It s the extra Invisible city by Italo Calvino, called Brazilia in Brazil. It s a woman with invisible secrets among transparent Oscar Niemeyer architecture. A city old as a living human being among us, build on barren land; now adorned with palms, exotic fruits, artificial lakes…modern and modernist structures. People in cars, some monkeys…no visible cats?!
What is the future of this city you grew up with , I asked my new friend architect Gaetano.
– It is in the favelas, ex favelas which today are legalized, one by one.
These grow without plans or intention, like strong weeds, sometimes even beautiful, but mostly random, like pumpkins on the garbage. The modernist concrete architecture is aging badly, in the midst of colorful favelas which never meant to look good. Did you ever notice how a young beautiful person often looks bad in old age while a non beautiful one gets more character as time goes by.
The most planned city now belongs to the random lottery of reproducing humankind.
While we walk the huge empty boulevards under the short violent tropical storms in the downtown of Brazilia where nobody walks just transits from governmental buildings to bus stations , people stop us to warn us:
– It’ s dangerous, don’t walk, you can be robbed, killed…
We take off our american hats, hide Italian touristy bags and pretend we are the robbers, the dangerous lot. We did it in east LA, in Belgrade slums in red lights streets of San Salvario, Torino.
We attend an awesome Escher interactive show, we eat at the italian restaurants of the small friendly italian community, we go to the towers, fancy malls and local markets. The city of extremities they tell us.
We are invited to a cybepunk Mega Nao event at Balaio cafe (http://olharfeerico.wordpress.com/2010/12/14/meganao-hoje-no-balaio-cafe-201n) in a basement where we feel at home with feminists activists cyber hackers /lawyers defending Wikileaks and julian Assange. On the trail of Lula, the president of Brazil whose collaborators are keen to make a functional law about rights and duties of users and holders of the internet. I am wearing a T shirt with Dilma’s face when she was a young prisoner of the ancient regime in Brazil. She is the new president of Brazil from January 1st. Good luck for a tough woman.
No world crisis in the third world, the richest poor country in the world. They have all the problems of the first and second world but they don’t share their desperation and sclerosis. I feel like moving here and legalizing my piece of a Balkan favela.
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