Search

Taste of Brazil for Olympic Park visitors

PUBLISHED: 14:13 23 June 2015 | UPDATED: 14:13 23 June 2015

Reporter Jacob Ranson at Rio Fone Hack

Reporter Jacob Ranson at Rio Fone Hack

Archant

Red phone boxes now have some competition in London after three public phones from Brazil made their way into Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park for five weeks.

Brazil signBrazil sign

Red phone boxes now have some competition in London after three public phones from Brazil made their way into Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park for five weeks.

The iconic blue boxes, which can be seen on street corners in Rio de Janeiro, were put on display around the park on Friday and have been introduced as part of an initiative to showcase the work of artists from across the borough.

Over the next few weeks, the project, called The Rio Fone Hack, will give guests the opportunity to pick up the broken phones and listen to a variety of Brazilian voices which have been programmed in by artists.

Persis Jade Maravala, project director and Stratford artist, said the project is about “appropriating broken phones and reliving them with technology and artwork”.

Sheila Preston taking on the Brazilian experienceSheila Preston taking on the Brazilian experience

She added: “It’s a very unique and refreshing look at Brazil that invites people to think differently, as they are three very different experiences, plus what is very unique about this project is you can do this without even coming to the park.”

After meeting Persis, I was curious to find out more about the project and decided to go and test out the phones for myself.

The first phone call started with a mysterious male voice telling me facts about Brazil.

It was fine to begin with but midway through the call, the voice decided to stop filling my brain with information, and started to ask me questions about how many people I could see on the bridge ahead of me in the park.

Reporter Jacob Ranson at Rio Fone HackReporter Jacob Ranson at Rio Fone Hack

The call ended with a whisper through the phone telling me I “could be very close to someone on the bridge”. At the time, I didn’t know what to make of this strange remark.

But then the phone cut out, and immediately after, a man in a trench coat headed towards me.

Luckily, it didn’t turn out to be anything sinister as he bypassed me and I was slowly able to catch my breath back.

I can safely say that I was happy not to be alone when experiencing the unnerving call.

Sheila Preston taking on the Brazilian experienceSheila Preston taking on the Brazilian experience

Sheila Preston, Head of Performing Arts at UEL, also joined me on the tour.

She said:“It was a fun experience, the first one I did I was not sure how to respond to it, as had a charming warm Brazilian character on the telephone who made you answer questions and became more Brazilian in a non threatening way.

She added: “The other one I took part in was very different as the voice on the phone got you to meditate and really took you into the landscape around you.”

Adriana Marques, Head of Arts and Culture, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, said she was keen to promote the art work of Newham based artists.

Adrianna Marques taking on the Brazilian experienceAdrianna Marques taking on the Brazilian experience

She said: “As always we are really keen to make sure cultural projects are part of the park and making sure quirky things like this project are always going on.

“It’s really nice to promote something from Newham instead of Hackney Wick and we thought in terms of them making it with a Rio theme would be great with the Olympic link.

“We also want people to think of the park as a place for them and the public to share their work, as we need to make sure local people and artists stay here in East London.”

The project runs until the end of July.

Reporter Jacob Ranson at Rio Fone HackReporter Jacob Ranson at Rio Fone Hack

For more information visit queenelizabetholympicpark.co.uk/whats-on/events/2015/6/zuuk-presents-rio-fone-hack


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Newham Recorder. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Newham Recorder