Archive for June, 2012
Marcos Rodrigo, also known as ‘Wark da Rocinha’ has been the favela’s premier graffiti artist for ten years now. The Rocinha native pioneered the graffiti movement in Brazil’s largest favela, which has garnered him attention and handshakes from prominent Brazilian leaders including Lula da Silva, Brazil’s former president. Wark also holds frequent exhibitions in the city and his commissioned works command thousands of Reais.
Two years ago, the graffiti artist decided to give back to the younger members of his community, so he founded Instituto Wark, a school for youth in Rocinha to learn and practice art-making. With his students, Wark creates public graffiti pieces More >
While the Rio+20 UN conference may have disappointed many, its opening day marked a turning point for Vila Autódromo, the West Zone community situated just meters from where the conference took place. Last Wednesday, an estimated four thousand people gathered there to march in solidarity with the community that is threatened with removal for the 2016 Olympics.
A Director of the Neighborhood Association, Jane Nascimento, explains: “We held the demonstration to show that nothing has changed. Twenty years since the original Earth Summit and deforestation continues… We’re requesting respect for indigenous peoples and respect for housing and community and the need More >
By official count, 102,000 residents animate the streets of Rocinha, Brazil’s most populous single favela community. 10,000 mototaxis buzz up and down the uneven landscape. But what called my attention this past Friday was the litter, which had been rendered chaotic by the force of the evening’s downpour. Bottles and cans floated at the edges of a large open sewer – just a few minutes’ walk from the R$15 million Niemeyer passarela (footbridge) and the 2010 sports complex attached to it.
In Rocinha, as in many favelas, we find government investment rooted not in public need but in political imagery. “Rocinha is Ours,” O Globo (the More >
Original article in Portuguese published here.
Projects developed to modernize Rio’s favelas will be presented beginning Tuesday, June 26 in an exhibition called FavelaCity Exchange in downtown Rio de Janeiro. Among the offerings, based on principles of sustainability, are constructions using concrete and bricks made from recycled materials, buildings that optimize natural ventilation and light, and houses with systems to reuse rain water.
All of the proposals were created by Masters and Doctoral students in architecture at Swiss university ETH Zurich, a world leader in multidisciplinary research and education. The group visited Rio communities, such as City of God in the city’s More >
While a group of curious outsiders, including me, visited the favela Complexo da Penha, a few locals and a tame toy poodle named Borris tagged along. Since many Americans don’t visit this part of Rio very often, the locals took this chance as an opportunity to learn more about the United States. One of them tried to corroborate what she heard on television, so she asked me if I had ever experienced earthquakes and hurricanes and I said yes to both. Her eyes grew wide with horror. “We have none of that in Rio,” she said proudly. Someone else butts More >