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Cadernos Brasileiros de Terapia Ocupacional

On-line version ISSN 2526-8910

Cad. Bras. Ter. Ocup. vol.26 no.2 São Carlos Apr./June 2018 

Experience Report

Creative strategies and homeless people: occupational therapy, art, culture and sensitive displacement

Carla Regina Silvaa 

Marina Sanches Silvestrinib 

Jéssica Cristina Von Poellnitzb 

Ana Carolina da Silva Almeida Pradob 

Jaime Daniel Leite Juniorc 

aDepartamento de Terapia Ocupacional, Universidade Federal de São Carlos - UFSCar, São Carlos, SP, Brasil.

bUniversidade Federal de São Carlos - UFSCar, São Carlos, SP, Brasil.

cDepartamento de Saúde Coletiva, Faculdade de Ciências Médicas, Universidade Estadual de Campinas - UNICAMP, Campinas, SP, Brasil.


The population that finds on the streets an alternative for their own survival and for sorting out their identities, is marked by a number of disruptions and violation of rights, resulting in vulnerability processes and social disaffiliation, given the current socioeconomic conditions and the neoliberal rationality. There is a need of innovative work that can add different sectors and knowledge, which defend the strengthening of a support network and services that aims the enfranchisement of the individuals, promote social participation and respect their diversity. Therefore, it is reported the experience of an extension project that promoted creative strategies to operate with the homeless from an arts and culture perspective. In order to do so, the weekly activities workshops promoted experimentations for the participants, aiming to express their potentialities, from the themes and requests relevant to the group, producing art, dynamics, and products that reflected the culture of the streets. Sensitive displacements were produced, noticeable to those involved, making the participants protagonists of their own expressions. The encounters took on creative proportions and composed new experiences of occupational therapeutic formation and practices in the social field. In defense of respect, appreciation of the human dimensions and capacities, especially of the groups in a vulnerable situation, associated with actions that aim to promote and extend their human and social rights.

Keywords: Social Vulnerability; Social Occupational Therapy; Culture; Art; Social Services


A população que encontra nas ruas uma alternativa para sua sobrevivência e ordenação de suas identidades é marcada por inúmeras rupturas e violações de direitos, resultando em processos de vulnerabilidade e desfiliação social, dada as condições socioeconômicas e a racionalidade neoliberal vigente. Vimos a necessidade de trabalhos inovadores que possam agregar diferentes setores e saberes, que defendam o fortalecimento de rede de apoio e de serviços, que objetivem a emancipação dos sujeitos, promovam participação social e respeitem sua diversidade. Assim, relata-se a experiência de projeto de extensão que promoveu estratégias criativas para a atuação junto à população em situação de rua, a partir da arte e da cultura. Para tanto, as oficinas de atividades, realizadas semanalmente, promoveram experimentações aos participantes visando à expressão de suas potencialidades, a partir dos temas e demandas pertinentes ao grupo, produzindo arte, dinâmicas e produtos que refletiram a cultura da rua. Foram produzidos deslocamentos sensíveis, perceptíveis aos envolvidos, tornando os participantes protagonistas de suas expressões. Os encontros tomaram proporção criativa e se constituíram em novas experiências de formação e práticas terapêuticas ocupacionais no campo social. Na defesa do respeito, da valorização das dimensões e capacidades humanas, em especial de grupos vulneráveis, associadas às ações que buscam promover e ampliar seus direitos humanos e sociais.

Palavras-chave: Vulnerabilidade Social; Terapia Ocupacional Social; Cultura; Arte; Assistência Social

1 The Diversity of the Homeless Population

Let it wither and seems - being the responsibility of this defeat to those who lack with their duty, those discrete legions of people without work, but they are supposed to have it, they are required to seek and achieve, when is public and notorious that the fountain is dry (FORRESTER, 1997, p. 46).

There are many ways of calling the homeless population, but the most used expression is “[...] homeless population or street people”. Although it is not consensual (GALVANI, 2008), homeless will be adopted in this work to characterize the social group as we refer. Thus, it the homeless population is considered as diverse and plural, with urgent and complex demands from multiple determinations from the socio-historical building of the capitalist industrial societies.

Thus, it is a mistake to understand it as homogeneous, because the street is occupied by several individuals and who bring with them multiple stories and different ways of living. Life on the streets and the processes involved in this situation are definitely complex and dynamic, the street has its pace, its cultural, contextual and political constitution.

