Time for our Brazilian guests to depart but not without a few words and gifts…
They have been in the UK as part of the original ‘With One Voice’ event, curated by Streetwise Opera during the 2012 Olympics. ‘It celebrated the artistic achievements of around 300 performers who had experienced homelessness and over 30 organisations who work in the arts and homelessness arena. Following the event, Streetwise Opera was asked by British Council Brazil and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation UK to research the feasibility and need for an arts and homelessness project in Rio, the next Olympics host city.’ And this is how we dfound ourselves on an art tour of London with a group of like minded Brazilian visitors...
David, a Café Arts artist, presented the Deputy Mayor of Rio with a piece of art titled Unity, depicting exactly what this exchange was all about. Here is is with Matt Peacock, Streetwise Opera, and one of our Brazilian visitors Allan Borges, part of the Rio Mayors office.
Adilson Pires, the Deputy Mayor, spoke from the heart and even through a translator captivated his audience, as he promised the artwork would put up in a new day centre being built. ‘I already know where it will go,’ he smiled. To see the look of pride David rightly felt, took it back to his talk earlier,
‘(Café Arts)... gave me love, not for other people, but for myself. And…it gets you talking to people, to give you the confidence to do that. When you are homeless you live in a bubble, you talk to no one…Now I’m here talking to you…’
Earlier in the day, Café Arts took us all on a walking tour of street art in East London. We started with Café Arts photography, seeing their art along the way and finishing at The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation for a de brief of the week. Another art project, 'I exist' that has been taking place in Brazil included life size models being made, by people who have experienced homelessness, and putting these artworks out on the streets to see what the reaction is. The artists Heider De Oliviera was part of the Brazilian Delegatation and you can read more about the 'I Exist' project here.
What have we learnt? Find out more here.