African immigrants from former Portuguese colonies started building neighbourhoods on unused land in the outskirts of Lisbon in the 70’s. They were built without permission as African people had difficulties finding work and housing in the city due to racial discrimination. The authorities have been destroying these neighbourhoods throughout the years despite having a rich African cultural heritage and strong community ethos. They are commonly misrepresented by the media and portrayed as dangerous areas crowded with criminals, drugs and poverty.
Zonas autoconstruídas is a documentary about the African communities living in the area of Amadora and their struggle to preserve their culture and protect their homes.