“Modes of production write History in time; social formations write them in space. Taken individually, each geographical formation is representative of a mode of production or of one of its moments.”

Milton Santos, Da Totalidade ao Lugar. Edusp - Editora da Universidade de Sao Paulo. Sao Paulo, 2008 (Translated from Portuguese)

(dis)location – Sampa is the second iteration of the (dis)location series which began in Salvador, Brazil in 2009. The project examines how geography is devised, organized and constantly transformed based on socio-economic factors.

(dis)location – Sampa is a process based work that is a continuation of a larger trajectory that studies and maps the vernacular of everyday life in a specific site. The project unfolds in the context of the once chic, architecturally imposing and residentially populated “historic center” of Sao Paulo, built on coffee money at the turn of the 20th century. Today this old center has fallen into much decay and abandonment despite recent revitalization initiatives. Since the time of the Jesuit Priests in the mid 1500’s, this once indigenous land has been a site of intersecting economies and peoples.

Based on a research methodology that evolves out of observation, experience and interaction in a specific site over a period of time, the (dis)location project is also a map of the artist’s personal trajectory in space. The basic concept in this process and research based practice is that perception is dynamic, depending on our position and condition in time and space. 

(dis)location – sampa maps the daily ritual of three workers in this historic zone, while encompassing the complex myriad of economic systems that co-exist, define and transform the center’s geographic space.

Ana Cecilia, a 32 year old indigenous Ecuadorian illegal migrant in Brazil, sells hand crafted head bands on the streets of Sao Paulo.

Valdemar, a 66 year old from the interior of Brazil, came to Sao Paulo as a youth and has since worked as a “caroceiro”, a sort of unofficial binner / recycler / gleaner in the city centre.

Seu Carlos, a 52 year old building concierge, has worked in the historical Lutetia building operating the 1920’s cage elevator for over 30 years.

Project, Camera, Location Sound, Editing, Design – Sarah Shamash
Narrators – Ana Lema Lema, Carlos Alberto Gomes, Valdemar Romao da Silva
Lead Developer / Programmer – Rumiko Akai
Sound Engineer, Sound Design, Sound Mix – Inaam Haq
Translation – Yom Shamash
Production Assistant – Luciano de Souza Gonçalves

Thanks / Acknowledgements
Brazil: Lucas Bambozzi, Esther Kuperman, Rachel Mascarenhas, Alex Pilis, Karina Polycarpo (FAAP), Workers at the FAAP residency.
Canada: David Brisbin (drawings), Melissa Bayon, Aisha Jamal, Kasari Govendor, Rachel Laszlo, Alex Mackenzie (font design), Eve Shamash, Stephen Wichuk (Animation at the Purple Thistle), Exclusive Film & Video, Canada Council for the Arts Travel Grants.