Urban Quilombo

  • Photographer
    Sebastian Liste
  • Prize
    1st Place / Editorial, 1st Place / Editorial/Photo Essay, 1st Place / Editorial/Feature Story
  • Date of Photograph
    December 2009 - January 2010
  • Technical Info
    Digital

The city of Salvador de Bahia in Brazil has a housing deficit of 150,000 that leaves thousand of families living on the streets. Since 2003 the "Movimento dos Sem Teto da Bahia" has been seeking farms, factories or abandoned buildings in the city of Salvador to offer a home to these families. Seven years ago 60 homeless families occupied a chocolate factory abandoned in front the sea. They were looking for a decent place to live and a more prosperous future for their children far away from the dangerous streets of Salvador de Bahia. Today, there are already 129 families who live in this factory.

Story

The city of Salvador de Bahia in Brazil has a housing deficit of 150,000 that leaves thousand of families living on the streets. Most of these families are descendants of slaves, which is one of the oldest forms of segregation in the world: since 500 years ago, in Bahia, wealth and poverty are inseparable from the color of the skin. Since 2003 the "Movimento dos Sem Teto da Bahia" (The Homeless Movement) has been seeking farms, factories or abandoned buildings in the city of Salvador to offer a home to these families. Seven years ago 60 homeless families occupied the "Galpão da Araújo Barreto”, a chocolate factory abandoned in front the sea. They were looking for a decent place to live and a more prosperous future for their children far away from the dangerous streets of Salvador de Bahia. After seven years of occupation they are losing hope of getting out of that situation. It's hard to fight against a political and economic system from overcrowding, appalling poverty and hardship every day. This type of occupations are usual in Brazilian history. At the time of slavery, the slaves who escaped from the plantations met in the quilombos. The quilombos were places of freedom and resistance to oppression and inhuman living conditions. Today, unfortunately, the history repeats itself. Since the 40s, when the city of Salvador experienced a very high population, growth and social inequality became more apparent. Now the most disadvantaged people is joining again and creating new living spaces like the abandoned chocolate factory. However, the situation is more fragile today than ever. The next events like World Cup 2014 and the 2016 Olympics are causing many evictions of the property because of the real estate speculation. Today 129 families are living in this factory in precarious conditions.

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