No War

Yesterday was an adventure. Andrew and I traveled to East São Paulo to hang out with a group of Pixação artists that go by the collective name “No War.” Pixação is a unique form of graffiti native to Brazil (better known as tagging in the U.S.).

While I was wary of starting this story without a translator, it worked in our favor. The language barrier made it surprisingly easier to bond with 24-year-old Leonardo Tadeu, his 15-year-old wife, Ingrid and their 4-month-old daughter, Kyara.

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The entire group was extremely hospitable. After a spending a few hours with the family and enjoying a home-cooked lunch, Leo and his friends prepared to paint.

Leo points out and explains common Pixação characters.

Leo points out and explains common Pixação characters.

Yago Assunção de Souza spray paints a wall on his friend's roof.

Yago Assunção de Souza spray paints a wall on his friend’s roof while waiting to go to a larger painting site.

The group hangs out, drinking beer and smoking, before going out to paint.

The group hangs out, drinking beer and smoking, before going out to paint.

While it’s not considered a favela or slum, Leo and his friends live in one of São Paulo’s rougher neighborhoods. I was warned to be cautious of crime and violence, but I didn’t experience anything like that. Rather, I saw how friends in such communities support each other, make each other laugh and bond over a common interest. I can’t wait to experience more.

Leo mixes purple dye with a white base paint.

Leo mixes purple dye with a white base paint.

Vinicius Amorin smokes a joint while waiting for his turn to paint.

Vinicius Amorin smokes a joint while waiting for his turn to paint.

Until next time,

Cara Wilwerding

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About Cara Wilwerding
Cara Wilwerding is a senior journalism major at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She grew up in Omaha, Neb and started her journalism career at Omaha Westside High School. She writes for the Daily Nebraskan’s arts and entertainment section in addition to taking photos. She’s also traveled to São Paulo, Brazil, for a similar photojournalism project with the College of Journalism and Mass Communications. This summer, she will work as an editorial and multimedia intern for HearNebraska.org, float down the Niobrara River and play a fair amount of ultimate frisbee. After graduating next spring, Wilwerding hopes to continue writing and photographing for an arts and entertainment publication.

One Response to No War

  1. Congrats for your experience, Cara! 🙂

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