Painting the Favelas of Rio: Can Color be a Catalyst for Social Change?

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Apartment Therapy readers know that a simple coat of color can work wonders. That's just what Dutch artists Haas&Hahn are counting on as they go back to work in Rio de Janeiro to give both the buildings and the residents a new, revamped identity.

Since 2005, the studio has been testing the idea that rejuvenating Rio's favelas (shantytowns) with murals can change not only outsiders' perceptions of the low-income neighborhoods, but also the situations of its residents.

And now they have the funding to do it. In a recently completed Kickstarter campaign which raised a better-than-their-goal $116,655, Haas&Hahn pledged to plaster and paint an entire hillside favela, called Vila Cruzeiro, creating not only an unprecedented example of community art, but also employing many young artists. The hope, of course, is that reviving the outside of the community will lead to a positive chain reaction — a momentum of spirit which will increase community pride.

It's a fascinating idea and we hope that the ambitious undertaking will be just the lift that this area needs to make the leap from "slum" to "neighborhood."

Via: DesignBoom

(Image credits: Kickstarter, Hass&Hahn)

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