Precarity and resistance: Mediating home across contemporary Europe through the short hybrid film

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Sborgi, Anna Viola
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Film and Screen Media, University College Cork
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Addressing an increasingly globalised housing crisis, European filmmakers have turned their attention to the precarity of home, generating a vast mediascape of activist documentaries, essay films, shorts, and some features. Adopting a film and urbanism approach, in this article I take a specific focus on the short film form, framing it as a space for experimentation, and offering a snapshot of a wider transnational corpus of media. I compare two 2019 short films by two emerging women artists: British Ayo Akingbade’s Dear Babylon and Portuguese Leonor Teles Dogs Barking at Birds (Cães Que Ladram Aos Pássaros). These artists’ works establish film as a form of resistance while, at the same time, being rooted in an understanding of socio-economic inequality in housing. Purposedly merging observational, participatory methods with the fictional, these two films share a focus on young people in uncertain living conditions. Grappling with their individual situations the youth at the centre of these stories build forms of resistance to their present housing struggles in the attempt to shape a better future for themselves and their community.
Housing , Resistance , Short film , Transnational , Precarity
Sborgi, A. V. (2024) 'Precarity and resistance: Mediating home across contemporary Europe through the short hybrid film', Alphaville: Journal of Film and Screen Media, 26, pp. 124-140. doi:
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