.

Juan says THIS IS HIS STUFF.
AROUND 3:00 IN THE MORNING,
HE GOES OUT WITH
A CART AND HE PICKS
OUT A LOT FO STUFF
FROM THE GARBAGE.
HE DECIDES WHAT TO SELL
AND HE BRINGS ALL
OF HIS STUFF HERE.

Rodrigo unloads plastic bottles into his cart.

Rodrigo says FOR ME,
IT’S AN ART.
IT’S MORE THAN WORK, IT’S AN ART.
I LOVE IT.
I’M REALLY GRATEFUL I
HAVE ACCES TO ALL
THIS WASTE.

As Rodrigo pushes his cart in slow motion, an animated caption reads "Rodrigo Arquimedes Hoyo. Waste picker for 17 years."

Rodrigo says IT’S NOT AS LUCRATIVE
AS PEOPLE MAY BELIEVE.
IT YOU’RE LUCKY, YOU
CAN MAKE 50,000 TO
60,000 COP PER DAY.
OTHERWISE 2,000 TO
3,000 COP.
IT ALL COMES DOWN TO LUCK.

Back at the market, Juan says THEY KNOW THEY ARE NOT
LEGALLY HERE.

Mike says YEAH.

Juan continues SO THEY TAKE
CARE OF EACH OTHER.
AND THEY CARE OF THE CUSTOMERS
AND PEOPLE THAT COME HERE,
SO PEOPLE CAN FEEL SAFE
WHEN THEY COME SHOP HERE.

Mike says O.K. TELL THEM I HAVE
A DAUGHTER WHO'S 8 YEARS OLD
AND I WANT TO BUY THESE
SUNGLASSES. I'LL GET THEM.

Juan says HE’S THE ONE THAT
RECEIVES THE MONEY.

A man says THANK YOU, SIR.
THANK YOU.

Juan says A LOT OF PEOPLE SAY THAT
DOWNTOWN MEDELLIN
IS VERY DANGEROUS.

Mike says WE WERE TOLD TO BE CAREFUL
HERE. WE WERE TOLD:
"EVERYBODY, WATCH YOUR PHONES,
WATCH YOUR WALLETS."
BUT WHEN YOU'RE TELLING
ME THAT IT'S A COMMUNITY,
I'M WITH YOU OF COURSE,
BUT I FEEL SAFE. I DON'T FEEL
LIKE I SHOULD WATCH OUT HERE.

Fast clips show crowded street stalls selling shows, clothing and trinkets.

Juan says THIS PLACE IS, FOR ME,
ONE OF THE MOST
BEAUTIFUL PLACES
IN MEDELLÍN
BECAUSE YOU SEE, THIS WHOLE
IDEA OF MEDELLÍN
IS MOSTLY BUILDING BUILDINGS
AND MAKING THE CITY
LOOK GOOD FOR
TOURISTS AND INVESTORS.
BUT MOST PEOPLE THAT LIVE
HERE HAVE A DIFFERENT
REALITY.
YOU CAN FIND MORE
THAN ONE THOUSAND
PEOPLE WORKING HERE.

Mike says YEAH, AND THEY HAVE TO GO
SOMEWHERE ELSE IF YOU KICK
THEM OUT, RIGHT?

As they continue walking around the market, Mike says HELLO,
HOW MUCH IS THAT POSTER?
HOW MUCH?

Juan says 20,000 COP.

Mike says I GOT A VINTAGE POSTER FROM A
BICYCLE EXHIBITION IN BOGOTA IN
1984. I JUST PAID ABOUT 20,000
COP, ABOUT 10 OR 12 AMERICAN DOLLARS.

Juan says I KNOW
THE URBAN PROJECTS
ARE NECESSARY
AND A LOT OF GOOD THINGS
HAVE BEEN DONE
IN MEDELLÍN.
BUT YOU HAVE TO MAINTAIN THE BALANCE,
YOU HAVE TO KEET THE
BALANCE.
WE DON’T WANT A VERY BEAUTIFUL
CITY, VERY CLEAN.
CITIES ARE DIRTY.
I DON’T WANT ALL THE MAKE-UP
THEY USUALLY TRY TO
PUT ON A CITY LIKE THIS.
WHAT FO THEY THINK?
WE ARE NOT IN SWITZERLAND,
WE’RE IN COLOMBIA AND
WE ARE PROUD OF BEING
LATIN, YOU KNOW?
I’M ALWAYS GOING TO
BE ON THE PEOPLE’S SIDE.

