Germinator Fund Report – Instituto Favela da Paz 2021

Introduction

Instituto Favela da Paz’s purpose is “to be of service to the world we dream of”, fostering a sense of community, creativity, collaboration, and purpose of life among the inhabitants of the periferia. Situated in Jardim Angela, the extreme South of São Paulo, which the UN declared in the 1990s to be one of the worlds’ most violent neighborhoods. More than twenty years ago, Claudio Miranda began to gather friends to make music with tin cans. At a time of daily shootings in the neighborhood, music was their way to create a space of trust and dialogue as an alternative to violence and fear. 

Today, Favela da Paz is a hub of transformational educational projects in arts and culture, food, sustainability, entrepreneurship and peace culture, involving youth and the surrounding community, creating the possibility to thrive in the slums and manifesting the art of gambiarra (the use of improvised solutions to solve a problem). They aim to turn their neighborhood into an urban model for sustainability and nonviolence.

 

The project

Since the Institute became a member of the Ecoversities Alliance it has been reflecting on how it can expand its work and structure it inspired by Swaraj University’s model. The Germinator Fund supported the launch of the “Quebrada masters”, an interview program on YouTube with inspiring leaders that share their histories, world vision and ways of solving community problems by means of art, collaboration and creativity. The program also focuses on people involved in essential services and knowledge for community life and identity, such as the baker, kite maker, garbage collector, as well as the elders. 

 

Activities so far

  • Set-up team with four members of the Institute and youth that participates in other audiovisual projects;
  • Mapped “masters” from the community and networks to be interviewed. They include artists, educators, entrepreneurs, among others;
  • Created script and style for the program;
  • Recorded and edited 3 episodes, currently in the final stages of post-production.

Learnings 

Initially, the project was not going to involve the youth as part of the team. However, we realized that it would be an incredible learning opportunity for them.  As a result, the whole production process has taken longer than anticipated. The youth involved have clearly improved their skills in pre and post-production skills and will continue to be part of the program’s team this year. We hope to finalise the episodes and launch them in the next two months. 

The team also decided the next programs will be live – a “slums talk show”. We are using the experience of the production of the first episodes to plan for it. The youth team members have also been incredibly creative in coming up with a style and language that would help people get engaged. We hope the live programs will create opportunities for more dialogue with the audience.

We had three extremely inspiring people sharing their stories. Our focus has not been on what they do but how: how they stand on their feet, maintain their dream alive in such difficult environment. Through the conversation we dove deep into what sustain them and what they do, their thought and feelings. The three interviewees were:

  • Hermes de Souza: from NUA, UniKebradas and Ecoversitites
  • Seu Elias: musician and recyclist 
  • Franz: founder of the project sailing in the arts

The program is helping to further establish Favela da Paz as an Ecoversity, honoring the wisdom and alivelihoods needed to nurture ecological, social, and spiritual well-being in the periferia. It will also expand their network of potential facilitators and mentors, as well as strengthening the ecosystem of learning spaces within their territory and increasing their visibility. 

We are also currently discussing how the program (its style and content) could be used as part of the online courses and learning journeys UniDiversidade das Kebradas wants to launch this year. 

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