MTO – Worker Ghetto Box + Print release
Since our last update with MTO featuring his recent piece for Memorie Urbane 2015 street art festival in Italy, the French artist has traveled to Portugal to create an extraordinary thought-provoking mural near Lisbon, as guest of “O Bairro i o Mundo” festival, an initiative that contributed to a positive change in the public perception of Quinta do Mocho neighborhood, in the Loures municipality, considered for many years as a dangerous area.
According to MTO, “the hood is very poor and composed of a huge majority of African immigrants, working on Loures industries around the hood. Many of those workers have been relocated there when other near-by ghettos have been destroyed and rehabilitated.” The mural, situated at the crossing of Rua agostinho and Rua Pero Escobar, highlights this forced and restless journey from here to there, pointing out to how resourceless people are packed and sent away to wherever, repeatedly used to serve certain interests and then, when no longer needed, left behind in a system that has serious flaws and gaps camouflaged in this mirage of fabricated lifestyles, that we are less and less aware of, silently ignoring and accepting the faith of others to defend our well-being, embracing and obeying the system in the name of comfort and with the goal of climbing up the social ladder, of never becoming what we allow others to become.
What is worse is that poverty, in its financial sense, is easily labeled as and associated with a disreputable and dangerous image, thus affecting social relationships and the communities living in such areas. Fortunately, there are projects such as “O Bairro i o Mundo”, which together with local artists and youth, and international guests as well, has managed to make important steps in overcoming prejudices against its residents from diverse backgrounds and increase interaction and the sense of belonging to the neighborhood.
“The evaluation of the initiative, made through empirical observation and an extensive survey, demonstrated that it has contributed to fostering social cohesion and local development through cultural expression. Furthermore, it contributed to changing the image of the neighborhood and increased perception of safety. As a resident of a near-by wealthier area posted on the O Bairro I o Mundo Facebook page, thanks to the event, she had overcome her fear of visiting Quinta do Mocho, after 10 years living on the other side of the avenue.” (more info)
Images © MTO
Print release @ URBANSHIT Gallery
Finally, we are pleased to announce that the artist is collaborating with URBANSHIT Gallery for a limited MTO ‘The legend of Fred ILLE and Gwen VILLAINE’ Print Edition, available on June 10th, 2015, at 11:00 AM (CET).
Edition Size: 33
Size: 600 x 400 mm (~A2)
Numbered and signed by the artist
Price: 150 € (incl. Tax /EU) / 126 € (outside EU)
Every print will by delivered with one pair of protective gloves made out of cotton and a certificate of authenticity.
Images: URBANSHIT Gallery