Sao Paulo is wild, growing, moving, coulourful, dangerous, flourishing, broken, noisy, huge, chaotic. The colours are overwhelming. The earth, breaking out on building sites, ranges from bright orange to deep red, green is growing everywhere out of the narrowest gap, bringing life to flowers every size and shape and grey is the concrete, grey is the dust, glowing in the burning yellow of the sun. The houses and streets are like nature, spreading all over in every dimension, fighting each other for light.
Allthough all the impressions were so dense, they didn`t overwhelme me.
I wandered through the city, enjoying and seeing so many people, architecture and details in such relaxation, that I started asking myself why this special awareness I gain in foreign places was so much stronger as usual.
As I talked to a local artist, he asked me about my opinion about the total absence of advertisement in public. Suddenly I knew, where my free mind, my ability to concentrate on faces and to be aware of structures and life, came from.
Nothing washed my brain with short texts and screaming colours, symbols and pictures all the time. Advertisement must have been a battlefield in Sao Paulo, since there are so many building sites and shopping streets which all were covered by products, available in this booming country.
In 2006 the mayor decided to fight the pollution of the city.
He defined the visual pollution as one of the most bothering ones and decided to ban it, 70 percent of Sao Paulos inhabitants behind him.
As the ads disappeared, the people started to realize how grey and broken the facades were. How parts of the city were lacking proper care. There had to be street lights installed, buildings restored and signs made. But after all, they started to see the city and care for it again. The reference system sorrounding everyone wasn´t well produced fiction anymore.
Naive, who thinks that doesn´t change thinking.
This step seemed to be easy to take. The next steps, fighting the pollution of air, the housing shortage, the poverty and the crime will be much higher for the gouvernment.
"I would like to adopt this idea for the whole wide world", was my answer to the artist.
He, by the way, made a wonderful piece of art out of this happening.
As a collage he replaced all the empty billboards and walls of the city with his paintings.