Not sure about the quality of the photo but i hope it serves to illustrate a point. In the build up to carnaval there have been a couple of interesting articles about COMMUNITY or rather the lack of COMMUNITY spirit in Sao Paulo recently and the fact that Samba schools have been moving out of their traditional central neighborhoods towards the periferia. I think it was a shame that the articles and those quoted seemed to take such a simplistic and uncritical view of COMMUNITY. Whilst the specifics of the relationship between Samba schools and the relationships to their relevant neighborhoods may reflect the realities of the contest for space and interestingly silence (more about this to come), the bigger issue of community spirit is somewhat more complex. I took this photo today in Parque Buenos Aires in Higienopolis – presumably the kind of neighborhood to which the article refers. I post it as an example of a community that is alive and well in Sao Paulo – walk through the park most mornings and you’ll see a multitude of young mums, nannies, the odd (or should i say occasional) father in what reflects a highly active and energetic community: one that seems to reflect a lot of cross class interactions and discussions. Did a community spirit ever really exist in Sao Paulo or any other city in the world and shouldnt we start to think a little more about the many communities they have always accomodated rather than one hegemonic defintion?
Tell me what you think