Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Slumming It in Rio

Posted By on Tue, May 18, 2010 at 1:35 PM

I don't think anyone doubts the power of public art to be transformative, but this is what the Santa Marta community in Rio de Janeiro used to look like.

santa-marta-old-situation.jpg

That is, until artists Haas & Hahn (Jeroen Koolhaas and Dre Urhahn) got a hold of it. The pair began working together for a 2005 documentary for MTV about hip-hop in Rio and Sao Paolo. The next year, they decided to collaborate with local youth to paint murals in Brazil's poorest neighborhoods.

In Santa Marta, a group of local residents were instructed on everything from different types of paint to safety measures while working on scaffolding. Because every wall was a different material, the painters learned what worked on different surfaces and, as importantly, also got a month's paycheck.

santa-marta-scaffolds-painters.jpg

The end result is a really cool project that encompassed 34 houses, or 7,000 meters of "hillside slum."

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