The "Inumeráveis Memorial" (Innumerable Memorial) tells the story of thousands of coronavirus victims through a network of hundreds of volunteers in Brazil. All of them, together with relatives of the victims, are in an interactive process of mourning and unprecedented healing.
Now we want to transform this memorial into a sensory experience available to the entire population (of Brazil). An open-air journey of memory and healing. A vision for the post-pandemic city of São Paulo.
A healing journey.
Hidden among the park's trees is a curvy architecture. At the entrance, a wall that cuts the memorial in half. On the wall is a text about the new virus and the historical response of the human race to it.
A text about the speed of an invisible threat that has literally reached the whole world.
About the importance of science and the lack of belief in it.
About social isolation and the advancement in the use of technology to feel closer to one another.
About how our unbalanced relationship with animals is at the root of this pandemic.
About leaders who exchanged thousands of human lives due to their will to advance at any cost, and about those who challenged them.
A little ahead are two ramps, and we must choose one.
The names of all the victims in Brazil will be engraved in metal along the railing of the ramp. A wide, empty and silent space separates visitors, reminding us of social isolation and the loneliness of mourning.
The longing for touch.
At the end of the ramp, the visitor will see an artistic installation composed of two panes of glass that seem to divide the space.
The installation will create a sensory bridge between the two ramps. When someone touches the glass on one of the sides and another person touches the glass on the other side – in the same place and at the same time –, both will feel physically that they have touched each other through a gentle vibration.
"Nothing that would seem distant can withstand the decision of an encounter. Symbolic or real, the life of lost love continues within us."
The installation works through means of sensors invisible to visitors, and it represents the essential role of technology in keeping the society connected during social isolation.
The installation space at the memorial marks the end of the crisis and the beginning of a new era. The descent of the stairs, step by step, signifies the various steps necessary to resume face-to-face relationships until the society finds a common ground.
Celebrating the end of social isolation, the stairs at this time also become a bleacher to host face-to-face meetings and conversations.
Feeling the earth and the grass together again symbolizes this rapprochement, and it opens the way for some fundamental conversations about what we have learned and how society has changed.
The tree, centered in front of the bleachers, is the tallest part of the Memorial, and it is around it that we sit down to remind ourselves about our unbalanced relationship with nature and animals. A critical factor for the emergence of the virus that started this entire crisis.
It is also around this same tree that we can come together to discuss and design a more harmonious future between nature and humans.
"Life insists on showing itself under the sun, under the time, revealing what we most need to learn in this time of mourning: learning to recreate what we were under the eyes of the love of those we lost. Love does not die. Love is reborn every day, under the sky, beside the walls, towards the trees, towards life. Even if it needs silence, it is worth it"
At each sunset, a new interactive ritual of light and connection.
Every day along with the sunset, the memorial will turn on its lights that will illuminate each recorded name.
When a visitor points his mobile phone at one of the names, he/she will be automatically directed to that person's story on the Memorial website. At this moment, the individual light of that name engraved on the metal will light up much more intensely – as if it is feeling the connection.
During this one hour, even if the visitor accesses the website on the other side of the world, he/she will be able to make a light physically shine in the memorial.
And so, through the intensity of the lights, the people who are physically at the memorial will feel the connections coming from all over the world.
The roots of "The Inumeráveis Memorial" and society's demand for a memorial space.
"There is no one who likes to be a number,
people deserve to exist in prose."
Every day thousands of people visit, share and send out stories to "The Inumeráveis Memorial" in its digital version. This collaborative Memorial, which was born at the beginning of the pandemic in Brazil, gathers life stories of indigenous, quilombolas, riverside dwellers, the rich, the poor, blacks, whites... people from all regions of the country.
The diversity and speed of adhesion to the Memorial reinforces the certainty that a solemn space for celebrating these lives is a true demand of our society.
"Mourning is the shelter for the pain of loss. It preserves within us the marks that recorded the experience of the bond. It dwells in our memory through the constant access of the memories that remain, protects the affections that we feel, and is the guardian of the life that before it pulsed and now is silence. For that reason, mourning demands a place of expression. It needs a voice and to be shared, and longing is its manifest."
