Friday, March 3, 2017

"The architecture of fear: how Caracas has adapted to constant threat of violence"

Only the brave walk the streets of Caracas after sunset, when the dizzying frenzy of the daytime city gives way to an eerie stillness as residents seek refuge indoors: the wealthy hide inside their gated communities and the poor lock the doors to their makeshift zinc-roofed homes. A handful of speeding cars tear through half-empty roads and solitary figures walk briskly down dark pavements.


East Caracas, by contrast, primarily houses the city’s middle and upper classes in high-rise buildings and lavish homes. The roads are dotted with lofty trees and expensive cars. It’s a reality that belongs only to a very small minority.

These areas have essentially gone into lockdown. In the wealthy Country Club neighbourhood, sturdy walls, barbed wire and electric fences now block off homes and gardens that were once visible from the street.