Megan Michalak
PRECARIEDADE (PRECARITY)
2012
HD video and Super8 film
PRECARIEDADE (PRECARITY) https://vimeo.com/52106517

is an experimental documentary that narrates a tale of globalization with Portugal as the protagonist. The film examines cycles of boom and bust as told by Portugal as one of the first colonial empires, and recent European countries to collapse under “Austerity” measures resulting from the European Financial Crisis. The context of Austerity marks a “precarious” tipping point for the future of the European Union, as tensions over the debt crisis threaten to dismantle unification, the Euro, and the democratic sovereignty of these nations. Austerity also marks a global tipping point, as debt policies imposed by the IMF for decades in South America and Africa are now being tested in Western Europe. As countries like Portugal privatize and sell off their infrastructure to pay for the debt, we find a surprising process of reversed colonization where the emerging economies of former colonies, such as Angola, have now purchased this infrastructure, introducing reversed and neo-colonial geographies between North and South. While exploring the implications of this socio-political context in Portugal, this film also tells the tale of the rebirth of grassroots activist movements (m12m, precarious workers movement, and others) in Portugal, the seeds of which later spread to Spain, and North America, sparking the “Indignation” and the “Occupy” movements.

In 2012, additional interviews were conducted with activists, journalists, former Parliament members, and artists to discuss the impact of the "Troika" on Portuguese society. Interviewees include: Pedro Rosa Mendes, Raquel Freire, Paula Gil, Raquel Ribeiro, José Soeiro, Ricardo Moreira, Johan Diels, Sara Moreira, and Miguel Januário. Many interviewees have called this "dismantling of democracy" brought on by austerity measures the "counter-revolution."

Original film footage was shot on location in 2011-2012 by Megan Michalak in Cacilhas, Axeimosa, Sequeros, Nodar, Lisboa, and Porto in Portugal. This film contains no found footage.