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Like an Invisible Giant

Can Batlló and the Imaginary Cities A DOCUMENTary film by PANÓPTICA & LACOL A critic look to contemporary cities through the transformation of Can Batlló and the evolution of Barcelona model screenplay: Panóptica/LaCol dop’s: Panóptica/LaCol Editing: Panóptica editing assistants: LaCol sound mix: Francesc Gosalves (Reclab) voice over: Arnau Andrés colorist: Gema Briones Can Batlló pictures: Xavi Corbella archive footage: Music: Diversos Artistes ( Genre: Documental lenght: 64’ original language: Català

our approach

Can Batlló, once industrial heart of Barcelona, is today an invisible giant in the middle the city, behind its own walls. Premises waiting for a transformation, object of demands and popular struggle for years, and nowadays going through a recovery process, led by citizens themselves. Through the evolution of this recovery, we ask ourselves which are the rules of the game, the actors, interests and strategies that have been driving urban transformation in Barcelona for the last 30 years, and that have taken us to current situation, to a private propriety’s Can Batlló, in front of a people’s will Can Batlló. From there, we look toward future, and we think about other possible Barcelonas, about brand new cities that we haven’t imagined yet.

a project on a constant development 11th june 2011, after long struggle, Can Batlló was, in part, a place open to citizens, beginning with the recovery of 11th Block, spearhead of a wider demand, which pretends to take the whole place back to neighborhood, to city. Some time before that, architecture collective LaCol, based in Sants neighborhood, joined forces with Panóptica, a mutant audiovisual project, to record the evolution of this recovery. From this starting point, a movie grew, based on our own necessity of learning, comunicating, keeping and at the same time sharing with the world, a urban process that we consider of crucial meaning, specially nowadays. More than a year after that entry, we present this movie, which pretends, through the observation of Can Batlló experiences and the statments of several experts in urbanism, architecture, sociology, politics and citizenship, to make visible other urban realities, different ways of building a city, as well as other perspectives to understand our closest environment. The documentary appears at the same time that the campaign for a complete recovery of Can Batllo gets strong again, and it’s conceived as a free tool, with the intention of arriving to any person with interest in contemporary urban development processes.

with the participation of:

Jordi Borja – Geographer and urbanist, former Major’s Liutenant for PSUC (1983-1995)

Enric Batlle – Batlle i Roig Architects

Itziar González – Architect and urbanist,

carme trilla – Economist, former Housing

Santi cirugeda – Architect/Recetas urbanas

daniel jiménez– Lawyer of Casc Antic’s

ferran aguiló – Platform for Can Batlló, cooperativism expert

Isabel Segura – Historian

Ricard Fayos – Urbanism & Infrastructures Technical Director in Barcelona’s Town Hall

Secretary in Generalitat (ICV)

david juárez – Architect /Straddle 3

Lluís cases – Garrigues Lawyers

former Ciutat Vella’s Alderman

Neighbours Association

Josep mª Domingo – Sants Social Center Presi- Sebastià Jornet – Architect and urbanist,


President of the Catalan Architects and Urbanists Association

Josep Mª Montaner – Architect, marc Dalmau – Member of cooperatives, urban partment professor in ETSAB sociologist

critic and Head of De-

zaida muxí – Architect and professor in ETSAB

distribution, promotion & other interesting facts Being our intention to bring the content of this movie to the highest number of people possible, in a free way, but keeping at the same time control over the uses that may be derived of it, the option of using a Copyleft license to make the registry seemed the most accurate one to our needs. Copyleft licenses, such as Creative Commons, among others, are based on the idea of shared knowledge and free use and remix, without commercial will, of every creation, idea that we subscribe 100%, and that we consider one of the foundations of creation and culture. Therefore, to enhance the free and safe distribution of our film, we chose a Creative Commons Atribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license. For complete info about this license, you can visit: Following this filosophy, every material used in the documentary and not created by us (archive footage, music) also shares this very condition of being copyleft licensed, and can be found on and Our idea is to accompany the movie for a while, arranging screenings wherever we are required, or wherever we think it may be interesting to do so. We’re not only interested in the screening itself, but in the debates and conversations that it may arouse. we have made several screenings in places like universities, associations, cultural centers... and, of course, the very Can Batlló. At the same time, we have been creating a dvd EDITION which in part is conceived to be delivered in the places where screenings are held, and also to be distributed through different cooperatives which still have to be considered. Our final intention, some time from now, is to finish documentary’s trajectory on the internet, where it should be available for everyone to watch it, share it, remix it or make comments and amends, always within the boundaries that our distribution license sets. For further information about this project, you can visit, where you can also take a look to the full-lenght version of all the interviews that form our film.

About the authors Panóptica Panóptica is Natxo Medina, freelance videographer and editor, related for years to the world of culture and visual works, developing a carrer in such diverse fields as underground documentary, musical journalism, video-essay, fiction, interviews, reports or live shows. Panóptica are also Natxo’s coWORKERS (sound recorders, cameramen, colorists, writers, artists, friends overall), who help to bring projects to reality, and love to challenge their skills. Panóptica is a mutant collective formed by audiovisual professionals, united by a common objective and sensitivity.

LaCoL In 2008, two groups of friends, then still arCHITECTURE dstudents, decide to rent a work space where sharing final degree project experiences. It was a “local” (spanish word for a non living space, usually a working place) located in Sants. neighborhood. Spelling the word “local” backwards, they found their name: LaCol. LaCol define themselves as a collective of young architecs which work in a horizontal way, putting on this work their illusions, interests and knowledge. From shared ethics, they understand architecture as a way to transform society, to work on their close environment, in a critical manner, to change it for the best.

Press release  

Press release of the documentary "Like an invisible giant. Can Batlló and the imaginary cities".

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