The residents and their residential cultures
Recife, the capital of the Brazilian state of Pernambuco has a long history of slavery. Land ownership was preserved for a select few and legislation drove the poor out of the city center. This history of territorial, power and income concentrations led to social inequalities with 800,000 people living in precarious housing conditions. Several movements are building a political resistance to this by occupying vacant buildings. This is happening, among others, in Santo-Antonio, a historic district that is almost completely vacant. In this way, residents of squatters’ movements demand their right to the (historic) city.
Within the context of the concept of “the right to the city,” interdisciplinary research was conducted with ISTT on the squatters’ movement Leonardo Cisneiros in Santo-Antonio. This thesis maps the movement, its inhabitants and their living cultures. The methods used were a literature study and fieldwork of ten weeks around and in the occupation. During the fieldwork, observations were made and informal conversations were held with the residents and actors involved.
The first part of this thesis answers the question of how the Leonardo Cisneiros occupation came about and how this movement is situated within the history of Recife and the Santo-Antonio neighbourhood. The second part seeks methods for mapping everyday customs. The previous living location of residents, income, security, food, hygiene, leisure, politics and religion are discussed. In each case, the themes are discussed based on the story, objects from the building and locations in Santo-Antonio. Finally, uses that can be linked to the trans-local, immigration or housing typology are filtered out for each section.