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Our world has many superheroes.
But they have the worst of
all superpowers: invisibility.

For example, the catadores,
workers who collect recyclable
materials for a living.

Catadores emerged from
social inequality, unemployment,

and the abundance of solid waste
from the deficiency of the
waste collection system.

Catadores provide a heavy,
honest and essential work

that benefits the entire population.
But they are not acknowledged for it.

Here in Brazil, they collect 90 percent
of all the waste that's actually recycled.

Most of the catadores work independently,
picking waste from the streets and
selling to junk yards at very low prices.

They may collect over 300 kilos
in their bags, shopping carts,
bicycles and carroças.

Carroças are carts
built from wood or metal

and found in several streets in Brazil,
much like graffiti and street art.
And this is how I first met these
marginalized superheroes.

I am a graffiti artist and activist
and my art is social, environmental
and political in nature.

In 2007, I took my work beyond walls
and onto the carroças,

as a new urban support for my message.
But at this time,
giving voice to the catadores.

By adding art and humor to the cause,
it became more appealing,

which helped call attention
to the catadores

and improve their self-esteem.
And also, they are famous now
on the streets, on mass media and social.

So, the thing is,
I plunged into this universe
and have not stopped working since.

I have painted over 200
carroças in many cities

and have been invited to do exhibitions
and trips worldwide.

And then I realized that catadores,
in their invisibility,

are not exclusive to Brazil.
I met them in Argentina, Chile,
Bolivia, South Africa, Turkey
and even in developed countries such
as the United States and Japan.

And this was when I realized that I needed
to have more people join the cause

because it's a big challenge.
And then, I created a collaborative
movement called Pimp My Carroça --

(Laughter) -- which is
a large crowdfunded event.

Thank you.
(Applause).
So Pimp My Carroça is a large
crowdfunded event

to help catadores and their carroças.
Catadores are assisted by well-being
professionals and healthcare,

like physicians, dentists, podiatrists,
hair stylists, massage therapists

and much more.
But also, they also receive safety shirts,
gloves, raincoats and eyeglasses

to see in high-definition the city,
while their carroças are renovated
by our incredible volunteers.

And then they receive safety items, too:
reflective tapes, horns and mirrors.
Then, finally, painted by a street artist
and become part of part of this huge,
amazing mobile art exhibition.

Pimp My Carroça took to the streets
of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Curitiba.

But to meet the demand in other cities,
including outside of Brazil,

we have created Pimpx,
which is inspired by TEDx,

and it's a simplified, do-it-yourself,
crowdfunded edition of Pimp My Carroça.

So now everybody can join.
In two years, over 170 catadores,
800 volunteers and 200 street artists

and more than 1,000 donors
have been involved in the
Pimp My Carroça movement,

whose actions have even been used
in teaching recycling at a local school.

So catadores are leaving
invisibility behind

and becoming increasingly
respected and valued.

Because of their pimped carroças,
they are able to fight back to prejudice,

increase their income and
their interaction with society.

So now, I'd like to challenge you
to start looking at and acknowledging

the catadores and other
invisible superheroes from your city.

Try to see the world as one,
without boundaries or frontiers.

Believe it or not,
there are over 20 million
catadores worldwide.

So next time you see one,
recognize them as a vital part
of our society.

Muito orbigado, thank you.
(Applause).
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【TED】Mundano: Trash cart superheroes (Trash cart superheroes | Mundano)

7140 Folder Collection
CUChou published on February 25, 2015
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