Pimp My Carroça
São Paulo, Brazil
In year 2012, while painting the city walls, the artist Thiago Mundano noticed a garbage collection cart on the right lane disrupting the transit of cars. Instead of seeing a nuisance, he researched and found that this "extra-official" activity is commonly linked to marginalization and has a low status in society. However, in cities where recycling system is not efficient, its role is fundamental and necessary. For example, in the city of São Paulo exclusively, 17,000 tons of waste are generated each day, and only 1% is recycled; 90% of these recycled materials are collected by the garbage collection carts. What they do generate an activity of great environmental and social importance.
From this observation, Mundano approached these garbage collection workers, listened to their stories, visited places where they attended and fell in love for their cause. Therefore, the artist created the project "Pimp My Carroça" (an allusion to the popular MTV show "Pimp My Ride").
Written by Gabriela Ribeir
The jury felt that this project fulfils aesthetic and social aims equally, contributing to the sense of place of Sao Paulo both through contributing to cleanliness, recycling and sanitation, but also through a new sense of common purpose, connectivity and pride between the workers and other citizens. PIMP MY CARROÇA is a project that empowers recyclable material collectors, responsible for 90% of São Paulo’s recycling. The project creates a mechanism for dialogue between these under-appreciated workers with the rest of society, and that gives value to their carroça (cart) and social impact. The project is a collaborative action taking place through art-decorations on the carroça, graffiti and straightforward messages. The intervention is realized by volunteers and artists supported by crowd-funding in order to deliver a free public service. The recycling workers receive health treatment, haircuts, food, clothes, and art additions to their carroças.