Mike says MEDELLÍN'S TRANSIT SYSTEM
IS EFFICIENT, BUT IT HAS YET
TO CONNECT ALL OF ITS CITIZENS.
SPRAWLING IN THE NORTH OF THE
CITY, GRANIZAL IS A SECLUDED
SETTLEMENT MAINLY POPULATED
BY MIGRANTS. SETTLING THE
MOUNTAINSIDES OF MEDELLÍN IS A
LAST RESORT FOR SOME
OF THE 6,4 MILLION INTERNALLY
DISPLACED PEOPLE IN COLUMBIA.
BECAUSE ON TOP OF ALL
THE CHALLENGE THAT MEDELLÍN
FACES, COLUMBIA IS STILL
DEALING WITH THE AFTERMATH
OF A COMPLEX CIVIL WAR THAT
LASTED FOR MORE THAN 50 YEARS.
AFTER ALMOST AN HOUR ON DIRT
ROADS WITH POTHOLES THE SIZE OF
CRATERS, I ARRIVE IN GRANIZAL.
I CAME HERE WITH CAMILO.
HE'S A TELECOM ENGINEER WITH A
CONSCIENCE AND HE HAS A
PASSIONATE PROJECT THAT IS
HELPING THIS COMMUNITY.

Camilo Ruiz is in his late-twenties, with a goatee and short brown hair. He wears a green polo-shirt.

As Camilo walks in slow motion and turns to face the screen, an animated caption reads "Camilo Ruiz. Co-founder of Paza Luz."

Mike, Camilo and Alonso walk up a hill.

Mike says WHAT I'VE UNDERSTOOD IS THAT
YOU HAVE A LIGHT IN YOUR BAG?

Camilo says YES, ALONSO IS GOING
TO HELP US.
HE WAS HELPING US BUILD
ALL THESE LIGHTS,
HE WAS THE LEADER OF
THIS PROJECT.

Mike says ALL RIGHT.

Camilo says WE HAVE THE SOLAR
PANEL, SO THE SOLAR
PANEL RECEIVES THE SUN.
THE BATTERY SAVES THE ENERGY
AND THE CONTROLLER
SAYS TO THE BATTERY: "6 O’CLOCK,
BOOM!"

Mike says UP HERE, MUNICIPAL SERVICES
SIMPLY DON'T EXIST.
ROADS ARE UNPAVED,
RUNNING WATER IS A PATCHWORK
OF HOMEMADE PIPES,
AND UNTIL TWO YEARS AGO,
THERE WERE NO STREET LIGHTS.
THAT MAY SOUND TRIVIAL,
BUT THE DARK STREETS LED
TO SERIOUS PROBLEMS: ACCIDENTS,
THEFT AND SEXUAL ASSAULT.
PAZA LUZ, THE SOCIAL ENTERPRISE
CAMILO FOUNDED,
PROPOSED A LIFE-SIZED SOLUTION
TO THE COMMUNITY: TEACH THEM TO
BUILD AND INSTALL SOLAR-POWERED
LAMP POSTS. AS SIMPLE AS THAT.

Mike says WE ARE REALLY QUITE ISOLATED
UP HERE. EVEN UP HERE,
IT'S GANG CONTROLLED?

Camilo says YEAH,
THEY DON’T HAVE A PUBLIC
SERVICE COMPANY,
SO THE
He air quotes GANG
He continues IS LIKE THE
PUBLIC
SERVICE COMPANY.
SO YOU NEED TO
UNDERSTAND THAT
THE PEOPLE IN THE GANGS
ARE THE PEOPLE
LIVING HERE,
THEY’RE PART OF THE
COMMUNITY.
SO, IT’S REALLY
COMPLEX.
YOU CAN’T SAY
THAT THERY ARE THE BAD
GUYS AND THESE PEOPLE
ARE THE GOOD GUYS.
IT’S JUST A MIX
OF EVERYTHING.

