July 29 2014

São Paulo, Brazil Mobilizes to Preserve Cultural Spaces

After a great deal of political mobilization, the Fine Arts Cinema reopened its doors to the public on Saturday, July 19, 2014 at the traditional corner of Rua da Consolação and Avenida Paulista. Faced with pressures from the owner, who raised the value of the rental property, the cinema ended its activities in March 2011.

Since then, a great amount of political mobilization has prevented the permanent closure of the space. The Movement Cinematic Fine Art, who labored together with the city to find solutions that could ensure the existence of cinema on that corner. Earlier this year, the Municipal Bureau of Culture announced a partnership with Caixa to materialize the desire of so many Paulistanos. Finally, we will have our theater back on the corner!

A protest to preserve the Fine Arts Cinema in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

But several other cultural spaces in the city see their activities threatened by skyrocketing rents and pressure from developers. Now the Brincante Institute in Vila Madalena, created 21 years ago by the artist Antonio Nobrega, is being threatened. In late May, the institute received a court notice to vacate the space in 30 days. The owner intends to sell the property to a builder and has threatened to file an eviction action.

With artistic, cultural and educational activities involving over 2,500 people, the institute is now negotiating in court to extend the allowed period that a tenant can remain in place at least while complete projects are in progress. At the same time, there have been many calls to mobilize the population. Political organizers have invited the community to a “great game” on the 3rd of August at Ibirapuera Park, in support of the #FicaBrincante movement. The organizers promise “a lot of dance, music, workshops, games and toys, and the characteristic joy of the Institute.”

Protest to preserve the Fine Arts Cinema in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

The victorious struggle to bring back the Fine Arts Cinema and the political mobilization around the Brincante are far from closing the issue of permanence of cultural spaces in areas of interest to the market. The city’s Master Plan lays out an attempt to create a new urban instrument of preservation of cultural spaces in order to block the conservatism of the prefecture’s own attorneys.

In this case, this issue was intensely debated and eventually created a new concept – that of cultural territory, which depends on the mobilization and post-plan referrals, and can gain strength to initiate preservation efforts. It will depend, of course, on the extent of political mobilization and coordination with numerous groups who are now fighting for a city for everyone, with “unprofitable” or “less profitable” uses even in areas that are of great interest in the market.

How does your community preserve spaces of cultural significance?

Original article, originally published in Portuguese, here.

Credits: Images and data linked to sources.

Nora Lamm

Originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico, Nora grew up surrounded by the varied architectural styles and geographies of the Southwest U.S. After graduating from Middlebury College with a B.A. in Latin American Studies and Geography, Nora moved to Washington, D.C. to work in the affordable housing industry. After studying Portuguese and Spanish and traveling in the southern cone of South America, Nora is looking forward to providing the readers and followers of The Grid with translations of Brazilian blogs that provide the most insightful and local perspectives related to environmental design.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 29th, 2014 at 9:18 am and is filed under Architecture, Community/Economic Development, Government/Politics, History/Preservation, Land Use, Nora Lamm, Social/Demographics, Urban Development/Real Estate. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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