Innovation That Matters

Transforming Rio's slums through community-driven art

Property & Construction

A splash of colour and design can go a long way toward beautifying a grey, ugly space, as Carspaze and Style-your-garage have already shown. Now aiming to do something similar for the slums of Rio de Janeiro through large, community-driven murals, the Favela Painting project also goes several steps further by incorporating training and employment for local residents. The brainchild of Dutch artist duo Haas&Hahn, Favela Painting has already completed two community painting projects in Vila Cruzeiro—Rio’s most notorious slum—along with the first portion of O Morro, its current effort to paint an entire hillside slum. Some 34 houses and 7,000 square meters of Praça Cantão in Santa Marta have already been transformed through paint, and the project hopes to return later this year to paint even more of the hillside. In each of its projects, Favela has focused on recruiting local residents to do much of the painting, including training and paying them. In this latest one, local inhabitants were trained through a partnership with Brazilian paint company TintasCoral on everything from different types of paint to safety measures while working on scaffolding. Dre Urhahn, one of the Favela Painting artists, explains: “This work of art can make a colorful difference in the lives of local individuals, the community and the city of Rio. It has the potential of working as a catalyst in the processes of social renewal and change.” Favela Painting is supported by Firmeza Foundation, and recently the decorative paint division of Dutch AkzoNobel—which is also conducting a community campaign of its own—signed on as a partner as well. There are all too many grim, unadorned spaces throughout the urban world. Paint brands around the globe: time to sponsor some community action near you! Spotted by: Ruben Brusse



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