An unfinished 45-story skyscraper in Caracas, Venezuela, is known as the world’s tallest vertical slum. The dilapidated building symbolizes the country’s socialist turn under Hugo Chavez's leadership. A new video by Vocativ media startup offers a rare look at the building and communities formed inside and around it.
The video begins at the foot of the soaring 45-story structure that has no elevators. It goes along the route taken daily by 750 families to reach their homes. The inhabitants use improvised taxi motorbikes to navigate the huge development and reach the ground floor. Concrete slabs, ramps and stairs make up a skeleton that provides shelter from the elements. The tenants installed an infrastructural grid of their own- a communal electric grid, an aqueduct water system, TV-wiring and lighting.
The video portrays La Torre de David in a different light than that cast by some Venezuelan politicians, who call it a crime and drug-fueled community that has to be dismantled. Several families claim that they have never experienced any violence while living in the tower. People have forged close ties to each other and there is a sense of community, bound by the fact that the inhabitants helped create what they now call home. The video doesn’t offer a definite conclusion or point of view but presents the tower for what it is, without demonizing it.