Children play in swings sitting on the edge of a hill.

Camilo continues THE MOST
IMPORTANT THING
IS THAT THE LAMPS
ARE BUILT BY
THE LOCAL COMMUNITY.
WE NEED TO EMPOWER
PEOPLE BECAUSE
THE PEOPLE ARE THE ONLY ONES
WHO CAN GUARANTEE THE SOLUTION
ON THE LONG TERM.
THE LOCAL COMMUNITY
HAS TO OWN THE PROJECT.

Mike glues a solar panel to a structure Alonso is holding.

Juan says THE BLACK WITH
THE BLACK,
AND THE RED WITH THE RED.
YEAH, THAT ONE WITH THIS.
NO, YOU CONNECTED THIS ONE.

Mike says OH, THAT WAS GREAT NEWS. CUT!

Camilo and Mike laugh.

Mike says THIS IS IT! THIS IS TACTICAL
URBANISM, GLUE ON THE FINGERS,
OUT ON A ROAD ON THE UPPER EDGE
OF MEDELLÍN, PUTTING UP A SIMPLE
LIGHT FOR A 100 BUCKS AND CREATING
A SAFE ENVIRONMENT.
THIS IS... YOU DON'T GET MUCH
MORE SIMPLE THAN THIS.
A SIMPLE SOLUTION TO A LOT
OF BIG PROBLEMS. IT'S BRILLIANT
TO BE A PART OF THIS.
AND NOW WE'RE GOING TO TEST IT!

Camilo says I DON’T THINK
IT’S GOING TO LIGHT
IMMEDIATELY.

Mike a screws a light bulb into a socket.

Camilo says OH YEAH!

The light bulb turns on.

Mike says RIGHT THERE.

Camilo says SO THIS IS PAZA LUZ.

Camilo smiles.

Mike says PAZA LUZ.
PEACE AND LIGHT, MAN.

(music plays)

Mike says THIS IS AN EXAMPLE OF WHAT IT
LOOKS LIKE WHEN OUR HARD WORK IS
DONE AND WE GET THE POST UP
AND EVERYTHING.

Camilo points forwards and says THE WHITE LIGHTS
ARE PEACE LIGHTS
OVER THERE.

Mile says PEACE AND LIGHT.

Camilo says PEACE AND LIGHT,
THERE ARE FOUR OF THEM.

Against a mountain, an animated caption reads "Solar lampposts."

Mike says YEAH. YEAH.

At night, they walk around the neighborhood.

Mike says I CAN'T IMAGINE THESE STAIRS
IN THE DARK WITHOUT THE LIGHTS
HERE. AND YOU CAN SEE THIS
AMAZING VIEW OF MEDELLÍN
AND ALL THE SORT OF CHEAP
YELLOW LIGHTS, AND HERE WE ARE
ON THE UPPER EDGES OF THE CITY
AND WE HAVE THE MODERN
LED SOLAR-POWERED LIGHTS.
I LOVE THAT CONTRAST,
IT'S FANTASTIC.

Camilo says YEAH AND WHEN
WE STARTED THIS PROJECT,
WE REALIZED THAT YOU
SEE MEDELLÍN BECAUSE
THEY HAVE LIGHT.
THE MEDELLÍN CITIZENS DON’T
SEE GRANIZAL
BECAUSE IT ISN’T LIT.
IT CAN’T BE RECOGNIZED
WHEN IT’S NIGHT.
SO, LIGHT IS A SYNONYM OF
DIGNITY AND VISIBILITY,
SO WHAT WE’RE TRYING TO SAY
IS THAT THE LIGHT HERE MEANS
ALL OF THAT.

Mike says FROM INVISIBLE AND FORGOTTEN
TO VISIBLE AND DIGNIFIED
WITH PEACE AND LIGHT.

Now, Mike stands on a bridge over a road.

