“In such a concentrated city (Sao Paulo in the early 1900’s), which had grown and changed so fast, concerns with discriminating, classifying, and controlling the population were strong. As was typical in cities during early industrialization, one of the main idioms which expressed these concerns was that of health and sanitation, always associated with morality. Paulista elites expressed their diagnosis of the city’s social disorder mainly in terms of disease, dirtiness, and promiscuity, all ideas soon associated with crime. They expressed their preoccupation with sanitation and controlling workers in at least two modes of creating social separation. Since they were especially afraid of epidemics – as they are of crime today – they started to move out of the condensed center. One of the areas they went to was a new neighborhood that they were building in an isolated area of town and hoping to keep only for themselves: Higienópolis – literally hygiene city. At the same time, they were also planning to clean and open the center of the city, send workers out, and settle them in single family houses in order to improve their moral standards. They identified the concentration of workers and the unsanitary conditions associated with them as an evil to be eliminated from city life. They imagined dispersion, isolation, openness, and cleanliness as solutions for the urban environment and the social tension of its chaotic state.” (pre)text by Teresa P.R. Caldeira

Shaving as ritual on the ideal modern grounds of Brasilia, a model of cultural rejection of colonial heritage through purist, eugenic form later being catalogued as a greater aspect of racial and social segregation resulting in a complete reversal of the intended modern, socialist-communist agenda of Costa and Niemeyer. Camera by Ross Adams.

Hygienópolis, on the grounds of Parliamentary Complex, Brasilia, Brasil, 2003