Rebellious, flavoursome and ever-rising; these urbanised slums drape over the undulating hips of Rio, in a crazy, bright woven skirt to boast a most eccentric flavour of fashion.
First imagined by soldiers returning to Rio homeless, the favela was created without a grid and without fear of slope. With the rural exodus in Brasil in the 50s; they then filled swelled, overflowed and finally burst at their seams to spill over many more outlying areas around the city.
These areas seem to bustle with life, dancing, crime, and art. Almost every picture I have come across has some interesting (street?) art splashed across somebody’s home. The Favela Painting Project‘s outreach is intriguing as well as the artist ‘JR”s work, which shows faces and eyes scaled to fit an entire walls of several structures, to create a 3D collage of faces.
Surely a new definition of ‘street’ emerges in this tight weave of structures…
“The laws around occupying a favela are unusual. You stay on the land for 5 years or more consecutively, and you own the space. You also could ‘buy’ a space, but it’d cost you approx $16,000US; but with the average wage less than $300US per month, this is unlikely. So most residents have space because they were born there and or married into it. You can build up as many storeys as you want, but not out (you can’t knock down jungle). So most roofs are flat so people can keep adding levels. They’re all builders. And buildings are made up of scrap materials, including tin cans.”
Definitely an urban creation I do want to visit in my lifetime!