Southbank Centre Favela
July – September 2010
Project Morrinho is an ever-growing social project that originates from a miniature city hand-built by young people that live in the Pereira da Silva favela in Rio de Janeiro. This new work was commissioned by me for the Southbank Centre and created by young people from Pereira da Silva and Stockwell Park Estate in Lambeth, a borough with the largest Portuguese speaking community in the UK.
This unusual collaboration made news across the world including The Guardian, Evening Standard, BBC News, and the Rio Times.
The Project Morrinho story began when a 14 year-old boy moved to the favela and decided to play with bricks he found in his back yard to create buildings inspired by the new places and surrounding buildings he saw. Other children took notice and their new shared hobby grew to become a miniature replica of their community built into a hillside woodland where they played out imaginary adventures with toys. The fame of this miniature favela has steadily spread, along with the positive message it put out about young people in such areas, normally synonymous with poverty and crime. In this respect Morrinho has become an inspiration to young people across the world.
For two weeks 10 young people from Stockwell Park Estate collaborated with six artists from Project Morrinho to discover differences and similarities about the environments where they live to inspire a joint landscape of made up of 4,000 bricks depicting buildings, landmarks, playgrounds, parks and homes. Like the Rio favelas, Stockwell Park Estate’s thriving community centre and its aspiring young residents are often overshadowed by its reputation for drug-related crime and poverty. Project Morrinho has sought to share with Stockwell Park Estate how they can bring about positive change in their community.
At the end of the exhibition the favela was broken up and over 2,000 bricks have been rehomed in Brazil, Norway, London Metropolitan University and to hundreds of individuals across from across the UK including. A large section has also been taken to form part of a new favela to built in Stockwell Park Estate by a pond by the young people that contributed. They will be teaching other children on the estate the skills they have learnt from Project Morrinho
Project Morrinho Southbank Centre Favela is a part of the Southbank Centre’s Learning and Participation programme.
Project Morrinho artists:
Francisco Eduardo Serra Grande Da Silva, Rodrigo de Maceda Perpétuo, Nelcirlan Souza de Oliveira, Marcos Vincius Clemete Ferreira, Felipe da Souza Dias, José Carlos da Silva Pereira.
Stockwell Park Estate participants:
Liam Joseph, Fabrice Lumdamo, Darren Miller, Jason Bailey-Wright, Rochelle Taylor, Luther Edwards, Samiel Bryan. Aminah Silveira, Camilo Osorio, Chris Barratt, David Edwards
Supporting creative team:
Fabiane Lee-Perrella/Flour, Grassroot Gardens, Joao Wrobel. Curated by Cathy Mager.
With special thanks to:
Julie Fawcett and the Stockwell Park Community Centre.