Mandalah: Urban Expedition Raises Environmental Awareness
A group of 900 people explore the surroundings of one of the most polluted rivers in Brazil.
Based on the belief that the future holds much more than asphalt, chemicals and pollution to the Pinheiros river and its margins, 900 people got together on May 15th, with a common goal: to get to know this much neglected character of São Paulo’s urban environment better. Split into 30 teams guided by photographers, writers, musicians, architects, biologists, urbanists and a number of other different professionals, the participants got involved in various activities aimed at showing the importance of recovering both the water and the surroundings of this river that crosses one of the biggest cities in the world. They used videos, photos, drawings, essays, poetry and music to do so.
The idea behind Rio Pinheiros Vivo, the self-described “multimedia expedition” that brought these people together, is that one has to see and understand reality in order to change it. That’s why the participants were invited to climb surrounding buildings, bike along the riverbanks, visit the still unpolluted source of the Pinheiros and get acquainted with the transformations imposed over time on and by the river.
The artistic offspring of the expedition can be viewed on the project’s collaborative website, which is being continuously updated with material sent by the participants. The result is not the portrait of a dead water course: it reflects hope, concern, survival, faith in a better future, and even beauty, serving as a tool to raise awareness of a space and an ecosystem that could provide leisure and well-being for the 19 million inhabitants of the city.
Rio Pinheiros Vivo was conceived and promoted by Associação Águas Claras do Rio Pinheiros (Clear Waters of the Pinheiros River Association), an organization formed by eight companies from different market segments, and was sponsored by Santander.