Simultaneous Translation of a Social Project sponsored by the British Council
We did the simultaneous translation of a social project sponsored by the British Council to help residents of occupied buildings, such as the Mauá occupation, in the center of São Paulo, near Estação da Luz.
Vanessa Ikemori and Vivian Haynes translated a group of British individuals who brought software to made independent networks, made with Lego bricks and leftovers from other obsolete devices. The idea was to give these people access to a network for data, even when they are without power (electricity) or are somewhere inaccessible to local phone and internet operators.
The Mauá building is in the center of São Paulo; it has been occupied since March 2007, and today it partners with the MSTC movements (Center for Homeless Movement), ASTC (Center for the Homeless Association) and MMRC (Housing Movement of the Central Region).
The Mauá Community is one of the oldest occupations in the capital of São Paulo. In March 2007, homeless people took over the old Santos-Dumont Hotel, which had been abandoned by its owners after business declined in the 1980s. It took many truck trips to remove the garbage and rubble accumulated in the building.
The homeless people removed wooden planks, overidden by fleas and fungi. Repairs to electrical and hydraulic installations turned the space into a functional community for 237 families, now almost one thousand residents.
Since the administration of Fernando Haddad, the city hall negotiated the purchase of the building. In 2014, a legal deposit amounting to 11 million reais was made for the expropriation process, but still no agreement was reached.
Interpreters in São Paulo, information and estimates: call 11 9 9934 4647 (operator Vivo, with WhatsApp) and speak to Vivian
Recently, the government made an offer of 18 million reais, corresponding to the current value of the deposit made in 2014 added to debts of the property with the public energy company.
The homeless promote cultural activities to sensitize society. Recently, the British newspaper The Guardian reported on the drama experienced by the occupiers a little over a decade ago, in a city with a growing street population and housing shortages. This report resulted in the social project we worked at, with simultaneous translation for the English people who participated.
The occupation has a general and maintenance coordinator, a concierge and a cleaning team.
Domestic violence, drug usage, thefts and involvement with trafficking are not allowed. Within the occupation, as is common in the dynamics of occupations of other similar housing movements, there is a scoring system, based on the participation of the residents in activities such as meetings, community affairs and cultural events. Political issues are always present.
All new residents undergo some basic training, where they learn about the reasons for the occupation, guidance about similar movements and the rights and duties of each resident. In November 2017 the City Hall finally freed the residents from the threat of eviction, acquiring the property after so many years of struggles.
Simultaneous Translation São Paulo Social Project – tel 11 9 9934 4647 Vivian Haynes