On the moral judgment, there is always a socially determined definition, which produces the invisibility in terms of production of life and humanity that resides in that context.

Silva (2006) organized six aspects that characterize the phenomenon of homeless children: I) their multiple determinations as one of the few consensuses of academic debate; II) the expression of radical social issues in contemporary times, which materializes the violence of capitalism on human beings, stripping him of the means of producing wealth for his own use and subjecting him to extreme levels of degradation of life; III) the location of concentration in major urban centers, which appear to have a higher possibility of infrastructure, architecture, geopolitics and for this group, suggesting it as an urban phenomenon; IV) prejudice as a mark of dignity and moral value assigned by the society, after all they are liable for the situation in which they are and generate fear, disgust, and contempt; V) the particularities linked to the territory in which is manifested through habits, values, socio-economic, cultural and geographical characteristics, and reflecting on their financial conditions, length of stay, subsistence strategies used among others; and, finally; VI) the tendency of naturalization of the problem, together with the absence of universalizing, social policies able to reduce poverty, social inequalities and widen the citizenship of this group.

According to the National Policy for the street Population, it is an

[...] heterogeneous population group which has extreme poverty, fragile or ruptured family ties and the lack of regular conventional housing in common (BRASIL, 2009).

For Castel (2008), this group could be called “leftovers”, that is, crippled individuals by the economic and social situation that are rejected from the circuits that could confer them some social use since they practically do not participate in the significant economic exchange processes.

Generally, the trajectories of people in street situations are marked by countless weaknesses, resulting in processes of vulnerability and/or social disaffiliation, that is, breaks of the world of work and their social support networks. After all, we are experiencing a process of destabilizing the salary condition, the vulnerability of the masses and the social exclusion of specific groups as a result of the progressive breakdown of related and work-linked protections (CASTEL, 2008).

The extreme groups of marginality that fall on exclusion, therefore, they do not represent a separate means of the less stigmatized but unstable positions, which has its origin in the precariousness of work situations and the fragility of social inscriptions. It is this continuing of vulnerable situations shared by large popular layers which constitute the growing broth of social marginality (CASTEL, 2010, p. 251).

Snow and Anderson (1998) cite some dimensions about this population, such as work for subsistence, the radius of action or mobility, sleeping arrangements and the use of substances (alcohol and other drugs).

These dimensions appear as part of the characteristics of this population in Brazil, the National Research on Homeless1 shows 31,922 adults in this situation, 82% are male, 74% are literate, 71% of them exert some paid activity, mainly through the informal economy, 79% usually sleep on the streets, and when questioned about the reasons why they live on the street, 35.5% refer to problems related to alcoholism and/or other drugs, 30% cited unemployment and 29% cited family feuds (BRASIL, 2008a).

The ways and uses of being on the street also have multiple senses; during this movement of adaptation to the streets seems to occur

[...] Stay on the street, and being on the street. This semantic variation seems to translate the adaptation that goes from transient to permanent in relation to public space (GHIRARDI et al., 2005, p. 601).

The movements and ways of being on the street and constituting their sociability permeate the need for adaptation and survival constituted by different groups, territories, contexts, and situations in which different demands and forms of violence are characteristic of this daily life.

In the attempt to produce logic to this reality, the construction of support networks as groups, insertion in programs of income generation, social assistance networks and political militancy in search of their rights appear as alternatives. However, networks cannot be confused with what institutionally exists, they are woven by the innumerable relationships established, while their often fragile plots can easily be broken (GALVANI, 2008).

Souza, Silva, and Caricari (2007) defend the strengthening of a support network and services that use emancipation methodologies of the individual, encouraging participation, respecting diversity, since the reality is still formed by isolated, assisted and centralized practices that sustain and chronify the situation of the street.

The understanding of the functioning of the support network is configured as the structuring of a system of actions and services, in which each one, from its scope of action, articulates the strengthening of bonds, affective and/or material relationships, the interdependence relationships developed in the streets and in the spaces of circulation of groups and collectives (GALVANI, 2008).

The existence of social support networks can contribute to the elaboration of the sense of belonging of a group and/or space, enabling forms of protection and strengthening, expanding the opportunities and possibilities of overcoming the condition of vulnerability and social desfiliation (GALVANI, 2008).

We also believe that these movements and ways of being on the streets are also made up of new bonds and links of solidarity, although discontinuous, fragile and contradictory, favoring these processes and their survival (ALMEIDA et al., 2011).

