- Al Jazeera English, Rebel Architecture features Brazil.
The Al Jazeera English documentary series,, “Rebel Architecture” profiles architects who use design and architecture as a form of activism and resistance, and the final episode is “The Pedreiro and the Master Planner”.
A journey through Rocinha a Rio de Janeiro, the largest favela in Brazil, home to Ricardo de Olivera. Ricardo is a “pedreiro”, a builder and real rebel architect, known in the neighbourhood as "The Engineer of Rua 2", who has built more than one hundred homes without formal training and using the most basic tools. He offers small, simple solutions to meet the economic and social needs of the users – sustainable living on the steep hillside not far from the bay.
Still, the government rolled out its “pacification” programme in the run-up to the 2014 World Soccer Cup, and this is causing mayhem in the favela as its residents grapple with the fear of being displaced by the threat of gentrification.
In addition to Ricardo de Olivera, director May Abdalla also profiles architect and urban planner, Luis Carlos Toledo, who developed the official master plan for the regeneration of Rocinha. He has been working on favela urbanisation for a long time, starting way back in the days when the idea of improving the living conditions in these zones was still considered revolutionary. But even he is now questioning the benefits of sinking money into a spectacular cable-car, when residents still have no access to healthcare and education. His question is: "Who will design Rocinha’s future; the residents or the government?"
“The Pedreiro and the Master Planner” explores the new battles of the Brazilian favelas, battles that will still be raging long after the spotlights in the 2014 World Soccer Cup stadiums have gone dark, approaching the Olympic Games 2016.
Al Jazeera English, Rebel Architecture
Episode No.: (6)
Episode Title: The Pedreiro and the Master Planner (trailer)
Transmission date: 22nd September 2014
Dir: May Abdalla
Languages: Portuguese (English)
Company: Resolute Films