The activity Pop-Burlesque happening at Praça Roosevelt, 2013

BaixoCentro is a collaborative, horizontal, independent, and auto-managed street festival conducted by an open network of producers interested in reframing this region of São Paulo downtown area around the Minhocão viaduct or “Big Worm.” With the slogan “The streets are made for dancing,” BaixoCentro seeks to encourage the appropriation of public space by people and make them interact on a daily basis in a more humane way. It is a movement of civil occupation that wants to crack, hack, and play in the streets. There is no institution behind it: neither companies, NGOs, or the government. Funding is also collective and associative via crowdfunding online platforms, such as Kickstarter, and other independent fundraising options (such as auctions, raffles, and donations). To achieve its goal, the movement organizes a ten-day festival with the collaboration of more than a hundred artists who have applied to the open call. The activities are never selected, which means that each one inscribed will happen. If the streets are for everyone, it would be inconsistent to select some and exclude others. The activities are an opportunity for civil society to gather and question the current urban policies. Forcing people to stay in a public space, in some cases for the first time, makes them understand what is lacking and what needs to be done. It is a way to pressure and to influence the government which engages even the most unpolitical citizen.

Festival BaixoCentro, 2012