Favela painting artists take their latest project to the Netherlands

Back in 2011 the boys of Favela Painting started a movement back in Rio when they decided to give the favela area some color. Literally. Besides brightening up the buildings, they also employed local youth to paint the buildings and houses for a few reasons; give them something they can be proud of and take them of the streets. It was a huge succes and Jeroen Koolhaas and Dre Urhahn decided to take their project to other destinations. From Rio they traveled to Philadelphia, Curaçao and Port-au-Prince in Haïti. Now they are back in their home country the Netherlands to take on a new project. The Bijlmer Bajes, an large jail in south east of Amsterdam has been empty since the beginning of June and is now getting ready to house refugees for 1,5 years before the buildings are taken down. They’ve started painting the grey walls with the help of volunteers including refugees.

favela painting
Their first project in Rio; The boy with kite

Photo: Favela Painting

Turning urban spaces into art projects might look like an easy task but everything is designed and worked out carefully. Locals are trained before they’re handed a paintbrush and some are able to take the lead which makes them feel worthy, something that most of them have not felt in a long time. The goal of the Favela Foundation was founded back in 2005 and the main goal is to create art in places where people are often socially excluded.

Favela Painting Bijlmer Bajes
Paining the new refugee centre in Amsterdam. Photo: Jeroen Koolhaas

I’m looking forward to see the end result and making the new refugee centre a colorful place.



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  • Pingback:Favelas of Brazil
    Posted at 02:53h, 13 March Reply

    […] are involved. They may be currently focused on the favelas of Brazil, but their ultimate goal is to replicate this project in other favelas or slums in various parts of the […]

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