The covid-19 pandemic has an enormous impact on cities worldwide. Especially within areas such as employment, health care, social services and the economy: both now as in the near future. In the fifth program of the Infected Cities series, we will look at how the city of São Paulo is currently dealing with this pandemic. During this LIVECAST we will have conversations with different experts about the current and future impact of this crisis in São Paulo. Together with DutchCulture, we will listen to voices of different ‘city makers’ such as artists, creatives, volunteers and their situation. The speakers will give us an insight into their daily works and explain how they commit to making a positive impact during this pandemic.

Brazil’s most affected city
Amid the developing coronavirus crisis, international focus is starting to turn more and more to South America, and Brazil in particular, the country with the highest number of confirmed cases within the region. The daily number of newly confirmed COVID-19 patients in the country is reaching a new peak. At the end of May more than 22,000 Brazilians have died due to the coronavirus pandemic.

One of the most affected Brazilian cities by the coronavirus is São Paulo, with 20 million inhabitants in the metropolitan area. In March, when São Paulo city declared quarantine, more than half of the city’s residents stayed at home and the spread of the virus slowed. With less residents respecting the quarantine or being able to do so for a longer period of time, the numbers started to rise again. Staying in isolation is most difficult for São Paulo’s poorest residents, many of whom live in packed communities together and who are forced to go out to work to maintain an income.

Bustling São Paulo
São Paulo is not only the financial and economic centre of Brazil, but also unequalled in its cultural and artistic offering. With its many theatres, concert venues, cultural centres and museums closed, outdoor festivals and international events like the Bienal de São Paulo postponed, the current situation is hitting São Paulo’s cultural and creative sector hard. It is even considered the most impacted at the moment.

In response to the current crisis, São Paulo’s cultural and creative sector is using its distinctive entrepreneurial and inventive ways to work, not only to survive but also to have positive social impact. Different initiatives – from online museum visits and performances at home to debates on how the sector can unite to deal with the actual situation and actions to support fellow citizens – show hardship and resilience at the same time.

Tuca Vieira holds an MA in architecture and urbanism from the University of São Paulo. Professional photographer since 1991, he worked at Folha de S. Paulo newspaper, among other media. Author of the awarded Photographic Atlas of the City of São Paulo (2016) and of the renowned photograph Paraisópolis (2004). He has exhibited in Brazil and abroad. Tuca currently develops the series Hipercidades (Hypercities), about the 21st century’s large metropoles.

João Leiva Filho is doing a PhD at the Institute for Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship at Goldsmiths University of London on access and exclusion to cultural activities in Brazil. He holds a BA in economics and an MA in cinema (University of São Paulo) as well as an MA in cultural management (University of Catalonia, Spain). He runs consultancy company JLeiva Culture & Sports that develops studies on cultural production and creative economy.

Danilo Crispim graduated in music at São Paulo State University (Unesp). He teaches flute at Guri Santa Marcelina. Guri Santa Marcelina focuses on the musical education and sociocultural inclusion of tens of thousands of children (6-18 years) from all layers of society in the metropolitan area of São Paulo. He is flute soloist of the Bachiana Filarmonica Orchestra conducted by the acclaimed former classical Brazilian pianist João Carlos Martins.

Juliana dos Santos is a visual artist and MA in art education. She is doing a PhD in the arts at São Paulo State University on the decolonization of art education in Brazil with a focus on Afro-Brazilian art and culture. She held her first solo show in 2018, as guest artist and teacher at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. In 2020 she will show her work at art gallery A Gentil Carioca in Rio de Janeiro. Juliana is participating in the 12th Mercosul Biennial.

Aurea Vieira is the manager of International Affairs at SESC-SP. She holds a degree in philosophy and a postgraduate degree in cultural management. In 2008/2009, she coordinated the French Year in Brazil. Aurea was awarded the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres medal in 2011 and the Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur medal in 2017, both formally endorsed by the government of France.

Larissa Macêdo is a critic, curator, university professor and researcher. She holds an MA in communication and semiotics and is doing a PhD at PUC University in São Paulo. Her research is on the decolonization of contemporary art, with a focus on artistic practices of Afro-Brazilian female artists in social media. Larissa is a member of the research group Extremidades, which aims to promote studies, workshops and meetings, related to new aesthetics, social practices and artistic multimedia production models.

Ana Carla Fonseca is an economist and holds a PhD in urbanism. She is an international consultant, writer and speaker, having worked in 32 countries, for the United Nations and the Inter-American Development Bank. She leads Garimpo de Soluções, a pioneering company on the creative economy and creative cities. Among others Carla co/designed projects aiming to foster active citizenship and urban innovation, and coordinated strategic creative economy projects for different Brazilian governments.

Marcelo Nogueira started out as a film editor and has made a creative career as a copywriter and creative director in leading Brazilian advertising agencies. Over his twenty years in the business, he has won a number of major national and international awards and was elected the second most awarded creative director in Cannes Lions Festival two times (2016 and 2017). He is the author of the phrases of the Ruas do Bem project, which is currently spreading positive messages on the asphalt of the streets of São Paulo.

Ineke Holtwijk is a writer and journalist. Based in Rio de Janeiro, she worked for fifteen years as correspondent Latin America for different Dutch media like De Volkskrant, NOS and Elsevier. In 2004 Ineke was nominated for the Dutch Award for Journalism. She wrote several books, six of which are about South America. With her book Kannibalen in Rio (Cannibals in Rio) she won in 1997 the award for best-selling literary debut in the Netherlands.

Programme seriesInfected Cities

The covid-19 pandemic has an enormous impact worldwide on areas such as employment, health care, social services and the economy, both now and in the coming period. While it is clear that everyone is affected by this pandemic, the impact is certainly not the same for different countries, continents, cities and different groups of people. In this series we will talk more about how different cities deal with the pandemic and the value of arts and culture in these cities that is now even more visible. Together with DutchCulture we will search for different so called ‘city makers’, think f.e. of artists, creatives and volunteers. They can give us an insight into their daily works and explain how they commit to make an impact during this pandemic and support those who suffer the most. Who are these people and which roles can creatives (designers, makers, writers and other storytellers) take to have a social impact in their city?