The top of Vila Pereira da Silva, a small community above Rios south zone Laranjeiras neighborhood, holds one of the most creative art installations in the city: Project Morrinho!!
There aren’t many signs to guide visitors up to the entrance, but community residents will often offer directions through the intricate maze of houses that blend with the hill’s flora of jackfruit trees. A short 20 minute hike leads up to the gates of the community art sanctuary, Morrinho.
It’s impossible to miss it. Hundreds of tiny jumbled up brick houses create the landscape of a 500-square-meter diorama, a replica of a number of favelas coexisting in one morro. Mirroring the style of many communities in Rio, some houses in Morrinho are splashed with paint and graffiti.
More than 3,000 miniature dolls populate the homes, drive the cars, and walk the streets of Morrinho. Scavenged toys like plastic cars, guns, and decorative lights complete the scenery and depict daily life from a “baile funk” party to a clash between cops and gangs. It is an artistic representation of a favela that began quite literally as child’s play.
In 1997 two brothers moved here with their family into this shack that was in the woods. They had never been to the city of Rio de Janeiro, they were from the countryside of the state,” said anthropologist Alessandro Angelini, who is currently studying Morrinho. “They were kind of shocked by the geography of the city, the difference between the favela and the asfalto (the formal city with public services below).”
The two brothers improvised a playground using leftover bricks and tiles they collected from building their own houses. They devised tiny characters from recycled material and recreated scenes from their own experiences in very high-pitched voices. The game soon attracted more young boys, and the small “morrinho” the two brothers had built expanded to a large tiny world.
“It was and still is a game,” Cirlan Oliveira, one of the brothers and project creators, said. “We had 50 young boys wanting to play Morrinho here. It turned into a fever.”
Come and see the backstage of the biggest show on earth, the carnival experience gives us the opportunity to understand how the carnaval production works and the history of this wonderful party, let's visit one of the most traditional samba schools in Rio de Janeiro!!!!
Tour duration: 5 hrs
Everyday of the week