911 prestes Maia. Records of happiness and dignity

911 Prestes Maia, a 22-story tower block in central São Paulo, Brazil, is thought to have been the largest squat in the world. In 2006, the abandoned building was home to an estimated 1,630 people, including 468 families with 315 children. In 2002, the ‘Movement for the Homeless’ transplanted hundreds of homeless families into the empty building and made the place habitable, even going so far as providing a library, cinema, and workshops. The new residents drove out vermin and drug dealers, all the while cleaning up the place. Then, suddenly in March of 2006, the inhabitants learned that within a month they were going to be evicted. Julio Bittencourt photographed the diverse occupants at their windows, from which they communicated with one other, recording the happiness and dignity in coexistence with decay and neglect. Since Bittencourt was raised in São Paulo, he became accustomed to people communicating across windows, as family and friends lived on top of and next to each other

 

food for thought

A

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: