Eight years ago, Dutch artists Jeroen Koolhaas and Dre Urhahn began a project that has since expanded into a global art initiative to bring colour to some of the world's bleakest urban vistas. Beginning with a mural called 'Boy with a Kite' in the favela of Santa Marta, Rio de Janeiro, the project expanded into painting the thirty or so houses that surrounded a public square in the same neighbourhood.
Recruiting and training locals to help bring the plans to reality, the idea is now regarded as a way to open up a dialogue between the disenfranchised citizens, and the architects, urban planners and elected officials who dictate how people live.
Thus, the two Dutchmen have created a blueprint that gives local people the power to affect their environment and stamp some character into the increasingly faceless urban sprawls of the twenty-first century. And in the favelas of Rio, they have inadvertently turned what was once regarded as a no-go area, into a big tourist draw.
In the intervening years, many projects have been completed, but in 2014, Haas and Hahn will return to Rio with an even bigger project, having successfully raised $250,000 to finance the latest phase of their unique urban regeneration.
Details with how you can help are at the bottom of this page. In the meantime, take a look at these pictures, exclusive to FUTURE-ROCKER.
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