Street art and arte sauve in são paulo

“The real revolution, evolution and change in the favelas comes through education, culture, and sport. Those who live in the periphery do not have and have never had a quality education, we do not learn about our true history, we do not learn about our ancestors, very few places in the world tell our truth.Today’s young people don’t know their essence and roots, they don’t know their own history.”
-Samambaia Samaba
Samambaia is a brown belt from the  Diamante Bruto Project in Sao Paulo, a project that started with a collective of friends, skaters, and local sympathizers who came together to create a skate park where they gathered dozens of young people on a daily basis.
Now in the middle of the COVID-19 lockdown, Samambaia has been dividing his time between organizing community organization in an effort to help distribute hygiene and food supplies and reviving his passion for art.
His introduction to jiu-jitsu came from by Nestor Cardoso, a brown belt under Master Damian Maia’s, at the time Professor Nestor’s Dojo was far away and due to lack of money he couldn’t continue to train, but the seed was already planted and the gentle art was now a new way of life for him. This was further solidified when he met his current instructor and friend Josyclay Gomes.

So where did the art part come in?

Seeing as he came from a “humble family,” a side hustle was a must in order to make ends meet. The B-body movement wasn’t going to pay the bills so he had to find a job and it was there that he found his inspiration to start painting.

“I was always curious, determined to learn what captivated me I learned to play instruments, I danced at the time in the b.boy movement. One of the things I liked most was the drawing and graffiti art.”


While working at a kite factory, Samambaia used to spy on an artist painting pictures in their studio. She saw his interest in painting (which far exceeded his desire to build kites) and took him under her wing.

Her instruction in addition to the knowledge and skills he acquired from the streets was the start of a new form of art inspired by the skate culture.


Follow Samambaia on Instagram to see more skateboards and community initiatives from Diamante Bruto.


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