Shedding light on the Light District : Artistic Processes in and around the Teatro de Contêiner

  • Vinicius Torres Machado orcid logo (Universidade do Estado de Sao Paulo- UNESP)
  • Lucas Breda
  • Verônica Lo Turco Gentilin (Cia Mugunza)
  • Dona Carmen
  • Dentinho


This article presents interviews with artists from Cia Mungunzá de Teatro and their partners about the artistic work carried out in Bairro da Luz in the center of the city of São Paulo / Brazil. In 2016, Cia Mungunzá was responsible for creating the Teatro de Contêiner (Theater of Container), a cultural space established in one of the most impoverished areas of Brazil, where the level of poverty leads many to use crack cocaine and alcohol. The Teatro de Conteiner was installed as a result of an occupation of public land by Cia Mungunzá de Teatro unknown to and unsupported by the state. Since then, the cultural space has been home to social and artistic activities. The possibilities for action by artists in the region were placed alongside my (Vinicius Torres Machado’s) own experience in order to highlight the difficulties of the work and the achievements of the interviewees. Respondents Lucas and Verônica are cofounders of the Cia Mugunzá and are co-responsible for the occupation of the area. Dona Carmen is a former social worker who leads a project in the neighborhood that has moved into the Theater of Container, teaching impoverished women how to sew. Finally Dentinho is a social worker and artist in the area. The article seeks to bring the voice of these artists to reflect on the presence of artistic works in places of extreme poverty.

Keywords: theatre, performance, social action, homeless people, Teatro de Conteiner, Cia. Mugunzá, drug addiction

How to Cite:

Torres Machado, V., Breda, L., Gentilin, V. L., Carmen, D. & None, D., (2023) “Shedding light on the Light District : Artistic Processes in and around the Teatro de Contêiner”, Documenta 41(1), 91–109. doi:

Download PDF
View PDF



Published on
14 Nov 2023
Peer Reviewed