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​UK based arts & homelessness project to be launched in Brazil

Press release   •   Dec 11, 2015 13:58 GMT

UK based Arts & Homelessness project to be launched in Brazil – Café Art Calendar/ My São Paulo

*Project developed in the UK by English organisation Café Art happens for the first time outside the country. 100 disposable cameras were given to 100 homeless people in São Paulo, in the beginning of November, and the best photos will become a calendar.

*The calendar is part of the With One Voice programme, an international capacity building and exchange project on Arts & Homelessness, produced by Streetwise Opera and People’s Palace Projects with the support of British Council Brazil and Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation UK Branch.

*The calendar will be launched during the São Paulo Human Rights Festival, on 12th December 2015. The launch event, with participating photographers in attendance, will showcase the best photos by all 92 participants in a special exhibition

*Calendar will also be for sale in the UK, through Café Art website (

“When they gave us the cameras, we forgot about the world”, recalls Matheus Leandro Barbosa, who has been living in the streets for 5 years, since he moved from Bahia to São Paulo, Brazil. Matheus is one of the 100 homeless people participating in the project My São Paulo – Café Art Brazil, as part of the With one voice programme, an international capacity building and exchange project on Arts & Homelessness, produced by Streetwise Opera and People’s Palace Projects with the support of British Council Brazil and Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation UK Branch.

The idea behind the calendar is nurtured by English organisation Café Art, who have been developing the same project over the past three years in London. Every year, they give away 100 disposable cameras to homeless people in London, who have three days to photograph the city. The best photos become a calendar and all the money made from its sales is given to Arts & Homeless NGOs in the capital. 

In Brazil, the calendar was produced in partnership with the Secretary of Human Rights and Citzenship of São Paulo. Each participant had two days to photograph the city. From the 100 cameras donated by Fuji Film to the project, 91 returned – a record never before reached. Matheus, for instance, had two photos chosen to be a part of My São Paulo calendar. “ I wanted to portray people I see everyday in the streets, because I think this is what the project is all about. Tell people’s stories”. Another photographer, Diogo Virolli, took a photo of a house with no windows, because it reminded him of his childhood home, in Northeast Brazil. “It reminded me of when I was a child. I was very happy then”.

Over 4,500 photos were taken, and a special jury selected the top 20 photos, which were later displayed for public vote. 13 photos were picked to be part of the calendar. Paul Ryan, Café Art director, says the Project goes beyond being just a photographic competition. “It’s one step ahead on getting society to understand what is like to be homeless, and connect people through photography”. The calendar also displays a short biog and profile photo of each photographer.

In Brazil, the My São Paulo Calendar will be launched on 12th December, 10am, during the Human Rights Festival of São Paulo. It’s a limited edition, and it will be sold for £9.99 in the UK. All money from the sales will be used to support Arts & Homelessness projects in São Paulo.

As with the Cafe Art My London project, training in photography was given by The Royal Photographic Society in São Paulo. The 100 cameras were donated by FujiFilm Brasil and the calendar was designed for no cost at Carter Wong Design, London.

About With One Voice (

With One Voice is an international programme designed to give homeless people a voice through the Olympics, while also building capacity, sharing knowledge and strengthening the whole arts and homelessness sector around the world. The first With One Voice event took place during the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad and was the first time homeless people had been represented during the Olympics. It’s now being followed by events at Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 with all projects bringing the arts and homelessness sector together internationally.

The With One Voice Brazil project began in 2013 with a research visit by Streetwise Opera and People’s Palace Projects into the homeless situation in Rio and São Paulo and the need for local arts projects. It was found that despite a very different homelessness situation in Brazil, with thousands more people living on the street and no social housing, city councils, homeless centres and homeless people want to develop the use of the arts and build towards an event at the Cultural Olympiad in Rio in 2016.

The With One Voice project is run by Streetwise Opera in partnership with People’s Palace Projects which enables and facilitates cultural exchange between the UK and Brazil, British Council Brazil, the Calouste Gulbenkian FoundationArts Council England, the Brazilian Homeless People’s Movement and the Prefeituras (city governments) of São Paulo and Rio. It is being funded by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and British Council Brazil.

Notes to the editors

Streetwise Opera is an award-winning charity that uses music to help people who have experienced homelessness make positive changes in their lives. It runs regular music programmes in homeless centres and arts venues across England and stages critically-acclaimed (‘Awe-inspiring’ ★★★★★ The Times) opera productions. Streetwise Opera founded and runs the international With One Voice programme, which seeks to help build the capacity of the arts and homelessness projects across the world.

People’s Palace Projects (PPP) is an arts research charity based in the Drama Department of Queen Mary University of London. Its projects address a wide range of social justice and human rights issues through academic research, participatory arts projects, performances, educational initiatives and debates. For the past two decades, it has maintained a special focus on strengthening cultural links between the UK and Brazil.

Café Art connects people affected by homelessness with the wider community through art.

It frames the artwork of people attending art sessions run by London homeless sector organisations. It finds independent London cafes to hang and sell it in, with 100% of the proceeds going to the artists.

The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation is an international charitable foundation with cultural, educational, social and scientific interests. Based in Lisbon with branches in London and Paris, the foundation is in a privileged position to support national and transnational work tackling contemporary issues. The purpose of the UK branch is to bring about long-term improvements in well-being particularly for the most vulnerable, by creating connections across boundaries which deliver social, cultural and environmental value.

The British Council is the UK's international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. The organisation is present in over 100 countries and has more than 8,000 members of staff, working in partnership with governments at different levels, not-for-profit organisations and the private sector, in activities related to the promotion of English language, culture, arts, education and social programmes.

CAFÉ ART connects people affected by homelessness with the wider community through art. We hang artwork created in art groups run by homelessness sector organisations and hang it in independent cafes in London. We also run photography contests with disposable FujiFilm cameras. This year we ran the third My London contest, exhibition and calendar and the first My São Paulo calendar project in Brazil in November 2015.

For more info and to buy the calendar, access or

For press enquiries in Brazil, please contact Renata Peppl: For press enquiries about Cafe Art please contact Paul Ryan:

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