2 Policies and Social Rights for the Homeless Population

Social Assistance as a right and non-contributory character of social security are important references of the Brazilian Constitution of 1988 (BRASIL, 2016), as a result of the processes of democratization and struggle of social movements for citizenship.Regarding the population living on the streets, the National Forum of Studies on Homeless (1993) was installed at the beginning of the 1990s, which allowed greater visibility and mobilization of this group. The defense of access to health, education and social assistance and the confluence of struggles and organizations that guided this group culminated in the National Movement of Homeless Population in 2005 (BRASIL, 2011a). In that same year, the National Secretary of Social Assistance of the Ministry of Social Development and Fight against Hunger (MDS) held the First National Meeting of Population in the Street Situation, where the bases were laid for the construction of the National Policy on Homeless Population (BRASIL, 2008b), which aimed to better understand the demands and realities of life of this population in Brazil, as well as,

[...] focusing on intersectoriality as a permanent negotiation strategy for the development of services, programs, projects and benefits that meet the human rights of street people in the various public policies to form a network to ensure the effectiveness and the quality of care offered (BRASIL, 2011a, p. 18).

The National Policy for the Homeless Population shows strategies for the reception and the appropriate intervention for this population, but the promotion and guarantee of social rights should be broader than the offer of services and benefits. Moreover, the guarantee of social assistance, at all levels, still faces a history guided by charity, benevolence, and control (BRASIL, 2008b).

However, social policies and legal institutions, coordinated by social assistance for the homeless still face many challenges, including breaking away from the logic of absence, charity, and solidarity, and affirming the logic of right (MUNIZ, 2011).

Also, public policies are based on the configuration of the State that has been found increasingly subjected and perpetrated by the practices outlined by neoliberal capitalism. As Wacquant (2007), states, neoliberal hegemony has at least three strategies to deal with undesirable, offensive or threatening conditions and behaviors that reach the marginalized population, such as the street population, being: i) the first one consists in socializing them at the level of the structures and collective mechanisms that produce and reproduce them; (ii) the second on is to medicalize, “[...] considering that a person lives on the streets because he suffers from alcohol dependence, he is addicted to drugs or he has mental health problems” (WACQUANT, 2007, p. 21), problems such as individual pathology that should be treated by health professionals; and (iii) penalize, so “the urban nomad is labeled as delinquent” (WACQUANT, 2007, p. 21), condensing his rights, effectively reducing it to a ‘non-citizen’ and facilitating his criminal prosecution.

The understanding of neoliberalism beyond an ideology or economic policy is emphasized because it is a rationality, “... a kind of new regime of evidence imposed on the rulers of all lines as the only reference of intelligibility of human behavior” that is constituted from a set of discourses, practices, and devices that determine a new way of government from the competition (DARDOT; LAVAL, 2016, p. 193). Also, it penetrates human life and “[...] employs unprecedented techniques of power over behavior and subjectivity” (DARDOT; LAVAL, 2016, p. 21).

The need for other forms of understanding and interventions that can resist, break or even promote new discourses, practices, and devices are highlighted, which in fact understand the plurality of the homeless, their ways of life and their demands for defense, for the exercise of their citizenship and for the guarantee and expansion of human and social rights.

3 Powerful Meetings between Occupational Therapy and Homeless Population

In Brazil, occupational therapy has been a profession in the Unified Social Assistance System (SUAS) since June 2011, based on Resolution 17 of the National Social Assistance Council - CNAS (BRASIL, 2011b), which recognizes the professional categories of higher levels that can meet the specifics of social assistance services. Thus, the occupational therapist can compose the reference teams, respecting the need for structure and composition of services based on local and regional particularities, territory and users´ needs, and also to compose the management of SUAS.

The World Organization of Occupational Therapists (WORLD..., 2016) outlines guidelines for occupational therapist action together with human rights, pointing to the professional responsibility to broaden collective awareness of social participation as a right; work in collaboration with individuals, organizations, communities and societies, to promote participation through meaningful occupation and address the issue of cultural sensitivity, and promote cultural competence.

A study carried out by occupational therapists with Iranian women in street situations has shown that this performance enabled to improve the quality of life of these women because their issues and demands are within reach of the occupational therapist’s repertoire of training and performance (MALEKPOUR, 2008).

Tsang, Davis and Polatajko (2013) address occupational losses to the integrated and sensitive work of occupational therapy, experimenting new ways and strategies, expanding the repertoire and constructing meanings.

