Project Morrinho is a social and cultural project based out of the Pereira da Silva favela (slum) in the Southern Zone of Rio de Janeiro. Our aim is to bring positive change to our local community, as well as challenge the popular perception of Brazil’s favelas. The belief that favelas are merely dominated by drug trafficking and violence is not all encompassing. We have recently been made an official Cultural Point with the Ministry of Culture of Brazil, and we have won a two-year grant from the Ministry of Tourism. It is our hope that this increased national attention and support will bring us closer to our objectives of aiding our local communities.
Morrinho’s headquarters is a 320m2 small-scale model of Rio de Janeiro constructed from bricks and other recycled materials. It began as a simple childhood game in 1997 by local youth so they could escape from the realities of violence and corruption that plagued them and their community. Within this miniature urban world of Morrinho (little hill), they acted out a role-playing game with the numerous Lego-block dolls that inhabit the model, recreating life in Rio’s favelas. Currently, more than 20 teenagers are following the example of our founding members.
Project Morrinho has increasingly garnered attention for its amazing aesthetics and the ingenuity of its child creators. We have been able to use that attention to evolve, not only as a work of art, but also, into an organization with aspirations for social change. Our four initiatives, TV Morrinho, Tourism at Morrinho, Expo Morrinho and Morrinho Social, each play an important role in realizing the vision of Project Morrinho and helps us to directly contribute to the social, cultural and economic development of the surrounding areas.