Aristofanis Soulikias | Filmmaker-Architect

A residency on urbanism that encompasses its science but also its sociological dimension, as well as the arts, namely all the fields I am interested in, taking place in a beautiful region could not but be appealing to me. And, indeed, it allowed me to have the time and space to regroup myself and my creative energies, while discovering the beautiful region of Garrotxa and its city, Olot.

What FABER managed to do, however, was more than this. It set the ground for daily exchanges between highly insightful individuals from around the world, each bringing his or her expertise, lens of seeing, and even craft. The two weeks in Olot were an open-ended conversation which enriched my understanding of the current issues around urbanism while I experienced the satisfaction of assisting and, hopefully, inspiring others with my filmmaking approach.

FABER, of course, is its dedicated founders who provide the window to Olot and its people. Thanks to their care and energy, we had the chance to participate in group activities, climb volcanoes, visit local artisans, speak to local architects and other urbanism-related stakeholders. We learned from their region, and we brought them new ideas; a wonderful and direct transfer of knowledge that telecommunications fail to match.

In short, in this first residency of mine, I came to realize how necessary these exchanges are for the advancement of urbanism, and the critical role they can play in the sustainable development of a city like Olot, and FABER is setting the example on how this can be achieved.

During the residency, I studied the key elements of Olot’s urban features, I presented my documentary Last Dance on the Main to the other residents, researched the folklore of the Farandula as an inspiration for a new animated film, and collected data on Olot’s public spaces that could serve as places of screening. I left with new ideas, new inspiration, new energy and many new friends with whom I will hopefully continue this conversation in the near future.