Virada Sustentável São Paulo 2021
Virada Sustentável is the largest festival on sustainability in Brazil. With a mission to disseminate and expand information on the topic, the festival involves articulation and direct participation of civil society organizations, public bodies, cultural collectives, and social movements in actions that reinforce the transformational aspects of collectivity and our impact on the environment.
Virada Sustentável takes place once a year in different cities around Brazil by using art and recreational activities as its main tools, inspiring people to see sustainability as a collective matter. For its 2021 edition in São Paulo, the festival invited over 100 different projects, institutions and organizations to formulate a message to a post-pandemic world. From UNICEF to The Nature Conservancy and the Museum for Sexual Diversity, these messages throw light at a wide range of subjects such as waste, extinction, food, health, gender, education, social justice, among many many topics.
Together with Mateus Acioli and Beto Galvão, Sometimes Always was in charge of creating a design system to host these messages in multiple formats, media and locations around the city of São Paulo. We had a lot of text to work with but also a huge amount of canvas to fill up; from bus stop billboards to underground staircases and building facades, all spread around the biggest city in South America. Instead of focusing on the type, we took this unique opportunity and space to create new landscapes in the city. Made out of open source photographs, these surrealist compositions worked as fictional oasis in the harsh reality of the metropolis.
After a year and a half under lockdown, restrictions and social tension, life in a country that watches its human, natural and collective resources erode became nearly unbearable. On top of that, there is the complexity of Sao Paulo itself, a “concrete jungle” that lacks green spaces, public leisure facilities and is brutal to its citizens on so many levels. With that in mind, we focused on creating a sort of reality escapism through these uncanny collages that are inspired by new age communication and the aesthetics of spirituality. From Scienthology to Catholicism and Seicho No Ie, there is surely an intersection of language and style that evokes a certain paradise, a peaceful state of mind and soul.
The advisory and sometimes prophetic tone of the messages created for Virada Sustentável led us to explore this idea of an Eldorado, or at least, the idea of a world that holds a future of some sort. The compositions were displayed all over São Paulo for two weeks and, hopefully, created a feeling of hope to some of its citizens, or at least, a sense of escape. Looking at the photographs by Alexandre Urch and Ariel Martini, it definitely feels like a Truman Show world of intangible pleasures. Or maybe this is just the new normal.