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Batata precisa de você

Pinheiros, São Paulo

Ocupy the Potato

For a long time, São Paulo was more of a place to pass by than a place to stop, sit and be. But that is changing. The movement, A Batata Precisa de Você (The Potato Needs You), asks an interesting question, "Who does this city belongs to?" by taking back the public space.

Inhabitants of the region and people who embrace the cause have been gathering there to play music, talk, or whatever comes to mind! On Fridays, at the end of the day, people bring their chairs and stools and just enjoy being together.

Largo da Batata is surrounded by little bar joints and houses that play forró. It’s only a popular destination for the middle-class now, since the subway station Faria Lima is close by. But this movement allows people to just look at each other's faces, you know?

Not everyone is paulistano, Brazilian, but everyone is human. This big cement square is turning into a spot of resistance from the concealment of condos and all the other things that separate us.

Viajo highlights

On the ground that holds the new structure of Largo da Batata is a public square in the heart of Pinheiros Neighborhood. Here is where the history of São Paulo takes place.

In 1560, the very neighborhood of Pinheiros was born here., This is also where the Guaianá indigenous people lived. On this ground, a church was built with the intent to initiate them as Christians. And this is where the pioneers gathered for their expeditions.

Also interesting, this is where farmers sold their products in the end of the 19th century and where Mercado Caipira (Countryman’s Market) was sheltered.

Japanese farmers and their descendants gave birth to Cooperativa Agrícola de Cotia in an effort to commercialize potatoes. That’s how Potato Square got its name. From potatoes, it soon grew into a popular supply spot for fruits, vegetables and cereal in the city.

Pinheiros Neighborhood developed around Largo da Batata. Today, completely reconstructed, the Square allows access to the subway station Faria Lima and has larger streets for the heavy traffic that crosses the area.

In June 2013, the Square was the starting point of one of the largest public demonstrations in Brazil, the June Manifestations.

Movimento Passe Livre (Free Fare Movement) started the dialogue as a public outcry for the reduction of the bus fare in São Paulo, but soon the demonstrations spread throughout town and all over Brazil -- with different groups, for different causes.

Batata precisa de você
Av. Brg. Faria Lima, 900,
São Paulo,
S.P. 05426-200
Laura Guimarães Poetess, 44

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