To add to the articles on urban planning in Recife, here’s one more.
“‘A rua que convida traz vida’ (an inviting street brings life). This is the philosophy of a fledgling movement, which began to emerge on Rua da Glória late last year. Formed by intellectuals and artists, the group has proposed to rescue the history of the street – and the others adjacent to it, such as Rua Velha and Rua da Alegria – through artistic and residential occupation of the area. Initially , these people sought to restore dignity to Rua da Glória starting from recovering its private spaces. The abandoned houses, many of them in possession of the Santa Casa da Misericórdia, began to be rented out and renovated in order to be turned into places of cultural coexistence and confluence, in a compassionate and yet solitary attempt to resist the abandonment and the depredation of heritage.
When the actor and former furniture designer, Jorge Clésio, arrived at the house number 300 in September of last year, the property looked like a war scene. “There was a squatter who managed to destroy everything.
The roof was in pieces, there was no yard and there was a lot of garbage and dirt everywhere,” he recalls. From a blue energy (um…what?), according to his own definition, the house now has life. “Since I moved here I made several renovations. I put up a wall, redid the roof, and painted. Now I am restoring the tiles of the facade, a good part of them damaged, and redoing the mezzanine, which was completely destroyed. I want to return to that house the dignity it once had”, says Clésio.
He didn’t come to Rua da Glória by chance. He came because of house number 310, which is the home of a couple of his friends: the artist Rinaldo Silva and journalist Germaine Accioly. They were indeed the precursors of this “movement” and responsible for ” introducing” Glória to other artists. On the day that Diario was gathering information, a German graffiti artist was working in Rinaldo’s studio and a group was taking photos for a CD cover.
“We bought this house for a studio 14 years ago. After assessing whether it would be worth living here, we decided to get a place that was ours, despite all the problems on the street, and also to find our own way of living. In the beginning, we realized that other residents were puzzled by our arrival. But today, when I play piano, neighbors stop in the window to listen,” Germana recounts. Five other houses have been occupied by artists and some transformed them into studios. “Via citizen activism, we humanize this street and gradually restore it , invite people to visit it and get to know its history. Glória has a lot to tell us,” says Germaine.
Inspired by the nostalgia and the architecture of the many abandoned and invaded houses, the artist Giuliano Amani set up his studio on Rua da Glória. His relationship with the place, moreover, goes far beyond mere admiration: it also houses the history of his family. “The house where the studio is today was once the home of my grandfather and has an emotional appeal,” he confesses. Calife, however, has not taken up residence there, aside from his desire to do so. “Next to my house is another one that’s falling to pieces. Mine was too when I got there. It had been encroached upon and the roof had caved in. When my grandfather lived here, this street was beautiful. Today there’s only garbage and busted sewage lines. And we want to change that reality.” – Source (PT)