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.


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.


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


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