One week before Carnival, Loucura Suburbana (Suburban Madness) took over the streets of the Engenho de Dentro neighborhood, in Rio de Janeiro, where more than 200 revelers celebrated the groups’ 10th Anniversary.

Patients from the Institute and other psychiatric centers from Rio, along with relatives and staff members from the Nise da Silveira, marched together to the beats of a local Carnival percussion group.

The Carnival group is part of the project Engenho Cultural Loucura Suburbana (Cultural Engenho Suburban Madness), a BrazilFoundation 2009 grantee. The Project seeks to integrate members of the local community with patients from the Psychiatric Center. The Nise da Silveira Institute is considered a pioneer and leader in Brazil. They advocate against and the idea that psychiatric patients need to live in isolation, and against aggressive treatment methods.

The activities leading up to the Carnival parade take place throughout the year, and the group participants are involved in all aspects of the show, from samba theme and lyrics to costume production, and percussion rehearsals.

Through games, dancing, and music we see the happiness hidden behind lost eyes. It an opportunity in which vitality trumps the stigma that characterizes their lives

This year’s theme was “Metamorphosis” and the music title was Vem brincar (Come Play). The lyrics, which were composed by one of the Institute’s patients says:

“De lagarta à borboleta
Todo Mundo é bamba
Menininha sai da crise
E entra no samba”

“From caterpillar to butterfly
Everybody has rhythm
Girl come out of the crisis
And get in the samba”

Suburban Madness

Clarissa Worcman, Taiguara Moreira and Hamilton de Jesus

Interview for Nise da Silveira Hospital Radio Station

BrazilFoundation's team with Ariadne, coordinator of project Engenho Cultural Loucura Suburbana

BrazilFoundation's team with Nise da Silveira Hospital staff, its Director and wife.