enquanto ouver repressão havera resitencia / 

As long as there is repression there will be resistance.

Walking through Salvador we passed by a building covered in messages of uprising along with clothes drying on a line in many windows. That alone was interesting enough for me to photograph the exterior, it didn’t occur to me to go inside. Ernesto thought otherwise! Later that afternoon he talked with a few residents and they allowed us to come back to photograph.

“The Movimento de Luta nos Bairros, Vilas e Favelas (MLB) is a national social movement that fights for urban reform and for the human right to live in dignity. For the MLB, the struggle for housing is the main engine of the struggle for urban reform, as through it we managed to mobilize thousands of people, put pressure on governments and draw attention to the problems faced by poor people in large cities.” (From the MLB website

This building felt different from the Bonfim buildings of year’s passed - this community had an obvious structure to their goal, an organized leadership pushing the government to meet their demands for fair housing. You may see these images and think “how can they live like this” but this is far better than many are living in the city. As a community they will fight to convert this old school building into actual housing at an affordable rate. They will become owners of their space. A community in charge of their lives. Everyone was proud of the work they were doing, proud of their spaces they have created to live in, proud of their children (who loved all the attention!). In the U.S. you might call this squatting, but this is different. Do check out the link above - we could learn a thing or two from MLB!

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