Marshall and Rosenberg (2014) argue that homeless people live in processes of marginalization, social exclusion and they are understood as those who have fewer opportunities for engaging in activities that are available to others in society, as well as discussing the occupational therapist´s performance as a professional that is able to expand access to different occupations.

In Brazil, Almeida and Soares (2016) affirm that we must recognize that the needs to be faced in social assistance, through social insertion and fight against poverty, have different meanings, including practices that perpetuate social inequalities. In this way, the products of these inequalities reflect in different areas of human experience and of their daily life in an incisive and irreparable way.

From different conceptualizations on culture, there are works of occupational therapy with the homeless population that have used art with several experiments that contribute to the expanded vision of the work and the possibilities of interaction and creative production.

Bezerra et al. (2015, p. 337) argue that professional intervention takes on a new character because it requires the professional´s ability “to build consistent interventions with specific local cultures and real social needs”.

Silva et al. (2015a, p. 73) shows a critical argument about the social image of this population and the complexity involved in living on the streets,

[...] using art as a strategy for sensitizing and reflecting on socially relevant issues, such as social inequality, the fragility of living conditions and the reproduction of existence, perspective and sociability in the streets.

Perez et al. (2014) report an occupational therapy experience with the use of photographs that changed the condition of being observed, to become observers with a group of homeless people.

Silva, Costa and Kinoshita (2014, p. 116-117) argue that occupational therapy can contribute to daily actions, life projects, expansion and strengthening of support networks for the street and

[...] in the qualification and empowerment of participation and protagonism through the negotiation of the interaction with the other, in the management of decision-making power and in the transformation of experiences, promoting and expanding the powers of life.

Thomas et al. (2011, p. 435) provide evidence of the benefits of integration, “[...] where people were able to interact, express through their artwork and engage in a positive way, strengthening the group experience”2.

Barros et al. (2013) report the experience of the Meeting Point and Culture held with the population in a street situation or in permanent interaction with the street, whose space was considered an environment of creation and cultural, artistic, political and knowledge expression, in which the Occupational therapist action was developed in a dialogical way, seeking the construction or strengthening of significant spaces to produce new perspectives on life.

Lopes, Palma and Reis (2005) qualify the construction of the practice that is produced in relation to the recognition of the demands of the subject and the development of their capacity to seek their own creative solutions. Lopes, Borba and Reis (2003), in a similar practice, complete that the protagonism of this group must be associated with the efforts of different sectors, such as public services, organized society and different professional practices involved.

From the works, we have different possibilities of therapeutic-occupational interventions built on several theoretical references that reiterate the pertinence and need of plural practices with such population.

The theoretical and methodological reference of occupational therapy allows practices in which individuals create strategies to express their concerns, realities, and demands, allowing the singular existence in their diversity, respecting their different possibilities of existing and living, claiming their place as citizens and demystifying bodies and brands beyond judgments and stigmata. In this perspective, we show an experience report of a proposal of occupational therapy guided by the possibilities of the production of life constructed, experienced and outsourced from art and culture.

4 Art and Culture as Strategies for Attention and Care: Experience Report

The experience narrated in this manuscript compiles university extension projects carried out since 2012, whose work focus was the homeless population, based on support, with users of the Special Reference Center for Social Assistance of Homeless Population (CREAS POP), in the municipality of São Carlos, which has potentiated times and spaces for interaction, linkage, experimentation and reflection on relevant social issues.

The projects consisted of offering spaces for the people in the street situation of belonging, building and strengthening social networks of support and links that instigated doing, creations and experiments. To this end, weekly and flexible Activity Workshops were held in the socio-health service, with a wide range of therapeutic, occupational proposals supported by a human, sensitive, reflexive and critical approach. The activities workshops are understood as spaces by the doing that promote shared learning, based on the active character of the individuals and the dynamic character of these experiences: between participants, space, materials, memory, sensations (SILVA, 2007).

Also, the Activity Workshops were designed to encompass the full range of participants’ pluralities, established relationships, and their demands. The proposals varied in the intensity of the participation, from more procedural and elaborated works to short surveys. These strategies were structured to increase the possibilities of participation, considering the diversity of the group and the high turnover of some users, a characteristic recognized in the street population.

