Not in my Neigbourhood tells the intergenerational stories of the ways in which ordinary citizens respond to the policies, process and institutions driving contemporary forms of spatial violence and gentrification in Cape Town, São Paulo, and New York.

“A compelling tri-continental tale of the productive power unleashed when poor people themselves voice and share stories of their struggles against displacement by greedy, racist and parasitic urban property developers in European settler colonies of Brazil, S Africa and USA. Required viewing for all urban justice activists and reminder of late South African poet Don Mattera’s insistence that “Memory is (still) the weapon” Aluta Continua.”

Ken Salo, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign

As cities around the world catapult themselves into ‘World Class’, Global City status, we have to ask ourselves, “at what cost”? Not in my Neigbourhood tells the intergenerational stories of the ways in which ordinary citizens respond to the policies, process and institutions driving contemporary forms of spatial violence in Cape Town, São Paulo, and New York. With the aim of building solidarity amongst active urban citizens, the film provides insights into the tools and approaches used by urban activist to shape and navigate their cities from the bottom up.

The film explores the effects of various forms of spatial violence on the spirit and social-psyche of citizens. It follows their daily struggles, trials and triumphant moments, as they try to shape the cities they live in, from the bottom up! Portraying our characters as active citizens, fighting for their right to the city, the film acts as a portrait of stories telling the history of spatial violence within the background of colonization, architectural Apartheids and gentrification.


“As much as Not in My Neighbourhood is a film that takes it viewers to the frontlines of the global battle against dispossession, police brutality and gentrification, it is not a dour or aesthetically limited film. In fact, it may perk you up a little, correct your posture and have you looking at that new neighbourhood development with new eyes.”

Kwanele Sosibo, MAIL & GUARDIAN

“The editing is seamless, the photography has a “captured in the moment” in your face feel, forcing one to look directly at immorality and state-sponsored terror – which is what denying affordable housing and property is.”


“Orderson’s use of various points-of-view and types of camera movement is deceptively eye-opening. His camera works like a comrade, liberating certain perspectives for the viewer, helping to create and spread a kind of propaganda that counteracts the ubiquity of “Cash-4-Home” flyers spamming Black and Brown communities, plus slick advertising lingo used to pretty up unsettling measures.”

Director's Commentary: 

Despite this new focus on gentrification, general discourse on the topic has failed to make the link between new and old forms of spatial violence, geographical exclusion and the legacies of architectural Apartheid. The ways in which spaces are used are always changing. We must ask ourselves; what kind of spaces are we moving towards with our current plans? Changing, controlling, privatizing these spatial assets can have incredibly adverse effects on the people who use it.

I grew up on the Cape Flats of Cape Town, a strip of townships built by the architects of Apartheid in the 1960’s. Both my parents and extended family were victims of racially motivated forced removals from areas like District Six and Woodstock. The experience of spatial violence and architectural Apartheid has affected my life in deep and profound ways. However, geopolitical links can be drawn between localities all over the world. Whether it is through the similar legacies that post-colonial cities live with or the homogenization of urban form in a capitalist city, spaces are connected and can be used as a point of solidarity between victims of spatial violence. This film creates a platform for these stories to be told.