Since January, I’ve been on study leave in Rio de Janeiro Brazil to conduct a participative sound art project based on the Maré favelas. I’m visiting professor at the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro where I’ve had the chance to work with exceptional professors from a wide range of areas including Rodrigo Cicchelli (music), Guto Nobrega (arts), Samuel Araújo (ethnomusicology) and Lygia Niemeyer (architecture). I’m teaching a post graduate course at UFRJ’s Art School (EBA) entitled “Participative Strategies in the Sonic Arts” and running workshops with secondary education young residents of Maré at Museu da Maré.
The project extends the participative methodologies initiated with Sounds of the City Belfast in 2012. This time, with Som da Maré we are creating a team of participants who conduct field work, technical work and exhibition design seaminglesly. One of the outcomes of the process is an exhibition in Museu da Maré and EAV Parque Lage opening on the 16th and 17th May 2014 respectively.
The project cohincided with the military occupation of Maré in the beginning of April and as part of the state process known as “pacification”. This dramatic change in the life of Maré has become an inevitable theme for the project, given the enourmous impact it is having on everyday life in the favelas and it being a constant source of debate and anxiety. Maré is a “complex” of 16 favelas with over 130 thousand inhabitants which has been planned for “pacification” since 2008. After the initial occupation by the special forces (BOPE) the area is now occupied by the army and the navy.
The project is documented through a blog which collates materials from both the post-graduate course and the workshops, as well as field work and elements associated with the production of the exhibition. To follow the progress on the project please visit: Som da Maré.