Wednesday, August 26, 2009

violent eviction in Sao Paulo

The Guardian offers disturbing footage of this week's squatter eviction on the outskirts of Sao Paulo, Brazil.

What kind of government does this to its people? Tear gas and smash down several thousand homes. All because a bus company owns the land the people are on.

What about negotiating? What about determining the relative needs of the people vs. the needs of the bus company? What about families and their children? This is just inhumane.

[Thanks, bfunk, for sending the video my way. All hail subtopia!]


loucas said...

Reading your blog, watching "Machan" last night, I'm wondering if as a designer can offer solutions to these people...or is it just a matter of political will in the end?

rn said...

Haven't seen Machan. Thanks for pointing me to it.

As for designers: if design offers a way for squatter communities to become more permanent, giving residents more of a claim on the land on which they reside, it can help. Design can also create alliances between squatters and the wider world -- and this can impact the political will.

But, if they just offer flashy things that residents don't really need or can't afford, designers won't achieve much for squatters.

Of course, once the police are there with tear gas and bullets, unless designers invent a new type of gas mask or something made of kevlar or are willing to man the barricades along with squatters, the state violence likely triumph.

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