Spotlight: Architecture of Survival

Spotlight: Architecture of Survival

Date Published:
Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Projective Eye Gallery of the College of Arts + Architecture presents Favelas: Architecture of Survival, a series of photographs by Brazilian photographer Pedro Lobo. The exhibit will run from March 9 through May 30, 2013. An opening reception will be held in the gallery at our Center City building on March 22 from 6:00 - 8:00 PM.

Favelas: Architecture of Survival includes 48 large format photographs that document the favelas, or shanty towns, in Rio de Janeiro, the longest-lived squatter settlements in the world. Of approximately one billion squatters worldwide, one million live in Rio de Janeiro.

Lobo’s photographic landscapes document the organized chaos of hillsides overrun with homes. The photographs suggest a progression toward permanence, as people put down roots and build communities within these impromptu urban developments. These beautifully composed images do not shy away from the sprawl, or the hardships of the favelas, yet they are filled with optimism necessary for life in these marginalized urban neighborhoods. These images attempt to show the human dignity of the favela dwellers, in spite of all the difficulties faced by those who have no other choice but to live in these excluded communities.

These beautifully composed images do not shy away from the sprawl, or the hardships of the favelas, yet they are filled with optimism necessary for life in these marginalized urban neighborhoods.

Pedro Lobo is a Fulbright scholar who has studied at the International Center of Photography, NYC, and at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Over the 1970s and 1980s, Lobo was a photographer and researcher at Brazil’s National Center for Cultural Reference and at the Monuments and Sites National Institute. He lives in Rio de Janeiro and Évora, Portugal. Lobo won first prize for the photographs in this exhibition in the TOPS IN International Photo Festival in Shenyang, China.

In conjunction with the exhibition, the gallery will host response work from our neighbors at Urban Ministry and students in the UNC Charlotte School of Architecture and its Master of Urban Design program in the Center City building’s front window. The opening reception on March 22 features Brazilian music and dance, a brief lecture by artist Pedro Lobo, and a panel discussion on issues of homelessness and transitional housing.

Favelas: Architecture of Survival was organized by the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art of the School of the Arts at the College of Charleston, SC, and curated by Mark Long, Professor of Political Science at the College of Charleston.

Photo by Pedro Lobo.