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A stroll in the City of Risks: reading from the PiXação in São Paulo


This book, "A Stroll in the City of Risks: Reading from the PiXação in São Paulo", presents the particularities of this urban visual intervention in the city of São Paulo, situating it in the context of the street arts and showing rapprochement and detachment of graffiti. In Brazil, unlike what it happens in other countries, graffiti differs from pichação. Therefore, the distinction made by the protagonists themselves of this form of expression of what they do as "pixação" and not "pichação", since the latter would only refer to common phrases or words written on the urban landscape, usually in spray paint. On the other hand, pixação would refer to the composition of a very stylized handwriting and it is difficult to understand by those who do not belong to this world. This practice articulates an extensive network of social recognition. Thus, this book also deals with the relations of pixação in the urban context, showing its social class contours, mainly from the mobilization of the periphery category, and discussing its dimension of youth cultural practice. In addition, it addresses the relationship of this practice with the issues of risk, fear and moral panic. Anthropological research has revealed that the pixação em São Paulo mobilizes a complex dialectical play between fame and anonymity that can provide social recognition within this particular social world.The book is divided into five chapters. In the first one, the aesthetic expression of the pixação itself, its form and the terms that it names are presented, pointing out its relation with the other visual intervention: graffiti. In the second, it discusses the relationship of pixação and its protagonists with the urban space in São Paulo. Therefore, it demonstrates how poor young people from the outskirt neighborhoods occupy the center of the city as a privileged space for their action. In the third chapter, there is a description of exchanges, alliances, conflicts and of a category that organizes these relations, the notion of humility. The fourth chapter presents the pixação within the field of youth studies and demonstrates how a large number of the protagonists of this activity go through other cultural youth practices. Finally, in the fifth chapter, it discusses the experiences of risk, fear and adrenaline that this practice provokes in its authors, but also in the rest of the population.This ethnographic research therefore addresses how the pixação in São Paulo has been configured in the last 15 years, pointing out the permanences and transformations. It is based on previous research carried out for a Master's thesis in Social Anthropology defended in 2005 by USP, entitled "Stroll for the city: pixadores in São Paulo". However, despite taking several elements of this dissertation as a basis, it is a new text, totally modified and updated, with new questions, which brings as starting point even the most recent conflicts around the Cidade Linda Project of the current mayor of São Paulo. Thus, it describes the transformations through which this activity has passed in the last 10 years, such as the spectacular actions in the field of the arts, carried out through of interventions in the Bienal of Arts of São Paulo and Berlin, among others. Therefore, it presents an anthropological research about the city of São Paulo, its network of relations and unfolding in the management and daily life of the city. (AU)

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