French artist Saype visits Brazil to shed light on the impacts of the mining industry

The artist visits Rio de Janeiro and Brumadinho to paint large-scale works to call the world’s attention to the second biggest industrial disaster of the 21st century, when Vale’s dam collapsed in Brumadinho, killing 272 people

Social issues, sustainability, as well as art and culture as vectors of communication at the service of society are the main focuses of the French artist’s work. In Brazil, and especially in Brumadinho, Saype will carry out warning paintings, to invite reflection on the impacts of mining. Since 2013, he has been painting enormous frescos on grass, and endeavors to use his art to convey messages with social values. He uses paint that is 100% biodegradable, and made of natural pigments (chalk and coal).

The expectation is that Saype will paint, along a piece of land near the mine of Córrego do Feijão, where Vale’s dam collapsed in 2019 killing 272 people, a version of his Beyond Walls project. It’s a specific artwork that shows interlaced hands reaching out, shaking and united in a common effort beyond all walls separating humans and enclosing them in mental or geographical spaces. Brumadinho and Rio de Janeiro are 2 of the 30 cities across the 5 continents chosen by Saype to receive a painting of the Beyond Walls project, which started in 2019 and will last until 2024. Saype affirms that “the issue of mining and its impacts is a worldwide and very current problem in the scope sustainability and care for human life”. He believes moments like this are a great opportunity to address such problematic issues and reach people through art.

The expectation is that Saype will paint along a piece of land near the mine of Córrego do Feijão

The artist arrived in Rio de Janeiro on the 9th of July, to make a piece of art on Copacabana Beach, give a painting workshop for youngsters in Morro de São Carlos, and a press conference with the presence of the board of AVABRUM (Association of Relatives of Victims and Affected by the Breach of the Córrego do Feijão Mine Dam in Brumadinho). On July 21st, Saype goes to Brumadinho, to carry out more paintings and workshops with locals, in the city that was the scene of the worst work-related tragedy of Brazil. He will also participate in a seminar and in the Act in Homage to the victims of the Vale dam, that happens every 25th day of every month, since the tragedy.

Saype’s visit to Brazil, in honor of Brumadinho tragedy, is one of the many cultural actions promoted by the Legacy of Brumadinho, a project in memory of the biggest work accident of Brazil, in an attempt to establish a new mindset in society concerning the importance of health and safety at work policies. The project  launches a broad program of actions including training, communication, publicity and news spreading so that tragedies like these won’t get lost in the shuffle of the global agenda. Their motto is: “Today, you can save lives. Tomorrow, it might be too late”.