He was born in the deep countryside of Sao Paulo in 1917 but by 1961 Kindness was living with his family in Rio de Janeiro. The news of a fire in a circus in the neighbouring city of Niteroi in December 1961, and of the hundreds of lives claimed in the flames, completely changed his life. Deeply touched by the tragedy, a few days later he told his family he received a ‘divine call’ urging him to fulfil his life mission of spreading kindness.
|Pillar 5 shows Prophet Kindness' motto: 'kindness generates kindness' (Image by T. Peters Coelho)|
|Pillar 13 (Image by T. Peters Coelho)|
In 2000 the council promoted the‘restoration’ of the writings on the pillars, namely, the removal of the whitewash, and the re-touching of the inscriptions (see report of the first conservation campaign here). In addition, the council also included the inscriptions in the local heritage list (see the decree here).
There are various things that interest me in this case. First of all, is how the perceptions of ‘dirty’ and ‘clean’ changed according to what was associated with the interventions and who they reached. But I will discuss this in a later post!
If you want to know more you should look at this excellent website, where you will have an idea of the importance and impact of Profeta Gentileza's work.
You can see a short documentary about his work here
This book has all the inscriptions translated into Spanish and English, a really amazing publication:
Guelman, Leornardo, Amaral, Dado & Kutassy, Marianna (org.). 2011. Livro Urbano do Profeta Gentileza. Rio de Janeiro: Mundo das Idéias
Leia essa mesma postagem em português aqui