Over the last year and a half, I have been visiting São Paulo and, especially, Rio de Janeiro, observing the process of “pacification,” by which the government attempts to peacefully enter and reestablish state control over the most violent enclaves of the city, those dominated by drug gangs called traficantes, or by syndicates of corrupt police called militias. Until 2008, when the pacification program started, the traficantes controlled roughly half of the favelas, and the militias the other half. Both still hold power in most favelas. The ultimate aim of the state government of Rio’s plan, called the Unidade de Polícia Pacificadora (UPP), or Police Pacification Unit, is to drive both of these groups out and replace them by the state. (SLNYRB)
Brutal police crackdown on protesters against a bus fare rise in São Paulo and Rio, as well as other cities. [more inside]
Keepintime started as a simple idea, to bring some of the most revered and notable L.A. session drummers together for a photo shoot, then have them talk about the recordings that were famous to hip-hop DJs and producers, with some top LA beat jugglers. From that effort in 2002 came the short film, Keepintime: Talking Drums and Whispering Vinyl (2 parts on YouTube). The short documentary toured around, and in 2002, along with the screening, some of the drummers and DJs put on a live improvised show in Los Angeles. From that 2 hour show, a 45 minute film was made: Keepintime - A Live Recording. Later that year, after screening the short film in England, the Keepintime crew were invited to Brasil, to team up with Brasilian percussionists of renown, and make a beat record. They also put on an epic live show. That whole enterprise was made into an almost two-hour long documentary, Brasilintime. More information on the artists inside. [more inside]
Tempero Brasileiro (mp3) is a collection of rare Brazilian tracks originally issued on 7″ vinyl. Compiled by Edson Carvalho, one of the top São Paulo crate diggers. [more inside]
Julian spent 1 year in São Paulo, this is what he saw. [SLVimeo]
Out My Window (trailer) is the new web documentary from the Highrise project, one of the world's first interactive 360° documentaries. Delivered entirely on the web, it explores the state of our urban planet told by people who look out on the world from highrise windows. With more than 90 minutes of material, Out My Window features 49 stories from 13 cities, told in 13 languages.
São Paulo, Brazil. With a population upwards of 11 million people and a population density of more than 7,000 people per square kilometre, it is a pretty crowded place. But on July 2, 2010 during the second half of the Brazil-Netherlands World Cup quarterfinal, the streets were completely deserted.
The city of Sao Paulo passed an ordinance last year banning outdoor advertising; photographer Tony de Marco has been documenting the skeletal remains of the advertising infrastructure throughout the city; the impact looks like the aftermath of a new type of atomic weapon that targets marketing but leaves buildings & people unscathed.
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.
Get Chipped! A Brazilian legislator wants to become the first politician to be implanted with a controversial microchip that would contain his personal information. Hmmm, would the real Kevin Warwick please stand up.