On average, we had ten participants per meeting, most of them men between 35 and 55 years old, who were literate, and who performed informal jobs to obtain income. However, the group had very heterogeneous characteristics, with the presence of women and transsexuals, young and old, coming from several cities (some fixed where interventions occurred and others in transit). Professionals from the service also attended the meetings, from the technical staff to the general services.

The team that composed the projects was the coordinator and students of the occupational therapy course in their majority, but also in the psychology, linguistics, music, librarianship, and information sciences areas.

Besides the interventions, the team held meetings for planning, experimentation, and improvement of proposals, as well as orientation and theoretical-practical reflection, promoting training based on experiences and practices in different artistic and cultural languages, leading to possibilities for the creation of new social technologies of care.

Through art and culture, the practice sought to explore the collective in each singularity and history and a rarely observed perspective on this group, its talents, abilities, protagonism, diversity, expression, and creation3. Table 1 describes the activities and themes developed.

Table 1 Activities and themes developed. 

Themes worked Excerpts from the participants
Approximation of the reality of the population, trajectories, histories, anxieties, desires, powers and powers. I work with the question of identity and identification. “Freedom I want, because it is our passport to come and go, but independence does not exist. Do you plant and reap? So, you are always dependent on other people, on a situation, on society” (C.).
“You think I’m crazy, am I? Will it be? But I like the way without fear that you come close” (P.).
Dialogues about street life, challenges, and contexts: the slang, the senses, the street culture. Life stories: braids and knots that represent the meetings and doings, moments to be “lit and deleted”, that is, memories to remember and others difficult to forget. “Because I’ve been bitten twice because I´m only hurt on the street ...” (A.).
The officer said, “Do you know who you’re talking to?” And I said, “Until now I know that you are a human being like me” (C.).
The memories and the moments to be “lit and deleted”. To empower talents and create spaces for the free expression of sensations and creations. - Recognition of the self. “This is the only workshop I like and I participate, I really like these girls” (Ca.).
“What am I going to do here until August without you?” (V.).
Street joints and networks: interrupted and interconnected strips The dimension of the internet and street culture: the possibility of recognizing and being recognized “Homeless is seen as garbage, we are the scum of society, is not this how we are seen?” (Ca.).
“You are very important to us, that we have such a repetitive daily life, that’s the sixth day and you change that, it’s very cool” (Ca.).
Trajectories and memories: the diversity of the paths traveled and what is significant and necessary to take with them in these paths. “There are people from France wanting to meet us, asking us things” (user Cs when viewing blog comments).
“You want to understand my follies ...” (P.).
“I cause, I shine, I am more I, I am beautiful” (L.).
The process of finalizing the activities, collecting the stories with all those involved. “We know how to do this, and I teach you yes, just take it easy to get everything right and save your friend” (M.).
Finalization of products and evaluation of internal and external design “You look at the night to the sky, see this star and make a wish, have you seen one?” (C.).
“To remember the past is to suffer twice” (C.).
“God bless you, I really liked you here” (M.).
“Come, enter Terra do Nunca, you can enter here” (overnight place -V.).
Manufacture of mobile with the registration of workshops, representing the new memories built. Final confraternization “You do the only activity that instigates me and makes me comfortable to participate, the only one that I participate in” (C.).
“Look, thank you so much for what you did here with us, for everything that happened with us, it’s not everyone who does it the way you did, with all the affection... You were very important to us” (Cr.).

The experience enabled the creation of products at the same time as strategies of attention and intervention were potent resources for teaching and learning, in partnership with the service team, valuing the creative and dialogic processes (FREIRE, 1987) allied to expressions and care interested on the complexity of living on the street. And, especially in the occupational therapeutic practices as life production (QUARENTEI, 2001), this proposition has resulted in sensitive displacements.

[...] from “sensitive displacements” produced, both in the context of collective creations and individual creative processes, the discovery that art is to create and that every human being creates while living and this experience of creation has clinical, social, cultural, organic, political and expressive power. It is a sensitive resource for exploring the world in its infinite dimension through more intrinsic everyday aspects. It is possible to reconstruct, reinvent, change the logic, and understand the more complex subjective (SILVA; CARDINALLI; SILVESTRINI, 2014, p. 34-35).

Therefore, what we have called sensitive displacements are the tangible or intangible movements and actions that are revealed by the subjects from diverse provocations that materialize through the meeting and mediated by strategies associated by the invitation to do and relational construction with respect and affection. In the practices with the homeless population, in the workshops and constructions revealed in this work, we follow with meetings guided by the cultural being/feel/exist, with strategies that explore art and its reflective, creative and transcendent potential and the possibility of existence and live plurals (SILVA et al., 2017).