Mike says FOR ALL THE TALK OF THE AMAZING
URBAN TRANSFORMATION
IN THIS CITY, THIS IS STILL
THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM
THAT NOBODY IS TALKING ABOUT.
NONE OF THE TRANSPORTATION
FACILITIES THAT THE CITY
HAS PUT INTO PLACE,
EXCEPT FOR ONE TRAM LINE,
ARE DOING ANYTHING ABOUT TAKING
CARS OFF THE ROADS
AND DISCOURAGING DRIVING.
FROM A TRANSPORTATION
PERSPECTIVE,
THIS IS THE GREATEST CHALLENGE
THAT THIS CITY FACES,
AND THEY ARE FAR BEHIND.
CULTURE STILL REIGNS SUPREME.
BUT THINGS ARE CHANGING...
SLOWLY. INCYCLA, A COMPLETELY
FREE BIKE-SHARE PROGRAM,
WAS CREATED IN 2011.
IT WAS THE FIRST OF ITS KIND
IN LATIN AMERICA AND IS STILL,
FOR NOW, THE ONLY BIKE SHARE
SYSTEM IN COLUMBIA. BEYOND
MORE AND MORE PEOPLE ARE
DARING ENOUGH TO BIKE
THIS COMPLEX CITY, EVEN THOUGH
IT CAN BE A MIND-BOGGLING
WAY-FINDING CHALLENGE.

Teenagers drive their bicycles grabbing onto a moving truck.

Mike and Carolina Daza chat as they drive bicycles. Carolina is in her twenties with long black hair. She wears shorts and a blouse.

Mike says SO YOU'VE EXPERIENCED THE
WORLD'S BEST BICYCLE CITIES.
YOU'VE RIDDEN ON BEST-PRACTICE
INFRASTRUCTURE, AND NOW YOU
LIVE IN MEDELLÍN.
WHY DO YOU RIDE A BICYCLE HERE?

Carolina says YEAH, I KNOW I'M A BIT CRAZY
DOING IT, BUT I THINK IT'S A
RESPONSIBILITY AS A CITIZEN
TO REALLY START A MOVEMENT,
OR TO REALLY EMPOWER OTHERS
TO TRY IT. AS ANY CITY,
YOU JUST HAVE TO START
AND THEN YOU'LL SEE WHAT
HAPPENS. SO I'VE BEEN HERE FOR
TWO YEARS, CYCLING EVERY DAY,
UP AND DOWN, AND IT HAS WORKED.
IT'S A BIT RISKY, AS THERE'S
NO INFRASTRUCTURE OTHER
THAN THE ONE WE'RE CYCLING.

As Carolina stops her bicycle in slow motion and looks at the screen, an animated caption reads "Carolina Daza. Artist and Co-founder of Mujeres en bici enamoran."

Mike says SO I THINK IT'S A BIKE LANE,
RIGHT? BUT I THINK IT'S A LITTLE
BIT OF A SHARED SPACE IN MAYBE
THE WORST POSSIBLE SENSE.

Carolina laughs.

Mike says PARKING! TELL ME ABOUT THE GROUP
THAT YOU STARTED.

Carolina says IT'S CALLED MUJERES EN BICI
ENAMORAN,
WHICH BASICALLY IS:
"WOMEN ON BICYCLES
MAKE YOU WANT TO FALL IN LOVE."
WE'RE VERY AWARE OF OUR
CULTURE, SO WE NEED TO BE SEXY,
BEAUTIFUL, CHARMING.

Mike says YOU HAVE TO GET CHECK
"LOVE" AS WELL, RIGHT?

Carolina says EXACTLY.

Mike says AMORE.

Carolina says YEAH. THE FIRST THING
DID WAS A HASHTAG ON TWITTER
AND INSTAGRAM,
#MUJERESENBICIENAMORAN,
AND WE JUST STARTED USING
PICTURES OF WOMEN, AND SUDDENLY
THE ACCOUNT STARTED TO GROW
IN FOLLOWERS AT AN AMAZING
SPEED. EVERYONE WAS RETWEETING
AND COMMENTING. NEWS SWEEPING
ON TV, ON RADIO STATIONS,
ON THE NEWSPAPERS.
PEOPLE JUST COULDN'T BELIEVE
THAT WE ARE NOT ACTIVISTS,
WE DON'T FIGHT.
WE'RE JUST CYCLING AS A PUBLIC
TRANSPORT. WE BELIEVE ON
GETTING THE PEOPLE ON
THE BIKES, AND THEN
THE INFRASTRUCTURE WILL COME.

They stop and Carolina points forward. An animated map appears next to them. It shows a winding bicycle track.

