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The Roofless Realm
February 14, 2006 3:38 PM   Subscribe

The Roofless realm. Prestes Maia, is a colossal abandoned clothes factory that towers over central Sao Paulo: "At first glance Prestes Maia, which sem-teto members occupied in 2002, resembles a chaotic, multi-storey shantytown; cardboard spews out of its cracked windows, graffiti litter its walls and children rattle through its wide corridors on bicycles. But the community is meticulously organised." It was first occupied as part of the Movimiento dos Sem Teto, an organized movement of homeless families and workers and now houses over 468 families. But, now, an injunction has been issued for the repossession of the building. Everyone must leave by February 15th but there is no plan and the authorities fear violence will erupt. There's a Flickr community.
posted by vacapinta (15 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Very interesting post. Thanks for including a picture of the building.
posted by Cranberry at 4:07 PM on February 14, 2006


"Owners" have no title and owe over 5 million to government, not occupied in over 20 years(!), they are the ones that sound like the bums here. Though its probably not legal, I hope the people can stay if its safe.
posted by uni verse at 4:20 PM on February 14, 2006


Fascinating stuff. Reminds me of this.
posted by brundlefly at 4:20 PM on February 14, 2006


Is Sao Paulo not like the cities envisioned in "Blade Runner"?
posted by uni verse at 4:26 PM on February 14, 2006


Reminds me of "The Bridge" in Gibson's All Tommorow's Parties
posted by delmoi at 4:35 PM on February 14, 2006


uni verse:
Unfortunately, cars here still don't fly. They do swim when summer rains make a little too much flood, though.
(BTW, helicopter/people rate here is the highest in the world, so you can take that as "Flying cars")

Also, no droid hotties.

Aside from that, yeah, pretty much.
posted by qvantamon at 5:00 PM on February 14, 2006


delmoi: Gibson based that on Kowloon. That's how I heard about it.
posted by brundlefly at 5:03 PM on February 14, 2006


It's not the authorities that fear violence from the poor, rather (as Tatiana Cardeal says on one of the linked pages) it's the homeless who will probably have to face violence from the military police.

Legal has nothing to do with it, of course, and most certainly not the kind of legal that is about the safety of the building. It's just that the rich owners found a judge willing to issue an injunction to evict.

It's depressing that the Lula-regime has become such a disappointment.
posted by disso at 5:15 PM on February 14, 2006


Gibson may or may not have based Blade Runner's city scape on Kowloon, but Ridley Scott sure as hell took his art direction from there.
posted by nathan_teske at 5:35 PM on February 14, 2006


Gibson didn't work on Blade Runner. You're thinking of Philip K. Dick.
posted by brundlefly at 5:38 PM on February 14, 2006


Here's hoping that they can keep their housing, they seem to have a decent organization and there's nothing to be gained by evicting them.
posted by mk1gti at 5:52 PM on February 14, 2006


I love the bridge people.

Yes, they exist. In San Francisco, no less. But they live and have been living in warehouses, squats, and other post-industrial places. Some have been there off and on over the past few decades.

Yes, some of them are crazy, smelly, and/or even possibly dangerous - if you're a fool.

But I still love them.

The more recent ones I've talked to have actively acknowledged that inspiration was provided by Gibson's bridge people - but argue that they'd be their doing their thing, regardless.

Though they may be poor or fringe or marginalized, they're some of the richest and most free people on earth - getting the post-industrial party started early, and righteously proper.

Proj on you crazy fuckers, all over the world. Hopefully I can join you sooner, rather than later. I wait and prepare tools and information to share.
posted by loquacious at 7:58 PM on February 14, 2006


Amazing post, vacapinta. Thanks
posted by maryh at 11:51 PM on February 14, 2006


Thanks, vacapinta!
posted by shoepal at 6:19 AM on February 15, 2006


Amazing.
posted by dejah420 at 5:55 PM on February 15, 2006


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