Sao Paulo

Infected Cities #5: São Paulo

What is the impact of the coronavirus on São Paulo? And how do art and culture professionals respond to the crisis?
Thursday 4 June 2020, 16:00 to 17:00

This LIVECAST was broadcasted on June 4th. Watch the recording below:

Infected Cities #5: São Paulo
Infected Cities

The covid-19 pandemic has an enormous impact on cities worldwide. Especially within areas such as employment, health care, social services and the economy: both now as in the near future. In the fifth program of the Infected Cities series, we will look at how the city of São Paulo is currently dealing with this pandemic. During this LIVECAST we will have conversations with different experts about the current and future impact of this crisis in São Paulo. Together with DutchCulture, we will listen to voices of different ‘city makers’ such as artists, creatives, volunteers and their situation. The speakers will give us an insight into their daily works and explain how they commit to making a positive impact during this pandemic.

Brazil’s most affected city

Amid the developing coronavirus crisis, international focus is starting to turn more and more to South America, and Brazil in particular, the country with the highest number of confirmed cases within the region. The daily number of newly confirmed COVID-19 patients in the country is reaching a new peak. At the end of May more than 22,000 Brazilians have died due to the coronavirus pandemic.

One of the most affected Brazilian cities by the coronavirus is São Paulo, with 20 million inhabitants in the metropolitan area. In March, when São Paulo city declared quarantine, more than half of the city’s residents stayed at home and the spread of the virus slowed. With less residents respecting the quarantine or being able to do so for a longer period of time, the numbers started to rise again. Staying in isolation is most difficult for São Paulo’s poorest residents, many of whom live in packed communities together and who are forced to go out to work to maintain an income.

Bustling São Paulo

São Paulo is not only the financial and economic centre of Brazil, but also unequalled in its cultural and artistic offering. With its many theatres, concert venues, cultural centres and museums closed, outdoor festivals and international events like the Bienal de São Paulo postponed, the current situation is hitting São Paulo’s cultural and creative sector hard. It is even considered the most impacted at the moment.

In response to the current crisis, São Paulo’s cultural and creative sector is using its distinctive entrepreneurial and inventive ways to work, not only to survive but also to have positive social impact. Different initiatives – from online museum visits and performances at home to debates on how the sector can unite to deal with the actual situation and actions to support fellow citizens – show hardship and resilience at the same time.


The LIVECAST will be moderated by journalist, media educator and writer Zoë Papaikonomou. The speakers in the programme are:

- Aurea Vieira, head of international affairs at SESC São Paulo

- Tuca Vieira, photographer and architect/urbanist

- Juliana dos Santos, visual artist and researcher

- João Leiva Filho, cultural entrepreneur and researcher

- Danilo Crispim, flautist and music teacher at Guri Santa Marcelina

- Larissa Macêdo, curator, art critic, researcher and member of research group Extremidades

- Marcelo Nogueira, creative director of AlmapBBDO

- Ana Carla Fonseca, economist, urbanist and leader of Garimpo de Soluções

- Ineke Holtwijk, writer and journalist

The series Infected Cities is developed in collaboration with Pakhuis de Zwijger.