Carolina says SO IT GOES HERE, THEN TO
THE RIGHT, THEN YOU GO IN,
AND THEN STRAIGHT AHEAD.

Mike says THIS IS THE CRAZIEST BICYCLE
INFRASTRUCTURE I THINK I'VE EVER
SEEN. IT'S AN EXPENSIVE CYCLE
TRACK. THEY'VE INVESTED A LOT OF
MONEY IN THE QUALITY. IT SIMPLY
DOESN'T MAKE ANY SENSE.
THIS INFRASTRUCTURE IS
A CLASSIC EXAMPLE OF TRYING
TO SQUEEZE BICYCLES INTO
A CAR-CENTRIC MATRIX, INSTEAD
OF TAKING THEM SERIOUSLY AS
TRANSPORT. CHOOSING SUBSTANDARD
DESIGN SOLUTIONS LIKE CROSSING
A TWO-WAY STREET IS UNSAFE,
INCOHERENT AND
COUNTER-INTUITIVE.

Carolina says SERIOUSLY.

Mike says I DON'T KNOW WHAT
YOU GUYS ARE DOING NOW,
BECAUSE YOU'RE ON SOME KIND
OF WEIRD RAMP. GOOD LUCK!

They cross the street and ride along a sidewalk between two avenues.

Mike says HOW WAS THAT?
IT'S ROCK AND ROLL.
NO, YOU DIDN'T MAKE IT UP
THE RAMP, DUDE.
ALL OVER THE WORLD
CITIES ARE
WORKING TOWARDS BECOMING MORE
LIFE-SIZED. IN THEIR OWN WAYS.
BUT IN SO MANY CASES, THEY'RE
SMALL PROBLEMS HERE AND THERE
BECAUSE THEY DON'T DARE TO MESS
WITH THE BIG PICTURE.
HERE IN MEDELLÍN, HOWEVER,
I'VE REALIZED THAT THERE ARE
NO BAND-AIDS. THERE IS ONLY
OPEN-HEART SURGERY.
THE RIVER PARK IS THE CITY'S
NEWEST PLAN, AND IT IS MASSIVE.
IT INVOLVES BURYING
THE UNSIGHTLY AND POLLUTING
HIGHWAY THAT CUTS THE CITY
IN HALF AND PREVENTS DECENT
ACCESS TO THE RIVER.
YOU HEARD THAT RIGHT:
THEY'RE GOING TO BURY
19 KILOMETERS OF HIGHWAY.

Now, Mike and Jorge Pérez Jaramillo stand by a highway. Jorge is in his mid-forties, clean-shaven with short black hair. He is wearing a white shirt and blue jeans.

Mike says THE RIVER, THE HISTORICAL SPINE,
THE LIFEBLOOD OF THE CITY,
YOU'RE TELLING ME IT'S HERE,
BUT I CAN'T EVEN SEE THE RIVER.
WHERE IS IT? WHERE IS THE RIVER?

Jorge says YEAH! THE RIVER
IS BEHIND THIS.

Mike says BETWEEN THIS TRAFFIC GOING
THIS WAY AND THE TRAFFIC
GOING THAT WAY,
SOMEWHERE DOWN THERE,
THERE'S A BEAUTIFUL RIVER.

Jorge says WE DON'T HAVE A RIVER.
WE HAVE HIGHWAYS.
WHAT WE HAVE IS THE IDEA
THAT THROUGH THESE KINDS OF
INTERVENTIONS, WITH THESE KINDS
OF PROJECTS, PARKS AND PUBLIC
SPACES, THE CITIZENS
WILL RECLAIM THE CITY
FOR THEMSELVES.

As Felipe walks in slow motion, he turns to face the screen and a caption appears on screen. It reads "Jorge Pérez Jaramillo. Architect and Chief Planner. City of Medellín, 2012-2015."

