I have been at the Little Caymans for four days now. The ocean i s beautiful, the corals are full of life, and the sea full of colors. Every day I have been here its amazes me how lucky I am to be able to have the opportunity to spend time here and see the amazing marine life and corals. Specifically yesterday I got to go out on my first ocean water dive.The team saw different corals, a sea turtle, and some stingrays. Here’s a picture of one of the reef sites we were at.
Archives for July 2016
Street art research. Street art in Rio just keeps getting more exciting.
Article – The Legalization of Street Art in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil from untappedcities.com
Quote: Brazilian graffiti art is considered among the most significant strand(s) of a global urban art movement and its diversity defies the increasing homogeneity of world graffiti. – Design Weekly
- 2009 Brazilian government passed law 706/07 – decriminalizing street art, making it legal if done with consent of owner
- Tagging = pichacao and street art = grafite
- In 1999 there was a movement encouraging grafite vs pichacao called Nao pixe, grafite
- Quote : the tagger wants to put his name on the wall, to be famous and is vadalist, but the street artist is interested in aesthetics and community
- Quote: in Rio de Janerio, the street art is ubiquitous, it exists in all corners of the city from favela to upper middle class neighborhoods from residential in institutional
- 4 situations of ownership described by Quito
- Owners of buildings invite artists for commissions
- Street artist ask permission from owner
- Street art is created with no permission at places with owners
- Street art is created at locations with no owners
- Street art is a tool for creating community.
- Street art influences the creation of space. Informal public space and hangouts.
- Street art is found on infrastructure walls, residential security walls, commercial security walls, junctions and corners, public spaces like playgrounds and soccer fields and schools
Article highlights two projects that took place in favelas:
- Let’s Colour Project. Tudo de cov para voce, Santa Marta, Rio de Janeiro – decorated 7000 sq meter of facades . Involved 50 members of neighbohood and used 2000 liters of donated paint
- Projecto Queto – founded by Francisco da Silva, leader of Nacao street art crew. – set up community center in favela he grew up in. Explains the potential for graffiti to be a source of inspiration in favelas. Quote : street art has the ablity to establish discipline and structure, we hope to inspire youth to learn more and read more: to discover what life has to offer outside their day – to -day existence. Particpants learn graffiti techniques and come into contact with art, culture, language, learn about reading and writing. Workshops in audio production, silkscreen printing, sewing and fashion design are also offered. Vocational opportunities as by products of street art.
Something tragic happened Friday night – July 22nd. One of the men that was staying at our hostel was killed. He was at the Rio bus station – a dangerous spot – very dangerous at night. Someone tried to steal his motorcycle and he fought back. He was shot. We didn´t find out untill Monday via an internet search. It is very sad. His son came to the hostel to pick up his stuf. Reminder that the city is dangerous – also a reminder that you need to be smart. Avoid certain places at night – don´t fight back.
So today, as our first day, we of course had to spend a good amount of time in the water! As a group we were able to help some PhD students with their project, which was cool but labor intensive. They are looking at the effects of sea turtle grazing on a sea grass called turtle grass, also known as Thalassia testudinum (not sure how I am going to remember that one). I have learned that if I can tie the scientific name to something that I more commonly know then it might go better. But anyway, we had to cut the Thalassia right where the new, green grass blades are growing because this is where the sea turtles actually eat the grass – we were literally mimicking sea turtle grazing! We were all a bunch of weird looking turtles. Although, I thought we looked more like whales because we would have to duck down into the water, cut as many blades as possible in one breathe, and then surface to take another breathe. In order to not get a big gulp of salt water we would have to clear our snorkels which reminded me of whales clearing their blow holes!
Our next adventure included identifying hard corals. This was a lot of fun because we snorkeled out from the beach to the reef and we learned how to identify a few (15) common hard corals. What isn’t too fun about this is that we will be quizzed on our coral identification in order to partake in coral surveys done by CCMI. SO basically, I am going to study my butt of in order to get these scientific names down pat so I can do some coral surveys! BUT we are starting slow, one by one -I’ll get them all eventually, positive thinking!
First one of the day is the symmetrical brain coral! Also, scientifically known as the Pseudodiploria strigosa. It looks like a huge boulder, but because it is a coral- it is actually an animal! Not sure how I am going to relate this one exactly in order to remember – but up close it is covered in STRIations–STRIgosa ….maybe?
But to better enjoy and not get weighed down by the heavy Latin of the science world… here are some cool things that I saw in addition to the coral (I have yet to learn how to identify these guys properly but I’ll let you know when I do)!
Some huge lobsters! And some really pretty fish that I have never seen before! If you can zoom, there is a cute little blue guy with some……. Pseudodiploria strigosa!
Until next time!
Today I heard that the older man who was staying with his son in the room next to mine passed away. He was shot and robbed from his motorcycle on Friday. I just noticed he had stopped being around. He was always a very lively, very polite man, and he arrived after a road trip with his son. We would hear him and his son in upbeat conversations for long periods of time. He kept even the most difficult guest entertained for the night at the hostel and once asked me to join him in his meal after his son had left, on a day I was full. The owner of the hostel emphasized how important it is to not resist criminals. I am saddened by the way that man went. His life was worth more than his motorcycle.