Recently Score and Moar from Germany went to Rio de Janeiro for some painting and beach hangout. Here are some impressions from their journey to brazil and a short interview about their experience with the local scene:
1. Under what circumstances did you make the video? How easy was it to shoot in the favelas, for you as white European guy?
The filming itself was not a big problem, except for the favelas that are not yet controlled by the police. The actual challenge was not to have the camera stolen or being ripped off. Under these difficult conditions we had to film with a small rig and a compact 50mm lens, all wrapped in an old plastic bag. Plus, we made the camera look less fancy by taping the labels on it. (It was quite a hassle!)
2. How do the Cariocas (the people of Rio) see graffiti in their city? Is it true that graffiti is considered something beautiful rather than an act of vandalism?
The (omnipresent) black Pixação tags are hated by many - if the police catch a Pixador it may end ugly... So for the people of Rio actual colorful, elaborate pieces of graffiti are a nice change. So (as a foreign writer) it is not uncommon to be offered cold drinks, a ladder or an invitation to a party with pick-up service in the evening. The reason must be that graffiti has just never been criminalized in the media like in most other countries.
3. How big is the graffiti scene in Rio? Why is it so easy to paint in the streets?
The scene is quite small. In the northern zone, where we went, the graffiti writers can be counted on the fingers of one hand. The city’s landscape is more dominated by Pixação (tagging), which is a scene in itself.
Also for the police in Rio it seems that there is nothing wrong with putting some color on a wall... So you have all the time in the world for your piece. There is another problem though: During daytime it’s just too hot to paint, so it makes more sense to go out at night. Although, if you don’t speak Portuguese or know any locals and don’t know how to get around in the city, it’s probably not a good idea to paint in certain areas.
Then you should rather enjoy the beach in Ipanema!