Image 73 of 147
Daniela, 26, from Romania, (left) is snapping a few pictures with her camera-phone inside the kitchen of the Ingram Avenue mansion on Saturday, June 16, 2007, in Hampstead, London, England. Nego, 31, (right) her Romanian partner is looking at her while Lulu, 33, another Romanian squatter (centre) is eating some food on the back. The 22-room mansion was last sold for UK£ 3.9M in 2002 and is now awaiting planning permissions to be demolished. Two new houses will soon be taking its place. Million Dollar Squatters is a documentary project in the lives of a peculiar group of squatters residing in three multi-million mansions in one of the classiest residential neighbourhoods of London, Hampstead Garden. The squatters' enthusiasm, their constant efforts to look after what has become their home, their ingenuity and adventurous spirit have all inspired me throughout the days and nights spent at their side. Between the fantasy world of exclusive Britain and the reality of squatting in London, I have been a witness to their unique story. While more than 100.000 properties in London still lay empty to this day, squatting provides a valid, and lawful alternative to paying Europe's most expensive rent prices, as well as offering the challenge of an adventurous lifestyle in the capital.