A vision of implementation that transforms São Paulo into the epicenter of healing.
The intention of this group is that the implementation of "The Inumeráveis Memorial" takes place inside the Villa Lobos park in the West Zone of the city of São Paulo.
This location allows ample access for the population due to the ease of public transport, among other factors.
"The project intends to connect with the proposals of urban requalification of the region and to support other cultural and artistic practices that already exist in the place. So that it does not negatively impact the landscape or the dynamics already present, the implementation will start from the in-depth study of the integration with the surroundings. Spaces of culture and leisure like this are fundamental to extend the reach of information and memory to those who enjoy them."
Experiences through free audio narratives.
There are many possible experiences to choose from within "The Inumeráveis Memorial". If you are indigenous, or interested in the impact of the pandemic on indigenous people in Brazil, for example, you might opt to be taken on a guided tour and listen to the voice of an indigenous person, who explains each part of the Memorial to you, and also tells you the indigenous stories that are part of it.
The idea is that several audio guides will be produced, so the visitors can choose between different points of view: indigenous, riverside dwellers, quilombolas, young people, peripherals, LGBTQI +, blacks, health professionals and others.
Education program and learning with the body.
The educational experience of "The Inumeráveis Memorial" will use the body's sense as a tool for reflection and action to address the central point of this project's proposal: memory and rites of passage.
Body educators will be encouraged to conduct workshops, classes and other sensory experiences based on collective dynamics and games as well as experiences of body movements, using as a reference the rites of passage of Brazilian culture.
"We host memories in our body, the passages and paths we travel leave marks that one day can be told by someone. The marks are the rituals of experiencing the culture of a people. The body is our greatest organ of perception, through which we interact with each other, with the environment, and we elaborate thoughts that start with sensations. It is the body at the forefront of discoveries and the construction of memories. In dancing, we reflect on how we occupy internal and external spaces, thus building understandings about the cycles of life – life and death, staying and leaving, beginning and end. Let's celebrate the memories of those who are no longer with us. Let's celebrate the passages traveled with love and art. "
Emotional step-by-step of the journey of mourning.
Described by Ana Claudia Quintana Arantes, Doctor, Palliative Care and member of "The Inumeráveis Memorial" team.
The loss has arrived, the pain is immense, life seems to have been devoured in the absence. But time doesn't stop, it goes on. And life, even if meaningless on the inside, follows its meaning on the outside. There is a way forward. There is no stopping time. And the direction of life is to recreate. The pain begins on the day that we realize that death is coming. This time of awareness of death, which may soon arrive, is charged, it is dense, it is heavy. And death arrives, unpunished, irremediable, indisputable. An interruption on the way, a world with no way out. A wall. There is no greater cry than your silence.
Faced with the wall, all that remains is to look up. Next to it, below it, there is space for the story that was lived up to that day before everything ended. The day that the world we knew ended, when that beloved life could be contemplated, with eyes, with smiles, with touch. And the wall arrives to make it clear that the life we knew is no longer.
Looking forward, walking in parallel to the wall, life does go on. The understanding that the time of mourning stays with us, the awareness of our loss, will accompany us forever. But if we walk along the wall, at some point we will find peace.
The whole process of mourning that we live, which begins when we lose a person we love, is elaborated and built from inside ourselves, by the way that the interrupted relationship affects our life. This space can often be understood as a spiral, circular path, but it does not take us to the same place.
Every time we cry in pain, we make progress. When we start to cry again, we no longer cry the same tears. We have had time, each day, each moment, each memory, that little by little is moving away from the day of death and moving towards the feeling of longing. There is no time for pain in longing. Nobody misses suffering. We miss only love.
Through the experience of collective mourning, we look in a "guardrail" where, more than a space of protection for those who circulate through an abyss, we find the names of the people who will be kept alive by the memory of those who live. Only those who live can look and learn about each name. Whoever lives can bring to life a connection with a name that remains eternal in this "guardrail".
