Neighbourhood [The Documentary]

Episodes

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01Neighbourhood: Fake Marriages For Real Homes20180801In Mumbai, young couples struggle to rent a flat unless they are married. Nicole and Ajit, both in their mid 20s, met in Mumbai, the city of dreams. They began dreaming of wanting to live together. But as a couple not married to each other, the housing system does not allow them to find a flat to rent together. They decide to pose as an engaged couple, about to be married.

Among the 22 million people who get to call Mumbai home, those who are not in conventional heterosexual marriages are morally discredited and excluded from flat rentals. The housing system - represented in a hierarchy of estate agents, landlords, housing associations and elaborate committees of residents, subjects them to moral scrutiny and discriminates against them.

Recently, the Indian Supreme Court has ruled that an adult couple has a right to live together without marriage. However, society still refuses to accept this freedom of choice. This is filtered through a mass way of thinking - where marriage is considered the only socially acceptable norm for a man and woman to live together.

So, even in cosmopolitan Mumbai, couples who are not married, are forced to spin an elaborate web of deception - lie, pose as siblings, acquire fake marriage certificates, or just live separately, to hide themselves away. All this, to just exist, in this great, and vibrant metropolis.

Presented by Shirley Abraham.
Image: Composite by D8 Design Agency

Trying to rent a flat in the biggest city in India - Mumbai, a city of millions.

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

01Neighbourhood: Fake Marriages For Real Homes2018080120180802 (WS)In Mumbai, young couples struggle to rent a flat unless they are married. Nicole and Ajit, both in their mid 20s, met in Mumbai, the city of dreams. They began dreaming of wanting to live together. But as a couple not married to each other, the housing system does not allow them to find a flat to rent together. They decide to pose as an engaged couple, about to be married.

Among the 22 million people who get to call Mumbai home, those who are not in conventional heterosexual marriages are morally discredited and excluded from flat rentals. The housing system - represented in a hierarchy of estate agents, landlords, housing associations and elaborate committees of residents, subjects them to moral scrutiny and discriminates against them.

Recently, the Indian Supreme Court has ruled that an adult couple has a right to live together without marriage. However, society still refuses to accept this freedom of choice. This is filtered through a mass way of thinking - where marriage is considered the only socially acceptable norm for a man and woman to live together.

So, even in cosmopolitan Mumbai, couples who are not married, are forced to spin an elaborate web of deception - lie, pose as siblings, acquire fake marriage certificates, or just live separately, to hide themselves away. All this, to just exist, in this great, and vibrant metropolis.

Presented by Shirley Abraham.
Image: Composite by D8 Design Agency

Trying to rent a flat in the biggest city in India - Mumbai, a city of millions.

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

02Neighbourhood: We Might As Well Be Finnish20180808How has Finland been shaped by its two very different neighbours, Sweden and Russia?

These days, Finland is considered to be one of the best governed, least corrupt, most educated nations in the world. It has even earned itself the title of 'World’s Happiest Country'. Yet the self-deprecating Finns have long seen Finland as a scrappy underdog wedged between two much bigger countries, Sweden and Russia. There’s even a saying of sorts that captures this sentiment: “We can’t be Swedish. We don’t want to be Russian. We might as well be Finnish.” Kavita Pillay travels to Finland during the country’s centenary of independence to find out how this Nordic nation has been profoundly shaped by its two much bigger - and very different - neighbours.

Image: Composite by D8 Design Agency

Talking to Finns about what it means to be a nation squashed between Sweden and Russia

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

02Neighbourhood: We Might As Well Be Finnish2018080820180809 (WS)How has Finland been shaped by its two very different neighbours, Sweden and Russia?

These days, Finland is considered to be one of the best governed, least corrupt, most educated nations in the world. It has even earned itself the title of 'World's Happiest Country'. Yet the self-deprecating Finns have long seen Finland as a scrappy underdog wedged between two much bigger countries, Sweden and Russia. There's even a saying of sorts that captures this sentiment: “We can't be Swedish. We don't want to be Russian. We might as well be Finnish.” Kavita Pillay travels to Finland during the country's centenary of independence to find out how this Nordic nation has been profoundly shaped by its two much bigger - and very different - neighbours.

Image: Composite by D8 Design Agency

Talking to Finns about what it means to be a nation squashed between Sweden and Russia

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

03Neighbourhood: At Conscience Point20180815The Hamptons in the East End of Long Island, New York, is the playground of the super-rich, the epicentre of a luxury property boom, with developers scheming for any scrap of land on which to make millions. Meanwhile the original inhabitants of this beautiful peninsula, the Shinnecock Indians, find themselves pushed to a point of near extinction, squeezed onto a tiny 1000-acre reservation. Over hundreds of years the Shinnecock have seen their ancient burial grounds ploughed up unceremoniously for the widening of roads, golf courses and new mansions. On the reservation wounds run deep.

Treva Wurmfeld and Shinnecock activist, Becky Genia explore the roots of American inequity, greed and pollution. They look at the contrast between those for whom beautiful places are a commodity - who regard land as raw material to be developed for profit and pleasure - and those locals for whom land means community, belonging, heritage and home.

Photo: Montage by D8

The Shinnecock Indians' struggle as their ancestral land is surrounded by the super-rich

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

03Neighbourhood: At Conscience Point2018081520180816 (WS)The Hamptons in the East End of Long Island, New York, is the playground of the super-rich, the epicentre of a luxury property boom, with developers scheming for any scrap of land on which to make millions. Meanwhile the original inhabitants of this beautiful peninsula, the Shinnecock Indians, find themselves pushed to a point of near extinction, squeezed onto a tiny 1000-acre reservation. Over hundreds of years the Shinnecock have seen their ancient burial grounds ploughed up unceremoniously for the widening of roads, golf courses and new mansions. On the reservation wounds run deep.

