Economic Dignity

São Paulo

Maria and the Right to the Center

Paula Van Erven, São Paulo 

Maria do Carmo came to São Paulo when she was eleven years old. Originally from the state of Piauí, she came to help take care of her sister’s children, and ended up staying for good. For over 30 years, Maria has lived in the Bela Vista neighborhood, in the center...

Profile: Nazaré Brazil – The Cultural Occupation at São João

Sidd Joag, New York City 

October 2010 – Some three hundred people, mostly women, children, and the elderly walked in holding candles and singing Evangelical songs. The new residents of the abandoned former Hotel Columbia on São João Street had tricked the police and were now in control—one of the seventeen buildings that were occupied...

Profile: Abdoulaye – The Accidental Paulistano

Sidd Joag, New York City 

It’s not uncommon to see a group of brown and black men standing, sitting, or laying outside of a non-descript building, on a dead end street in the Mooca Bresser neighborhood of São Paulo. Once you pass through a single metal door, you find yourself outside a waiting room where...

Stationary Absence

Paula Van Erven, São Paulo 

Carla Perez’s photo, which now gathers dust alongside decade-old bottles of cachaça, and whose inkjet-printed colors begin to fade into a tone of cyan, still arouses in me a strange mix of terror and endearment. What child in Brazil did not grow up with these hypersexualized portrayals of women, transiting...