And the circular path follows. Until a point that it seems to end, a glass is interposed between someone and someone else. One touch on the screen. Magic of new life: the magic touch makes another meeting happen. Nothing that would seem distant can support the decision of an encounter. Symbolic or real, the life of lost love continues within us.
In this imperfect balance, often inconsolable, time goes by. And the pain eases if we allow ourselves to look around, accept the fear and start to reconnect with the world that still exists.
And we will find many people who, when we tell them of our loss, tell us: I also lost someone. When we meet people who can understand our pain, without us having to explain or justify why life has lost its meaning, the meaning of life may already be returning. In these “me too” meetings, there can be a smile, a shared tear, and even previously delayed hugs. We will find new beginnings in these embraces.
In the direction of the wall, a tree is pointed. Death leads us to a new life. Under the tree, there is still space. Despite death, life insists on showing itself in the sun, in the weather, revealing what we most need to learn during the time of mourning: learning to recreate what we were, in the loving eyes of those we lost.
Love does not die. Love is reborn every day, in the sky, in the walls, towards the trees, towards life.
"The Inumeráveis Memorial" in São Paulo is a work by the artist Edson Pavoni in collaboration with the Social Entrepreneur Rogério Oliveira, the Architects and Urbanists Maria Luiza de Barros and Guilherme Bullejos, the Journalist Alana Rizzo, the palliative Psychologist Silvana Aquino, the Doctor and also a palliative care professional Ana Claudia Quintana Arantes, Biologist and Activist Gabriela Veiga, Cultural Producer Rogério Zé, Choreographer Rubens Oliveira, Technologist Jonathan Querubina and Writer Giovana Madalosso.
Artist who uses technology to create new forms of connection between people. He is co-creator of "The Inumeráveis Memorial" and author of the Memorial's spatial vision for the city of São Paulo.
Entrepreneur with more than 12 years of experience in creating social businesses, co-founder of Yunus Negócios Sociais in partnership with the Nobel Peace Prize Muhammad Yunus and co-creator of "The Inumeráveis Memorial".
Maria Luiza de Barros
Urbanist architect, specialized in urban studies, culture and languages. She works in the field of critical theory and history of cities. Co-creator of Cidade Quintal and involved in the creation of projects focusing on race, gender and visual arts.
Architect and urban planner at FAU-USP and architectural leader of the creative studio Spaces & Creatures, he specializes in designing parametric architectures and interactive spaces that use technology to create sensitive connections with the public.
Journalist specialized in the investigative area, co-founder of Redes Cordiais and one of the main authorities in Brazil on the issue of combating disinformation.
Psychologist and palliative care, master at Universidade Gama Filho. In addition to working for ten years at the National Cancer Institute, at the Palliative Care Unit, she is the author of the book "Stories of the End of Life".
Ana Cláudia Quintana
Doctor and specialist in Palliative Care at the Pallium Institute and Oxford University. Author of the sensitive and courageous lecture “Death is a day that is worth living” seen by more than 2 million people.
Biologist specialized in botany, activist for animal rights and disseminator of the role of the animal cause in the origin of the pandemic. He is also co-leader of "The Inumeráveis Memorial" team focused on giving visibility to the indigenous cause.
Cultural Producer specialized in creating large projects of art and culture for public consumption. He is also the leader of "The Inumeráveis Memorial" team, focused on institutional partnerships with universities throughout Brazil.
Dancer, choreographer and art educator who uses dance to propose social transformation and identity construction. He was involved in the creation of the Pélagos Dance Center, and in the Chega de Saudades project, both of which focus on young people from the periphery of São Paulo.
Technologist, programmer and has extensive experience in systems that need to be used by millions of people at the same time. He is the technology leader of the company D3 and also the technology leader of "The Inumeráveis Memorial".
Novelist and poet writer, author of the award-winning book "A Teta Racional", a columnist of "Projeto Fervura" where she talks about global warming. She is also co-leader of the team focused on giving visibility to the indigenous cause.
One of the most important personalities in the territory of art in Brazil. Curator and artistic director, creator of museums like the acclaimed Museum of the Portuguese Language and exhibitions like Ai Weiwei Raiz.