Who are the poprua?
Among so many colors and layers, a group of the population seems to escape from almost all definitions and statistics: beggars and the homeless. Today a clearer term and definition is used: street situation people. Being on the street is a passage, not a condition. There are almost 20,000 people who survive in day-by-day in this situation; they lack stability, resources, and infrastructure typically afforded by public policies. They are an “invisible” population to most of the “others” of São Paulo. But they have their own rules, and a type of social cohesion around their way of life and their longings.
After a long history of dehumanization and lack of formal representation, the PopRua (“pop street”), as they like to be called, succeeded in forming an organized movement. The National Monument of the Street Population (MNPR) was formed in the wake of a massacre of street dwellers in 2004 in São Paulo. Today MNPR is the social movement that works toward dialogue and effectiveness of the guidelines of the National Policy of Street Population, decreed in 2009. The search for fulfillment of human rights of this population through concrete public policies and maintaining dialogue with responsible agencies and organizations in constant action for this movement.
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In October 2016 MNPR was able to launch CISARTE (Center for Intergration Through Art, Work and Education), located in a space of more than 1500 square meters under the Pedroso Viaduct in São Paolo. Provided by the São Paulo city hall, the space was once a shelter for street situation people even in the midst of the extreme traffic noise of Avenida 23 de Maio that passes under its pillars. Managed by the MNPR itself, which maintains its headquarters there, CISARTE is conceived as a place of passage for the “pop art” population. Their vision is a contemporary proposal: to provide a socially inclusive space that assists street people to “integrate” into civilian life with a humanizing and non-assistant-oriented approach. The space is a place to spend time, to take a course, to meet others, to exchange ideas, to share, discuss and learn. It is a place to wash clothes, to cook, and to just be!
Another key partner for the social impact design project was Vila Itororó-Canteiro Aberto. Located on the same street as CISARTE, Canteiro Aberto is a complex project that involves the restoration of the historic Vila Itororó, managed by the Pedra Institute, the São Paolo City Hall and other private institutions.
The Canteiro Aberto is a “spontaneous cultural center” located in a warehouse in front of Vila Itororó. It is a space open to any activity that respects the logic of human integrity and spontaneous creativity. On the lower level, there is a woodshop and a FAB LAB is a project of ITS Brazil (Institute of Social Technology Brazil).