Jorge says THE STRATEGY IS THAT WE HAVE
TO COMBINE THE FUNCTIONAL
THINGS WITH THE USE
OF THE RIVER FOR THE CITIZENS
AND ALSO WITH THE INTEGRATION
OF THE CITY, BECAUSE WE HAVE
SOME PROBLEMS IN GHETTOS
IN SOME ZONES BECAUSE THEY ARE
UNCONNECTED. SO THE URBAN
INTEGRATION OF BOTH MARGINS
OF THE CITY WOULD BECOME
A POWER, A NEW ENERGY,
FOR THE CITY LIFE.
SO FOR THE FUTURE,
WHAT WE'D LIKE TO HAVE
IS A CITY CONNECTED, INTEGRATED
ALONG THE RIVER, WHICH IS
VERY DIFFERENT FROM
WHAT HAPPENED IN THE PAST,
BECAUSE THE CITY HAS BEEN
DIVIDED BY THE RIVER. SO IT'S
A SOCIAL TRANSFORMATION,
AN URBAN TRANSFORMATION,
A FUNCTIONAL TRANSFORMATION.
IT IS ACTUALLY A NEW CITY
ALONG THE RIVER.

An aerial view shows a river crossing the city and a system of highways.

Mike says IT'S NOT JUST GETTING RID OF
AN UNSIGHTLY AND POLLUTING
MOTORWAY, BURYING IT UNDERGROUND
AND MAKING IT A NICE PARK.
YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT ECONOMIC
DEVELOPMENT. YOU'RE TALKING
ABOUT A BUSINESS MODEL
FOR THIS HUGE INVESTMENT.

Jorge says THE IDEA IS TO CREATE VALUE
INVESTMENTS, ATTRACT ECONOMICAL
GROWTH INSIDE THE CITY THROUGH
URBANIZATION. WHAT MEDELLÍN HAS
DONE ALONG THE LAST THREE
DECADES IS BUILDING PUBLIC LIFE.
IT'S REINTEGRATING OUR SOCIETY
THAT WAS FRAGMENTED
AND CONFLICTED. SO WE BELIEVE
THAT PUBLIC SPACE IS
THE BEST TOOL FOR THE CREATION
OF THE CITY, OF THE FUTURE.

Mike says SO IT LOOKS LIKE WE FINALLY HAVE
THE PERMISSION... SOMETHING
WE'RE EXPERIENCING EVERYWHERE
IN MEDELLÍN...
WE FINALLY HAVE PERMISSION
TO ACTUALLY ENTER THE PROJECT.

Mike points a man talking to two people from the project.

Jorge says THERE'S THE WATER, FINALLY!

Mike says THERE IT IS!

Jorge says YEAH.

Mike says O.K. WELL, THIS COULD BE LIKE
PARIS: THE CITY OF BRIDGES.
JUST A LOT OF BICYCLE
AND PEDESTRIAN BRIDGES
ACROSS THE RIVER,
PROVIDING ACCESS, AND TRAMWAYS
AND WHATNOT. I SENSE A REAL
STRONG CIVIC PRIDE IN MEDELLÍN
AMONG THE PEOPLE. WAS THAT THERE
BEFORE, OR DID THAT COME
WITH THE TRANSFORMATION?

They walk past construction workers working.

Jorge says I THINK IT HAS BECOME
MORE POWERFUL AFTER
THE TRANSFORMATION PROCESS
BECAUSE THE CITIZENS
HAVE BEEN CONSCIOUS
OF THEIR ROLE. FROM MY POINT
OF VIEW, BEFORE, WE HAD A LOT
OF DWELLERS, AND NOW
WE HAVE A LOT OF CITIZENS,
WHICH IS DIFFERENT.
IT COULD BE THE SAME AMOUNT
OF PEOPLE, BUT NOT THE SAME
CONDITION, BECAUSE A CITIZEN IS
RESPONSIBLE, HAS RIGHTS
BUT HAS RESPONSIBILITIES.
A DWELLER ONLY HAS RIGHTS.

Mike says SO SOMEBODY WHO JUST LIVES
IN THE CITY AND A CITIZEN,
THAT'S THE DISTINCTION THAT
YOU'RE MAKING AND YOU'RE MAYBE
CREATING MORE CITIZENS OUT
OF THE PEOPLE WHO LIVE HERE?

Fast clips show local people of different ages looking at the screen and smiling.

