Wednesday, 29 October 2014

São Paulo in Statistics: 8 stats about São Paulo's overcrowded prisons

Insight Crime recently published startling new figures on prison overopulation in São Paulo highlighting institutional failures in rehabilitating prisoners and the creation of new "Carandirus", the infamous and now defunct prison which was once the largest prison in South America as well as the scene of the greatest police on prisoner massacre in modern times.

Of course it's not the first time we talk about overcrowded prisons in São Paulo but the situation is getting increasingly more serious.

Let's take a look at the numbers:

70 = percentage surplus of total inmate population above what the system can support
200 = occupancy rate at 10 of the Centros de Detenção Provisória - CDPs, supposedly temporary housing facilities for those awaiting trial
1,085 = number of prisoners who have been sentenced but for whom no space has been found yet
2,749 = the number of prisoners counted last month in the São Bernardo dos Campos CDP which has a capacity of 84.
3,808 = people being held in police stations for want of space elsewhere
R$42,213 = cost per prisoner for building new space compared to R$5,562 per child for a new nursery
215,000 = total prison population in São Paulo
R$319,000,000 = projected cost of building 9 new prisons in São Paulo

And to make matters worse, due to processing and judicial delays, prisoners are actually entering the system faster than they are being released..

Monday, 20 October 2014

This is what happens when an architect comes to visit

Amer is a a travelling architect or perhaps it is a better description to say that he is a traveller with a formal interest in architecture.

Either way his take on travel blogging is to sketch buildings as he goes. He is originally from Malaysia but is now based in London from which he uses as a hub for his trips arund the world.

Below are some of his visual reflections on São Paulo from his visit earlier this year:


Sé Cathedral

MASP under construction

Find out more about Amer, the world and architectural sketches on his site: Tend to Travel

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

VIDEO: The story of São Paulo punks

Viva Viva - Trailer - English from Carolina Pfister on Vimeo.

Yes, São Paulo is home to punk culture as well and the film VivaViva tells the story. The project was brought to life by Swiss-born Carolina Pfister and funded as a Kickstarter project.

It lets you experience the lives and surroundings of São Paulo punks, in a city that is the Brazilian birthplace of the movement. Combine the beauty of urban chaos, street art and polluted sunsets with punk culture and the result is a VivaViva. Follow VivaVivas site for upcoming screenings and if you get a chance to see it somewhere close to you, don`t miss the chance:

About the director: Carolina Pfister lived between Brazil and the USA for most of her life. She has worked with media in independent television and non-profits, and once received a Chicago Emmy for her short documentary television work.

She also received a Women in Film “Emerging Latina Filmmaker” award, co-founded an inner city cultural center and farmer’s market, released her first feature length film on Brazilian punks, and is creating more in Portland, OR, her new home.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Photo of the Day - The Copan Building

Thursday, 9 October 2014

VIDEO: Street Art in São Paulo Part 10 - CADUMEN

Street art in this city is truly incredible and never ceases to amaze me. One of São Paulos great street artists is Cadu Mendonca aka Cadumen. His work is inspired by nature, Brazilian folk art and urban street art. Cadu has already painted, amongst others, the walls of the MIS in São Paulo (museum for audiovisual art) and smaller spaces in Ibirapuera Park, turning them into beautiful pieces of art.

Ever wondered how a mural is made? Check out this "making of" edition:

Check out some more of his incredible work below:

Follow Cadumen here:

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Brazilian football team hires a hypnotist

Portuguesa is a football team you might not have heard before although it is the fourth biggest side in São Paulo behind Corinthians, São Paulo FC and Plameiras. It recently hit the news however with an unusual addition to the backroom staff.

After a series of lacklustre performances Portuguesa decided to hire a hypnotist. The players now go through routines which include walking on glass and bending iron bars with their necks.

Tesser, the hypnotist claims: “I work with the human being, the man, and this is reflected on the pitch. If a player thinks he can bend iron and walk on glass, he can do anything in the game."
Unfortunately this has not stopped their losing streak, not even getting on the scoresheet in their last game. Who knows by Saturday they will have turned minds to scoring a few goals..

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

VIDEO: Documentary about the largest occupied building in São Paulo

Not new, but certainly still a very relevant documentary. The film makers follow the lives of the over 200 families that occupy the Mauá building, located at 354 Rua Mauá in the center of São Paulo.

Occupied since 2007, the building is at the centre of a movement to turn abandoned spaces into homes, by the Homeless Workers Movement (MSTC) and the Central Region House Movement (MMRC).

Just a few months ago and a few days before reaching the five-year occupation mark, the owner of the building initiated repossession proceedings. The city of São Paulo recently paid a deposit of 11 million Reais in a first step to acquire the building, ultimately planning to provide the inhabitants with humane housing conditions.

You can watch the full documentary with English subtitles here:

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