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Thiago Mundano

Artivist. Street Artist and Social Activist. Founder of NGO, “Pimp My Carroça.” A fellow of Ted, Akosha, and Amaphiko.

Thiago’s work lies at the intersection of art and activism hence the name he gives to it – Artivism. He began the initiative in 2007 when he started using his graffiti skills to paint ‘carroças’ – the carts used by the trash collectors in Brazil. These garbage collectors are important but marginalized recycling agents who haul off junk and recyclables all over Brazil. 

Thiago painted 200 of these carroças and in the process gave voice, visibility and dignity to these normally invisible heroes – not only on the city streets, but also in the media. This led to the creation of his NGO “Pimp My Carroça,”  a do-it-yourself, crowdfunded global initiative. It has brought in 170 trash collectors in cities around the world, teaming them up with 200 street artists and 800 volunteers, and is fast becoming a movement.

The motive behind Thiago’s art has always been to connect with the people through messages and designs that would encourage them to reflect on their role in resolving social problems. In painting the Carroças he realized that any message he created would travel around the city. The art also had a positive impact on garbage collectors, increasing their interaction with other people, reducing prejudice and improving their self-esteem. 

Since 2008, Thiago has used the posters and banners that are plastered all over Brazilian cities during elections to create thought-provoking art. In 2014 he turned enormous plastic banners into a giant voting booth filled with waste in a square in Rio de Janeiro as a comment on the false promises of corrupt politicians. 

Thiago’s goal is to create an environmental and social legacy with his art. He believes in citizen participation in social transformation. He envisions recycling work being valued, better paid and carried out with dignity all over the world. “Pimp My Carroça” is involved in generating public policy changes, both short-term and long-term improvements related to the issue. 

Thiago has been awarded with many prizes in different areas, such as public art, human rights, creativity and digital innovation. He has spent the last ten years traveling the globe giving speeches and exposing his art in over 40 cities in Brazil and around the world.