Favela Painting
Community Art for Social Change

March 2, 2019 – May 12, 2019 This exhibition has ended
The exhibition ‘Community Art for Social Change’ by the art collective Favela Painting presents the next step in their project in Santa Helena, Vila Cruzeiro in Brazil. In 2008, the project’s initiators Jeroen Koolhaas and Dre Urhahn, together with the residents of Vila Cruzeiro, finished an imposing painting measuring five hundred square metres. A physical symbol meant to combat prejudices about the slums of Rio de Janeiro and a positive way to generate attention. Now, ten years later, sunlight, rain and playing children have caused the paint of this once so colourful image to fade and Favela Painting has started with a plan to give it a new lease of life.

Spreading a positive message, the artwork is once again supposed to become an invitation to visit Vila Cruzeiro and meet its inhabitants. Together with the inhabitants of the neighbourhood, the duo Koolhaas and Urhahn went in search of sustainable materials and local solutions. Since 2017, a group of female residents have been trained in mosaic techniques and the immense task of reproducing the faded artwork, now in the form of a mosaic, has started. This time around, the surrounding houses are also involved. These are wrapped in colourful stucco and tiles which gives them a playful exterior and makes it seem as if they are all connected to each other. Apart from offering a visual spectacle, the project also promote employment and strengthen the slum's social network. At the Kunsthal, four mosaic panels – fragments from the artwork – can be admired, as well as photos and videos visualising the restauration project’s ‘making of’ and the impact of community art. 

Favela Painting

The first Favela Painting project took place in 2006 when the artists Jeroen Koolhaas and Dre Urhahn painted a large artwork together with local inhabitants in a Rio de Janeiro neighbourhood. Both the local as well as the worldwide impact of this project inspired them to start large-scale community art projects. Through the years, Favela Painting has developed into a phenomenon involved in researching and developing community art with the power to bring about social change. 

See also

rio cruzeiro 18 2_LR.jpg
Restauration project at Santa Helena, photo Jeroen Koolhaas
Restauration activities at Santa Helena, photo Jeroen Koolhaas
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