Treva Wurmfeld and Shinnecock activist, Becky Genia explore the roots of American inequity, greed and pollution. They look at the contrast between those for whom beautiful places are a commodity - who regard land as raw material to be developed for profit and pleasure - and those locals for whom land means community, belonging, heritage and home.

Photo: Montage by D8

The Shinnecock Indians' struggle as their ancestral land is surrounded by the super-rich

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

04Neighbourhood: How A Garden Grows20180822Lowell has seen better days. Once a bustling mill town, in the 1920s and 30s it was hit hard by broad shifts in manufacturing that rocked the northeast United States. In the decades since, an influx of immigrants from all over the world has moved in, making Lowell a vibrant place to live despite the departure of industry. However, it remains a largely low-income city, and in the past few years an effort to address urban access to fresh food has brought community gardens to some of the poorest neighbourhoods. Community gardens have a reputation for improving neighbourhoods, transforming blight, and lowering crime rates. With the city’s large immigrant population, each garden serves a diverse array of neighbours, from Puerto Rican to Burmese, each investing their sweat equity into making Lowell a liveable home.

Sounds idyllic, right? So why are tomatoes disappearing in the middle of the night? What is captured on the security cameras that monitor the chain link fences bordering the gardens? And, as property values rise, could the gardens themselves be to blame?

Alexis Pancrazi talks to recent immigrants, long-time Lowellians, and a local historian to try to get a better picture of how the gardens are part and parcel of the city’s efforts to reinvent itself, and makes some surprising discoveries along the way about how community gardens can impact individual lives and a city at large.

Music by Lee Rosevere and AA Aalto
Image montage: D8

In a small city, a community garden represents change. But is it good or bad?

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

04Neighbourhood: How A Garden Grows2018082220180823 (WS)Lowell has seen better days. Once a bustling mill town, in the 1920s and 30s it was hit hard by broad shifts in manufacturing that rocked the northeast United States. In the decades since, an influx of immigrants from all over the world has moved in, making Lowell a vibrant place to live despite the departure of industry. However, it remains a largely low-income city, and in the past few years an effort to address urban access to fresh food has brought community gardens to some of the poorest neighbourhoods. Community gardens have a reputation for improving neighbourhoods, transforming blight, and lowering crime rates. With the city’s large immigrant population, each garden serves a diverse array of neighbours, from Puerto Rican to Burmese, each investing their sweat equity into making Lowell a liveable home.

Sounds idyllic, right? So why are tomatoes disappearing in the middle of the night? What is captured on the security cameras that monitor the chain link fences bordering the gardens? And, as property values rise, could the gardens themselves be to blame?

Alexis Pancrazi talks to recent immigrants, long-time Lowellians, and a local historian to try to get a better picture of how the gardens are part and parcel of the city’s efforts to reinvent itself, and makes some surprising discoveries along the way about how community gardens can impact individual lives and a city at large.

Music by Lee Rosevere and AA Aalto
Image montage: D8

In a small city, a community garden represents change. But is it good or bad?

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

05Neighbourhood: The Battle For The Future Of Lagos20180829The story of one of the most ambitious, privatised cities in West Africa, which involves dredging up millions of tons of sand to build 10 square kilometres of land off the coast of Lagos.
Reporters Katie Jane Fernelius and Ishan Thakore look at Eko Atlantic City, a city with its own private electricity, water supply and sewage system that works to make Lagos the Dubai of Africa, and fight coastal erosion. But the construction of the city displaced the residents and patrons of what remained of Bar Beach, a neighbourhood that is tangled up in the history of Lagos. At one time it was a popular destination for Sunday picnics, the setting for variety television shows, a place where criminals were publicly executed by firing squad and is still a place of worship for Pentecostal Nigerians.
Bar Beach had been eroded by the ocean for years – the small area that remained was nevertheless home to tens of thousands who lived on plank houses on the water. In 2008, with one day’s notice, residents say police evicted them with tear gas and fire. That same year, a famous developer broke ground on Eko Atlantic City.
The developers claim that they offer a vision for the future of Lagos. But those evicted, who are among the 14 million urban poor in the African megacity, worry that they won’t be included in that future.

The story of one of the most ambitious, privatised cities off the coast of Lagos.

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

05Neighbourhood: The Battle For The Future Of Lagos2018082920180830 (WS)The story of one of the most ambitious, privatised cities in West Africa, which involves dredging up millions of tons of sand to build 10 square kilometres of land off the coast of Lagos.
Reporters Katie Jane Fernelius and Ishan Thakore look at Eko Atlantic City, a city with its own private electricity, water supply and sewage system that works to make Lagos the Dubai of Africa, and fight coastal erosion. But the construction of the city displaced the residents and patrons of what remained of Bar Beach, a neighbourhood that is tangled up in the history of Lagos. At one time it was a popular destination for Sunday picnics, the setting for variety television shows, a place where criminals were publicly executed by firing squad and is still a place of worship for Pentecostal Nigerians.
Bar Beach had been eroded by the ocean for years – the small area that remained was nevertheless home to tens of thousands who lived on plank houses on the water. In 2008, with one day’s notice, residents say police evicted them with tear gas and fire. That same year, a famous developer broke ground on Eko Atlantic City.
The developers claim that they offer a vision for the future of Lagos. But those evicted, who are among the 14 million urban poor in the African megacity, worry that they won’t be included in that future.

The story of one of the most ambitious, privatised cities off the coast of Lagos.

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.