With its long and continuing history as a haven for immigrants, artists, musicians, poets, and political activists, the Lower East Side has been a cultural incubator since its earliest days. Ideas, movements, trends and customs that derive from either old or new world cultures, or both, emerged and radiated from here.

During the summer of 2012, Colectivo Piloto joined Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space (MoRUS) to produce a documentary about the activist history of the Lower East Side.

“The Building of a Community” examined the social transformation of the Lower East Side of Manhattan, where activists, artists, historians and political representatives describe the neighborhood, the squatters, the community gardens and explain the struggle to save them.

The short documentary was directed by Pablo Herrera, independent filmmaker, educator and curator, well known in the film industry for his extraordinary talent of educating and creating community through filmmaking. Pablo has also created and participated as a programmer in multiple film festivals and produced a variety of films documentaries related to community development in Spain, Argentina, and the U.S. Since 2017, Pablo is also a curator for educational media programs at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York.

“The Building of a Community” has been released in the 2013 edition of the Barcelona Visual Sound Film Festival in Spain, and globally through Culture Unplugged Film Festival, both with a resounding success of audience. Culture Unplugged is a non-commercial film festival accessible to global audiences to reflect on issues and life experiences in the contemporary world. To date, this festival venue has welcomed millions of citizens from 36000+ cities across 231+ countries.

To service the mission of the Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space (MoRUS), this documentary aims to broadcast the historical memory of the activist movements of the Lower East Side.