Strolling around the city with no worries to flâner in the words of Baudelaire, is to wander through the urban space contemplating its subtleties. Exploring the city is also a move to change it, through the understanding of its history and the perception of its nuances, signs and deformities. Since its 1st edition, Rolé has wandered throughout more than 100km of the city, unveiling characters, facts and significant events about Rio’s 450 years of history.
Designed to attract tourists as well as Cariocas the project’s main goal is to offercity walks throughout several neighborhoods of Rio, guided by flippant historians. Six to eight free walks are held. each year. The project's major purpose is to spread the city’s history among residents, students and tourists, in order to preserve it. Providing a multidisciplinary learning environment, it promotes dialogue between the population, the urban space and the memory of the city. Rolé contributes to the production of knowledge about historical neighborhoods which are well known already (Urca, Catete and Downtown), and also about other neighborhoods which haven’t been often included in traditional itineraries, such as Madureira and Santa Cruz.
In 2017, the fifth edition of the project Rolé Carioca, covers 33 original walks and establishes itself as a system of communication and spread of the history of Rio de Janeiro. In addition to the tours, it now launches several actions to propagate the city’s history.
The walks stimulate mobility and sensitivity of the human eye. These walks are accompained by relevant information about the cultural identity of Rio and its people, the Carioca, stimulating the sense of belonging and recognition of the city. Guided by Estácio’s History professors, the walks are free and participants follow a script available in an illustrated guide containing key information about each visited spot. It differs from other historic tours in the sense that its emphasis relies on the idea of gathering and the opportunity to hear history through the words of experienced historians in pleasant Sunday mornings. These are, for sure, true public outdoor lessons.
Beyond the nostalgia and a retrospective approach, communicating history is understanding important social cultural contexts for the creation of a better public space.
Rolé Carioca originated from the experience of the exhibition of urban interventions, Mostra A Voz do Povo – 2010, also created and developed by M'BARAKÁ studio. One of the proposals of the design and art teams of the studio is to reedit the installations created in 2010 for A Voz do Povo. The project arose from the desire to communicate histories about Rio de Janeiro in a relaxed and accessible language, therefore making use of popular sayings. Among other actions, the project turned statues into celebrities and the ancient pillars of Praça XV in giant murals to remember the power of the slave trade in Rio.
In addition to rescuing this series of interventions, the project will propose new ones in partnerships with other architectural and design studios and universities. In order to communicate the city’s history through artistic experiences. The interventions are simple interpretations of events and historical curiosities that stimulate awareness and appreciation of the city's history in the daily lives of citizens.
Rolé’s website has its roots on the proposal to compile all the research developed by historians Rodrigo Rainha and William Martins, throughout the project’s five editions. In the city walk section, there are descriptions of all the points of each neighborhood/ walk, and cultural tips. The website was built with a mobile interface, specific for mobile phones, stimulating navigation with mobility through the urban space, in addition to an English version, aimed at international tourism.
Besides the city walks, the website offers a blog that intends to propagate research and the thought of historians, architects, designers, producers and collaborators about local history and urban changes. For each walk, an architect, a researcher, a producer and a character who relate to the neighborhood at issue, are invited to develop an article or a short story, to comment on an urban project or to give cultural tips about the neighborhood.
Nowadays, the project has a network of thousands of curious locals interested in the history of their city. By the introduction of a site, it also expects to achieve new collaborators and partners.
The project is a creation of M'BARAKÁ studio, which describes its projects as "relevant experiences", and is responsible for the planning and production of Rolé. The professors of Estácio’s history course, Rodrigo Rainha and William Martins, who have been true interpreters during the tours, are responsible for the consulting of content.
Original idea and concept: M'BARAKÁ studio
Historical coordination and research: Rodrigo Rainha and William Martins
Publishing and Writing: Beatriz Sartorio and Isabel Seixas
Production Manager: Ana Luisa Fonseca
Production Assistant: Beatriz Novellino
City Walks production: Luanda Morena and Agustin Rios
Guides professors: Rodrigo Rainha, William Martins and guests
Planning: Studio M'BARAKÁ
Designers: Mariana Solis and Pedro Leobons
Architecture Assistant: Mikhaila Copello
Financial Management: Larissa Victorio
Administrative Production: Beatriz Araujo and Rafael Santos
Social Media: Bia Sartorio
Press Office: Mais e Melhor
Proofreading (booklets): Victor Costa
Partnership Management: Marcela Bronstein
Sponsorship: Prefeitura do Rio/Secretaria Municipal de Cultura and Estácio
Co-sponsorship: Par Perfeito
Support: Pro Nephron
Content Management: Isabel Seixas and Diogo Rezende
Editors: Bia Sartorio, Isabel Seixas and Larissa Victorio
Interviews and Texts: Bia Sartorio and guests
Research Review: Rodrigo Rainha and William Martins
Translation: Letícia Stallone
Proofreading: Maria Luiza Rezende
Development: Davi Ferreira
Design: Studio M'BARAKÁ