This January 25th, São Paulo turns 464 years old. Inhabited by more than 12 million people born here, coming from the most diverse parts of the country or the world, the capital of São Paulo has never failed to reiterate its exuberance and its controversies.

Welcoming for millions who nourish unconditional passion for this kind of “geographical mother”; hostile to other millions who live on the fringes of suburban and peripheral regions, or who arrive here unaware, such as northerners, northeasterners and immigrants, São Paulo, in its 464-year-old youth, remains indecipherable and plural.

In addition to its industrial vocation, which consecrated it and earned it the arrogant “Locomotiva do País”, São Paulo is also recognized as an epicenter of effervescent culture in the most diverse facets. It is not by chance that many artists from other states in the country chose the capital of São Paulo as an affective destination and space for the breadth of their professional desires.

Next, page B! compiles testimonials from six artists who, far from home, in the infamous mixture of love and hate, experience the human controversies of the largest metropolis in Brazil in their daily lives.

Renata Carvalho, actress and transfeminist, Santos/SP:

The city of Zé Celso and the Teatro de Arena, Roosevelt, Satyros and Parlapatões. The city of Rego Freitas. The city of Transcidadania and Casa Florescer. The city of Claudia Wander, Phedra de Córdoba and Thelma Lipp… Ah… Thelma Lipp and her tragic story with Carandiru…

The city that killed the most trans people in Brazil last year. SP KILL TRANS. We need to talk about transvestility and transsexuality in São Paulo. We are dying. Congratulations, Sao Paulo. Congratulations to who?

Badi Assad, singer and guitarist, São João da Boa Vista/SP:

“There is a way I like to define myself, which is “One foot in the bush, another on the asphalt”. I say this because I came from nature (and I love being in it), but also because I like to feel part of the metropolis. After all, it was in the big city that I had the opportunity to get in touch with multiple cultures and their excellent professionals, who taught me diversity. In São Paulo, especially, I cured a lot of my thirst for learning, as it is a city that overflows with human competence. It is also where my oldest and dearest friends live. Sampa actually works as a special magic lamp. You make the request and she gives you back concrete possibilities, in a dream pass.”

Milton Hatoum, writer, born in Manaus/AM:

I came to São Paulo in the 70's to live and study here. I ended up entering the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism at the University of São Paulo. It was here that I had a more solid formation as a reader, because I attended the literature courses in college as a listener. So, my turn from architecture to literature is the result of São Paulo. It was an apprenticeship. Here I started to write, I dedicated myself to literature. This city is part of my intellectual and sentimental formation. Far from being Cidade Linda, it is one of the Brazilian cities that offers you the most opportunities in every way. Here there are great patrimonies that help in the culture, the SESC of São Paulo, for example, is one of the great dynamos of the area in the city.

Fabio Trummer, musician, born in Olinda/PE:

“I usually experience the places where I am. I chose to live in São Paulo because I like some of the cultural and social aspects of the city. My work is made up of that: mainly my observations and my senses in relation to my surroundings. The city of São Paulo has given my work exactly what I was looking for as a person, some other meanings that in Recife and Olinda were less present. This is how I feed on music and how music feeds on me: this is how it is with the city. I feed off the city and turn it into music. I live the day-to-day like this”.

Aretha Sadick, singer and drag queen, born in Caxias/RJ:

“The city of São Paulo, in these two short years here, made me experience two things that seem most important to me: COLLECTIVENESS and RIGHT TO THE CITY. My artwork reflects this! Being new in a big jungle and, despite that, being quickly embraced by mine, others of mine, exercising the right to occupy the urban space… I think that, for this reason, electronic music is one of my fields of action, both performing and singing. In São Paulo, I found new collectives that further strengthened the political nature of my work and discourse, as well as my Gender Identity. I work with image and, in this sense, explore the potential and pluralities as a black person in fashion and audio-visual".

Tássia Reis, rapper, born in Jacareí/SP:

“The first time I visited São Paulo to attend a dance party, I was enchanted by the atmosphere of the city, it was as if each door of a bar, club or house hid a unique and totally different universe. That enchanted me... 3 years later I came here to study and I ended up blossoming my compositions, that hustle and rush of people made me anxious! Soon I got into that stream of people who are in a hurry and started asking why 24 hours couldn't handle all the demands. This city is really crazy, and we're getting kind of crazy together! I don't know if it's because I came from somewhere else, but this non-routine is very stimulating. It certainly brought new perspectives to my music, I write a lot about feelings and sensations, and coming here at the age of 20 crossed me in a very remarkable way”.

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