Posted on Monday, 24. June 2013
Text written by Filipe Serro and Matthias Böttger
The emergence of the so called “new middle class” that followed the social and economic transformations in Brazil over the last decade makes it important to readdress the question of who are the new actors in the city making of today. As this fast mutation in the social tissue of Brazil is an ongoing process, the analysis proposed also encompasses a necessary foresight exercise.
As global finance encounters a local infrastructure that is traditionally oriented towards the domestic economy, spontaneous processes of adaptation take place. Therefore, it is now important to perceive how Brazilian cities are responding to these changes and what outcomes we can expect from them.
What is the project about?
The project Nós, Brasil! We, Brazil! is aiming at further understanding the specific reality of contemporary Brazilian cities, as well as the challenges they face. More specifically, it is intended to explore how new groups and organisations take initiative in a context where urban planning, as a once centralized practice, is now an increasingly diversified affair being supplemented, infiltrated, or even partially replaced by these new players and processes.
The project comprehends three workshops in three different cities, Curitiba, Porto Alegre and Salvador, prior to an exhibition for the São Paulo Biennale. There, the outcomes of the workshops will be on display and a fourth additional workshop, which will reflect the outcomes of the other cities will take place.
Workshop from 12.08 to 17.08.2013
Workshop from 19.08 to 23.08.2013
Workshop from 26.08 to 31.08.2013
Architecture Biennale from 28.09. to 24.11.2013
Who is involved in the project?
In cooperation with the respective Goethe Institutes, Weltstadt curator Matthias Böttger and invited artist/architect Luis Berríos-Negrón will, in each city, set-up a local version of the Y-Table, a concept originally conceived by the Berlin-based collective “The Anxious Prop” (founded by Berríos-Negrón). The table serves both as a tool as well as a manual for specific discourses and processes conducted in each city. Here, an invited, local curator/moderator will intervene at the Y-Table to conduct a three-day workshop in Portuguese along with about 15 participants. These workshops intend to facilitate unlikely engagements between different local actors, from community based to public and private entities, hoping to develop unexpected, future narratives specific to each city. Most importantly, through Nós, Brasil! We, Brazil! we would like to learn more about the present and future role of a growing “new middle-class” in previously unseen economic and urban growth, where the chance of a new type of citizenship increasingly emerges, one that nurtures greater acceptance with, influence on, and access to their neighbourhood, to their communities.
What will happen in the respective workshops?
In Porto Alegre, Márcio Rosa D'Avila will launch the workshop series with a debate about the history of "orçamento participativo", which seems to be conflicting with current efforts towards economic growth. In order to exemplify the issue, he will focus on Vila Liberdade, a community in Porto Alegre’s northern fringe, and Vila Planetário found in the city core. Next, continuing in Curitiba, Sergio Póvoa Pires will look to optimize the city’s renowned planning approach by including new thinkers and more diverse perspectives to consider the city’s outward growth that is bleeding into the surrounding municipalities. The third workshop will then be in Salvador, where Ícaro Vilaça will engage neighbourhood associations and local planners in an activist’s approach towards tackling the issue of the ‘right to the city’ by examining the neighbourhoods of Dois de Julho and Alagados.
How is the project linked to the Architectural Biennial in São Paulo?
In order to draw further connections between the participating cities, one surface of each local Y-Table will be brought to São Paulo in order to build one composite Y-Table that represents workshop dialogues and traces produced in each respective city. This composite Y-Table, with wings from Porto Alegre, Curitiba and Salvador, and an enhanced hexagonal core, will be set-up in São Paulo for the opening of the Biennale on September 29th. The core of the table will include touchpads with access to the Weltstadt website and database, while the newspapers in English and Portuguese will be available for takeaway and sent to all participating cities.
During the Biennale, more talks and workshops will take place at the Y-Table. Matthias Böttger will invite guests to reflect upon the findings made in the aforementioned Brazilian cities, with special emphasis on the role of the so-called “new middle-class”. What will the city of this “middle-class” look like? Are these notions comparable to the German concept(s) of a middle-class that is crucial to the idea and making of the European city? Ultimately, the talks and workshops will be linked to the findings of other Weltstadt projects, aspiring to become a comprehensive, yet comparative resource to interested audiences both at the São Paulo Biennale and around the world.
Why is the project relevant?
By addressing the Brazilian recent economic and social history, it is possible to evaluate its impact on the transformation of the urban space. The project Nós, Brasil! We, Brazil! attempts to summarize interesting new forms of citizenship made possible by this country’s specific circumstances.
It’s crucial to understand how we can predict the development of Brazilian cities concerning public participation, infrastructural adjustment to an increasingly globalized market and local potential to develop alternative methods of operating within the urban realm.
By analysing the Brazilian idiosyncrasies and relating them to the results from other cities around the world, the project ‘Weltstadt’ stands out as a cross-referential platform that attributes global relevance to local achievements.
Overall, Nós, Brasil! We, Brazil! aims at promoting new discussion and partnerships between different actors of the urban stage, fostering fruitful and unlikely synergies.
It also aims at promoting a positive standpoint on current bottom-up developments, hence encouraging the public engagement of an ever increasing audience.
In the end, upon placing the results of the project in a common database with the other ‘Weltstadt’ cities, we believe it will allow the local movements and experiences to reach influence at a global scale.
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TitleNós, Brasil! We, Brazil!
PlaceCuritiba, Porto Alegre, Salvador and São Paulo
Datefrom August to November 2013
Project TeamMatthias Böttger, Luis Berríos-Negrón, Michael Marten, Ludwig Engel, Leona Lynen, Filipe Serro
Local CuratorsSérgio Pires and Luisiana Silva (Curitiba), Márcio Rosa D’Avila (Porto Alegre), Ícaro Vilaça (Salvador), Renato Cymbalista (Sao Paulo)
Project PartnersBMVBS (Bundesministerium für Verkehr, Bau und Stadtentwicklung) and GI (Goethe-Institut), IPUCC (Curitiba), MAM (Salvador) Casa do Povo (Sao Paulo)
Defined tags for this entry: bottom-up, curitiba, global finance meets local infrastructure, informal settlement, matthias böttger, new middle class, nós brasil! we brazil!, participation, porto alegre, salvador, são paulo, sao_paulo