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Meeting the architect of VULICA BRAZIL project Meeting the architect of VULICA BRAZIL project

During the months of summer Minsk dances to the rhythm of the carnival beat, and never more so than during Vulica Brasil, a glorious celebration of Belarusian and Brazilian urban art held in and around Oktyabrskaya Street, one of the hippest locations in the city.

Earlier this month PrimeTour caught up with the founder and main architect of the project Lourenço Gimenes to ask him to share his impressions of Minsk, his thoughts on the city’s future development, and his view on the general impact of the festival.

Two years ago, the Brazilian Embassy invited Lourenço to come to Belarus, with a mission to strengthen ties between the two countries. The most important feature of the festival is that it is entirely voluntary, with Lourenço and all of the designers providing their time and energies free of charge. The key imperative is spontaneity, with graffiti artists encouraged to express themselves howsoever they chose. The work of not only Brazilian artists is displayed, but Belarusians also. And they have a vast canvas at their disposal; the iconic architecture of this extraordinary city district.

The festival is growing organically year on year, notes Lourenço, such that individual buildings are now identified by their own specific pieces of art. Further, the festival is not just a celebration of the work of the graffiti artist. Today visitors can attend a huge variety of exhibitions, film screenings and lectures showcasing how urban art is impacting positively on the city and the lives of those who call Minsk their home.

Lourenço talked to us about the city with great affection. In his eyes, Minsk is transformed during the weeks of the festival, with local people free to express their creativity without constraint. It is also clear that the city’s cultural and architectural heritage has made a huge impression upon him, with particular emphasis on the sun-drenched boulevards, the glorious open spaces and big skies, and most important of all, the warm hospitality of Minsk’s residents.

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