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An art intervention in the slums of Rio de Janeiro

Color can change lives.  This seems to be the thought behind the latest work of Dutch artist duo Haas&Hahn, individually known as Jeroen Koolhaas and Dre Urhahn.  Along with local help, earlier this year, Haas&Hahn painted 34 houses (spanning over 7000 sq meters) on the giant hillside favela (slum) into a design of colouful rays, radiating toward the city.  These amazing photos show the spectacular results.

Since 2006 in Brazil, Haas&Hahn has been working the ‘Favela Painting’ project, a project that aims to transform communities inside the poorest neighborhoods of Rio de Janeiro into landmarks and inspirational monuments. Haas&Hahn started working together in 2005 when they filmed a documentary about hip hop in the favelas of Rio and São Paolo for MTV. Inspired by their visit, they embarked on a journey to bring outrageous works of art to unexpected places.  Enlisting the help of the local youth, they painted enormous murals in the slums of Brazil. Dre Urhahn said “This work of art can make a colorful difference in the lives of local individuals, the community and the city of Rio. It has the potential of working as a catalyst in the processes of social renewal and change.”

Check out Graffiti Brasil (Street Graphics / Street Art)by Neelon and Manco for a great book on street art in Brazil.

Haas and Hahn in front of their painted buildings.

*Photos are courtesy of the Neon Hive and the Favela Painting Project.

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