On Wednesday, September 18, the Queens College community joined seven visiting artists from Rio de Janeiro to celebrate the first United States installation of Projeto Morrinho. Morrinho, which means “little hill” in Portuguese, is both a role-playing game and a miniature recreation of a favela ,which emerged in the late 1990s in Rio’s Pereira da Silva community. Reconstructed and reworked as part of an international dialogue in Cooperman Plaza by the Brazilian members of the Morrinho Favela Arts Cooperative and a group of Queens College students, the Flushing Morrinho is now “live” and ready for immersive, interactive play. Please visit and engage with this iconoclastic artwork, which is located in the space between the Rosenthal Library and the New Science Building and across the entrances of the New Science Building.
We are especially happy to host Projeto Morrinho’s re-thinking of urban form and the representation of life in favelas because this distinctive artwork is the result of a collaborative dialogue between Queens College students and young people from Rio de Janeiro. Projeto Morrinho was born when youth in a favela developed a creative escape from the often violent and exclusionary realities surrounding their community. Since then, it has evolved into a cultural force that is inspiring social awareness and dialogue internationally. The project’s role-playing aspects permit participants to assume the identities of residents, drug dealers, and the police. Using decorated LEGO avatars, participants act out original scenarios that address the power imbalance between favela residents and other social actors in Brazil today. Queens College is proud to host Projeto Morrinho as part of our College’s continuing engagement with Brazil specifically and Latin America more generally.
In a Queens diorama, a favela comes to life, David Gonzalez, September 29, 2013, New York Times
Projeto Morrinho rises on campus, FYI, Queens College Faculty/Staff News, September 2013
A miniature city created by Brazilian artists comes to Queens College; first US installation of international Projeto Morrinho, September 10, 2013, Queens College press release