Monday, 12 September 2016



I am thinking ahead. About a month ahead to the Imagined Village exhibition at Beachcreative. The Favelas fit very nicely into the theme of 'Imagined Village' as a community village installation, displayed during Oct forming part of Herne Bays contribution to the Artists Open Houses and the Canterbury Festival 16.

Favelas in the Kaleidoscope Gallery

A little bit of background to the Favela Installation which has been displayed at the Gulbenkian Theatre as part of the B0ing16 Festival and initially displayed for a month at the Kaleidoscope Gallery in Sevenoaks. This project was called 'Inspirar' (to inspire in Brazilian)and is Kent County Councils Schools Education Olympic legacy Programme promoting leadership. This installation in Oct at Beachcreative will be the third display, on a smaller scale this time.

Favelas in the Kaleidoscope Gallery
Five schools in Sevenoaks took part and the project, which was delivered with artists from Animate Arts Company. Over 300 pupils between 5-18 years old took part each building their own house from paper and cardboard boxes.

Favela close up
Reading a little more generally about the Favelas of Rio they have been described as a 'New Urbanism' something aspired to by urban planners in the US and Europe in recent decades trying to solve challenges of planning to foster a sense of community.

Due to a lack of central organisation and investment favela residents themselves have to compensate by organising their own society, education, daycare centers, food distribution, support for the elderly, art, literature, sports, mobility, nutrition, hygiene, dance classes, and much more. 

Here is a list of some plus points of urban living established amongst the Favelas in Rio

  • A density of population that promotes and enables quality public services without the excessive high rise verticality in western cities that leads to isolation
  • Affordable housing in central areas
  • Pedestrian-oriented planning not centred around car use, encouraging better opportunities for community development
  • High use of bicycles and public transport, which has a positive environmental impact on the local and global scales
  • Mixed use (residential over commercial lots) which reduces the need for transportation and stimulates community exchanges
  • Living near work, reducing expenses and time spent travelling, as well as avoiding overloaded rush hour peak gridlocks
  • Organic, or slow, architecture – iterative architecture that slowly evolves and adapts to the needs and conditions of residents
  • High degree of residents’ collective action, which not only strengthens community bonds through mutual support, but often creates an economy where services and materials are either exchanged or offered in kind
  • Advanced degree of art and cultural empowerment, embracing social change by linking people to their culture. Telling stories, performing and making sculpture or paintings attracts audiences and connects people across geography, social position and time.


Favelas at the Gulbenkian

Favela detail at the Gulbenkian Theatre

the first favela school workshop

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