British Council Creative Economy

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H.D Mabuse

H.D Mabuse

Recife: The Playable City participant

Brazilian artist H.D. Mabuse remixes visual arts, design and music, often for social good.

From projects such as Journey to the centre of the Mangrove, an evening of live performance connecting contemporary and traditional cultures, to Aquatic Pathways, a political campaign platform to improve transport in the Brazilian city of Recife, H.D. Mabuse always works collectively with others, to educate, activate and engage people with the world around them.

“It is important that we all engage in rethinking our societies. We must not wait for Government or market changes to do this for us. With collective action, we can change our own environments. We did this with Aquatic Pathways. The project promoted use of river taxis to alleviate congestion in the Brazilian city of Recife. It also empowered citizens to lobby the Government for this change themselves.”

H.D. Mabuse is a core member of Recife artistic collective Autom.ato, and is also a design consultant at technology company CESAR. Working across different sectors enriches the work he creates.

“Working with different communities is vital to my practice. I don't believe, in my work at least, that it is possible to make something without dialogue with other people. It makes no sense to me, as an artist or as a designer, to think only on my own, or with one set of people."

In 2014 he participated in Recife: The Playable City, Watershed’s UK/Brazil development programme run in collaboration with Porto Digital and the British Council, as part of TRANSFORM. During this programme, he collaborated with artist Tine Bech, technologist David Haylock, and producers Germana Uchôa, and Isabelle Croissant of Cornerhouse, to create Aquatic Pathways.

“One of the best ways to encourage new thinking about our societies is to work with people from other cultures. This allows us to see the world with new eyes and new perspectives. It is fundamental to my work and I love it.”