Now this is a Kickstarter project I can get behind. Favelas are all too often characterised by criminal activity and well documented clashes between dealers and dodgy authorities, and rarely by the colour and life that exists within them. Reclaiming urban spaces with art transforms the outward perception of areas and, with the support of the community, beautifies the place they live in. I’ve been a part of processes like this in Zimbabwe and the visible enthusiasm and engagement of people we have worked with in the communities is overwhelming. The power to reclaim and rebrand.

Haas and Hahn are a Dutch duo that has been building towards this idea over the past decade. A couple of courtyards and streets down the line they’re looking for support to turn a whole favela complex in Rio into a massive piece of art.

They aren’t the first urban artists to use a favela as a canvas. Celebrated French artist, JR, uses temporary prints to cover roofs and trains in Kenyan communities, walls in Berlin, and surfaces around the world to share art and spread messages. His installation in Rio celebrated women through portraits and overseeing eyes plastered on the facades in one of the city’s most infamous favelas, Moro De Providencia.

If you want to help out Haas and Hahn, you can pledge a donation to the project
here
— it ends on October 31.