I came across these great photographs in this article from Vice magazine. The article takes a closer look at groups like the “Downtown Roofless Movement” in Sao Paulo, whose members try to fix up these dilapidated old buildings and try to carve out a space for themselves and their families. Some of these groups even have their own community centers hidden away inside these crumbling walls.
The Prestes Maia building was once home to the largest concentration of squatters in Latin America. Condemned and abandoned for 12 years, the once-glorious skyscraper had become a shithole infested with roaches, rats, and criminal activity among the widespread squalor of downtown São Paulo.
Ivaneti de Araújo, Downtown Roofless Movement (DRM) coordinator: “Once, I was invited to a conference abroad to present the particulars of DRM. When I came back, my husband had painted the apartment and written ‘Eu Amo Vc’ (‘I Love You’) on the walls. It’s nice to come home and see something like that, especially for us who have spent so long fighting for housing, our space, and our rights.”