São Paulo’s city squatters

20121222_SPIEHS_Roofless_DeskYesterday, I went to three of the many abandoned buildings of São Paulo that are now occupied by squatters. The Mauá building (which I visited on Wednesday) and the Prestes Maia building are the most well known buildings of the Roofless Movement in São Paulo. The Prestes Maia is the largest squatted high rise in South America. There have been as many as over 400 families at a time in the 22-story building.

20121222_SPIEHS_Roofless_StairBikeI also went to a building that is occupied by squatters but isn’t affiliated with the Roofless Movement. The leader of the building is attempting to become a part of the movement to receive more donations and attention from locals. The building has about 36 families, which is much less than the other buildings I’ve visited. Originally, the residents had been in another abandoned building but the authorities made them leave. They took over their current home and more squatters have returned to their old one.


About Morgan Spiehs
Morgan Spiehs is a junior from Wood River, Neb. Spiehs has traveled to India, Brazil and Ethiopia on photojournalism projects through the College of Journalism and Mass Communications. She placed in the top five at the Hearst multimedia competition for the short documentary she made on a slum school in India. Last summer, she interned as the only full-time photographer for five weekly newspapers in northeast Nebraska. Spiehs will be interning at the Lincoln Journal Star this summer and will be photo chief at the Daily Nebraskan in the fall.

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