Minhocão

  • The Elevado Presidente Costa e Silva, aka Minhocão (referencing a mythic giant earthworm), is an express elevated road that was built in São Paulo in 1970, with a proposed goal of alleviating traffic. It was, and still is, opposed by many. With only 5 meters between the Minhocão and the buildings it passes by, it enhances the claustrophobic proximity of the buildings, and directly enters the inhabitants’ lives, depriving them of any notion of quiet - except between 9:30pm and 6:30am, and on Sundays, when the road is only open for pedestrians and cyclists.
     
    It was on one of these Sundays that I decided to explore the Minhocão and the architecture it slashes through. Being so close to the buildings, I began to document the varying façades and windows. These photographs thus begin to serve as a study of the effects that this road has had on its surroundings, where the permanence of the pollution of passing cars has visibly led to this inevitable decay. However, some buildings and its residents attempt to fight this deterioration through new and colorful paint jobs, as well as ensconcing themselves in plants and greenery. 
     
    The Minhocão ultimately stands in the way of the modern and gleaming city that São Paulo wants to be, reminding us that there is still a lot of work to be done, and as a hopeful graffiti reads on one of the façades, better days are to come.