The following are some more relevant products named Dictionary, Trajectories, Networks, Blog and Ethical and Aesthetic Exposure.

4.1 Dictionary

During the meetings, the use of their language that generated strangeness and curiosity, a culture expressed by language and its social uses, was identified through the processes of identification, conviviality, belonging and security (Figure 1).

Figure 1 Interactive Digital Street Dictionary entry. Source: Digital-imaging portfolio of the exhibition Mais um Corre

In this perspective, meetings were held in which participants reported and described slang used to communicate the streets, their meanings and senses, and how they would use them in everyday expressions. This mapping was represented in the “word line” that remained exposed throughout the meetings, allowing the realization of the richness of this language, mobilizing the production of an Interactive Digital Street Dictionary, with more than 100 entries, with their meanings and applications in sentences exemplified by the participants.

This action systematized several slangs, allowing the team to approach the participants and representing recognition, valorization, alterity, social uses of language in every day, as belonging, codes, and meanings.

[...] from the conviction that words make sense, create realities and sometimes function as powerful mechanisms of subjectivation. I believe in the power of words, in the strength of words, I believe we do things with words, and also that words do things to us. Words determine our thinking because we do not think with thoughts, but with words, we do not think from a supposed genius or intelligence, but from our words (BONDÍA, 2002, p. 20-21).

Composing this repository of singular words and expressions has revealed a lexical, grammatical and cultural product, both in the relationship to construction and explanations about the new entries and in the creation of the dictionary. This product can express the reliability and interaction mediated by the communication interpretation of that group, of street life, in a sensitive and judgment-free way, also enabling the creation of new support networks, where until then, it was not possible to “speak the same language”.

4.2 Trajectories

“A line described by a moving body” (FERREIRA, 2000, p. 680). It is understood that a body, whatever it may be when moving, can interact with the world, have a unique and only trajectory, and this is what inspires the artistic creation of the exhibition (Figure 2).

Figure 2 Map printed with pins marking a path. Source: Digital-imaging portfolio of the exhibition Mais um Corre

Roaming is considered a mark of the street population. The meetings with our participants revealed a life of travel, of comings and goings, sometimes autonomous, others imposed, but certainly of their own knowledge. In order to represent the trajectories of the participants, a map of Brazil was used, wires and pins, and traced the paths already covered by each participant, producing the artistic installation “Trajectories”. The dynamics promoted interaction, identification and socialization in the group, as well as a great deal of information about the life histories of each subject. Besides identifying the cities already covered, it was possible to understand the motives, longings, relationships and difficulties lived among those who of the ‘stretch’ its own journey of life and is in transit for days or years. Therefore, trajectories are all these stories, paths, memories of territorialities, the footprints left and the steps that are yet to come, in the perspective that listening and reflecting on these experiences can resignify them.

4.3 Networks

From the several reports of the participants about the prejudices, stigmas and violence that they experienced daily and, in contrast, many stories of life in which to fall on the street4 was a possibility of breaking other violence, humiliations, and violations, the proposal arose that each participant reported on their support networks (CASTEL, 2008), which they identified as losses and gains in this process. At first, cards and a network of string were used, so people could express what they considered gains and losses, producing another artistic facility called “networks”, exposed in the service for new contributions. The situations, people or feelings were described in cards; those considered as gains were exposed, and those considered losses were kneaded and placed at the top of the net. Through this proposal and the established link, the possibilities of dialoguing on the process of going to the streets as an alternative to processes of autonomy and breach of violations, beyond what we have a lack of choice, have been expanded, as well as extended the composition on the formal and informal relational and support network (Figure 3).

Figure 3 Installation of the nets, with the cards crushed or lashed. Source: Digital-imaging portfolio of the exhibition Mais um Corre

4.4 Blog

The production of a blog allowed several uses in different moments of the meetings. In the beginning, it was presented as a profitable form of presentation of the participants, as workshop dynamics, means of dissemination, registration, and memory of the activities and products made, and as the valuation of subjects, virtual interaction and still transformation of concepts, visions, stereotypes, and stigmata. With a laptop and Internet access, in which participants could access, create, edit and respond to all the messages and comments they received in their profiles and autonomously weekly, they built their profiles with images, texts, and poetry, valuing their recognition and identity.