Jorge says YEAH. AND THAT EXPLAINS WHY,
EVEN THOUGH WE HAVE STRONG
CHANGES BETWEEN THE MAYOR'S
POLITICAL IDEAS OR PARTIES,
THE PROCESS CONTINUES.
BECAUSE THE PROCESS DOESN'T
DEPEND ONLY ON THE POLITICIANS
OR THE LEADERS. IT DEPENDS
ON THE CITIZENS. AND I THINK
THE MOST POWERFUL THING THAT
MEDELLÍN CAN SHARE WITH
THE WORLD, IT'S THAT YOU CAN
HAVE ILLUSIONS. IT'S THAT
YOU CAN BE SURE THAT IF YOU DO
THE RIGHT WORK, THE CITY
WILL BE BETTER. SO EVERY CITY
OF THE WORLD CAN SEE THROUGH
THE MEDELLÍN'S LEARNING
PROCESS, THAT EVERYTHING
IS POSSIBLE. EVEN THE WORST
CRITICAL MOMENTS,
EVEN THE WORST SITUATIONS
CAN BE SOLVED THROUGH
THE POWER OF CITIZENS.

Mike says IS THIS A LIFE-SIZED CITY?

Jorge thinks and says I THINK WE WILL BECOME,
SOMEDAY, A LIFE-SIZED CITY.
BUT WE'RE WORKING ON THAT.

Mike says IN MAKING THIS SERIES,
THE IDEA WAS ALWAYS
THAT IF A NEIGHBOURHOOD
OR A STREET REALLY FELT
LIFE-SIZED, A PLACE THAT
REALLY TOUCHED ME IN MY HEART,
IT COULD BECOME AN EXTENSION OF
THE URBAN MAP THAT I STARTED
DESIGNING A FEW YEARS AGO.
SO, HERE WE GO.

Mike walks into a tattoo store.

Mike hands a drawing to a female tattooist and says THIS IS COMUNA 8.

The tattooist is in her middle twenties, with long straight light brown hair. She wears a black sleeveless T-shirt.

He shows her the tattoos on his shoulder and says YOU CAN SEE I HAVE SOME PARIS,
MONTREAL, AND THEN I WANT
TO PUT IT UP HERE,
SO IT LOOKS LIKE THE CITY IS
CONNECTED. SO YOU CAN RIDE YOUR
BIKE FROM PARIS TO MEDELLÍN.

The tattooist says PERFECT.

Mike says IT'S NOT...

The tattooist speaks Spanish.

Mike says HOLA!

Then, he turns looking for somebody and laughs.

Mike says IT'S REALLY IMPORTANT THAT
WE UNDERSTAND EACH OTHER
WHEN WE'RE DOING THIS.

The tattooist chuckles.

The tattooist starts to tattoo the back of his shoulder.

Mike says IS IT THE GREEN FINISHED?

The tattooist says YEAH.

Mike says AND NOW, AFTER THE GREEN?

The tattooist says C-8.

Mike says C-8. COMUNA 8.

Once finished, Mike looks at his new tattoo in a mirror and says MEDELLÍN UNDER MY SKIN.

(music plays)

At night, Mike drives a bicycle.

Mike concludes MOST CITIES IN THE WORLD
CAN BE SUMMED UP WITH
A COUPLE OF WELL-PLACED
METAPHORS. BUT NOT MEDELLÍN.
FOR THIS CITY, YOU NEED
THE ENTIRE DICTIONARY.
FRAGMENTED. DYNAMIC.
INCLUSIVE. DIVIDED. INSISTENT.
STUBBORN. PROUD. INNOVATIVE.
PEOPLE FRIENDLY. I THINK EVERY
CITY IN THE WORLD HAS BEEN
ALL THOSE THINGS AT SOME POINT
IN THEIR HISTORY, BUT THERE'S
NOWHERE ELSE IN THE WORLD
THAT IS ALL THOSE THINGS LIKE
MEDELLÍN IS RIGHT NOW.

Against a black screen showing electric pieces of city maps, the end credits roll.

Hosted by, Mikael Colville-Andersen.

Directed by Myriam Berthelet, Nicolas Boucher, Michel D. T. Lam.

Producer, Nicolas Boucher.

Executive Producers, Jane Jankovic and Natasha Negrea.

Logo: DBC2.

Copyright, 2017.

Watch: Ep. 1 - Medellin