With such a strategy, it was opened up to the possibility that the relationship and virtual involvement evolve into something concrete and real, developing communicative capacities that approach the exchanges, break territorial barriers and weave mechanisms more complex of relation with the other (SILVA; CARDINALLI; LOPES, 2015).

The use of virtual space allowed collective experiences and sociability, with moments of exploration of their identities, expression of their singularities and interaction with people who, without the use of this tool, producing new contents, aesthetics and sociabilities would not occur.

4.5 Ethical and aesthetic exposure

The possibility of an aesthetic ethical exposition arose from the mapping of products and the aesthetic analysis that inspired creation. Also, the objective was for the expressions to reach a wider range and to be concrete materialities and manifestations of the street population and the complexity of the situation (SILVA et al., 2015b). The intention was to present ethically and aesthetically the productions that represented street culture, in an evaluative perspective, among the themes of identity, trajectories, memories, networks, and dreams, besides, producing the perspective of the empowerment of the participants as artists´ protagonists of an art exhibition (Figure 4).

Figure 4 First complete assembly of the exhibition Mais um Corre in the Municipal Theater of São Carlos Dr. Alderico Vieira Perdigão. Source: Digital-imaging portfolio of the exhibition Mais um Corre

5 Conclusion

Faced with the macrostructural understanding of the current economic and political system that is rooted in capitalism and neoliberal rationality, we have a series of ruptures and institutionalized violations that deregulate the processes of guarantee and expansion of social rights recently produced.

This context mercilessly transforms the trajectories of homeless people, who are marked by innumerable weaknesses, resulting in processes of vulnerability and social desfiliation.

Therefore, we need other ways of understanding and interventions that can resist, break or even promote the defense by exercising their citizenship and by guaranteeing and expanding human and social rights.

The need to promote care and occupational therapeutic practices that can promote new discourses, practices, and devices at the microstructural level, that actually understand the plurality of the street population, their way of life and their demands, multiplying their meanings and trajectories, resignifying experiences and actions, allowing that even in the face of oppression, violence, and abandonment, values ​​can be produced for the plurality and powers of lives, their human activities, and their daily lives.

The report sought to share creative strategies used in a group of projects with the population in a street situation for the approach, understanding, valorization, and protagonism of this group formed by people who suffered numerous ruptures along their trajectories.

Shared dialogic practices strengthened with aesthetic, ethical and artistic works allowed both the expression of a culture and its denunciation and criticism, favoring the meaningful involvement of the participants who experienced other functions and positions in opposition to their social disruption processes, however analogous to their possibilities and capabilities.

It was possible to create spaces for the strengthening of social support networks existing both among the participants’ group and the team, contributing significantly to the training of the students involved to sensitize them to the social demands, fomenting a critical view, in a way to not act on their actions for the reproduction of the status quo.

In this experience, the power of art was to enable the protagonism of the subjects, offering resources and motivating the spontaneity of their creativity and subjectivity. In this sense, the meetings produced sensitive displacements, reflecting the street culture, the powerful creations in the difficulties and the violations suffered by street people, sufferings, conquests, desires and complex and diverse trajectories.

Thus, we invest in the dialogical, critical and sensitive practice of occupational therapy, constructed from the Other and its interaction in the relation, presenting its demands, contradictions, and powers to the singular understanding of real every day to transform its place in the world.

“Everything very simple, all natural, a flower, a fantasy, to be able to dream” (HEBBERT, street artist).


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Funding source Process nº. 23112.004254/2011-03, Pró-Reitoria de Extensão, Universidade Federal de São Carlos - UFSCar.


1 The research was conducted in 71 Brazilian municipalities, through interviews with people over 18 years old, and the results suggest a larger number of people in this condition.

2 Free translation.

3 All ethical procedures are adopted and authorized the disclosure of their photos or videos on specific terms.

4 Expression used to refer to the first moment of being in a street situation

Received: April 05, 2017; Revised: July 03, 2017; Accepted: November 20, 2017

Corresponding author: Carla Regina Silva, Departamento de Terapia Ocupacional, Universidade Federal de São Carlos, Rodovia Washington Luís, Km 235, SP-310, CEP 13565-905, São Carlos, SP, Brasil, e-mail:

Authors’ Contributions

The reflections of this text come from the extension activity under the coordination of Carla Regina Silva. All authors participated in this activity and in the construction, writing, review of the text and approved the final version of the text.

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