M I M O S A V I L L A G E – THE SECRET POSTCARD OF RIO DE JANEIRO - BRAZIL
By Marcelo Carrera & Pedro Farina
Mimosa Village is one of the most famous prostitution areas in the City of Rio de Janeiro’s.
Mimosa Village is almost a centenary village. It was born with the landing of European women that an away from World War, I they were poor and without husbands.
The first place it used to be located in was at the swamp zone, near the existent Presidente Vargas avenue, in downtown area in Rio.
The Poles, as they were known, used to mix themselves with the native ones all long the years, until they got disappeared.
They were persecuted, and for this reason changed the neighborhood almost ten times, as the city modernized.
Rio de Janeiro’s City Hall needed one of the installations, and ended up by removing all the prostitutes to Sotero dos Reis street in Bandeira Square.
H I S T O R Y
Mimosa Village had as first address Pinto de Azevedo street, located in Swamp zone, Estacio’s neighborhood, in Rio de Janeiro. But everything was demolished because the City Hall wanted to build an administrative center (today it’s the place where the mayor works). The place was transfered to Miguel de Frias Street, near the old place, also in swamp zone.
The movement used to be pretty big, mainly in twenties, as there were many militaries fighting rebellions all over Brazil, that used to have Arthur Bernardes as a President. Rio de Janeiro lived hard and difficult moments, the militaries didn’t want Arthur Bernardes To take office , so they did the “Copacabana’s Fort’s rebellion in Rio. Although they used to have severe discipline, they needed to get some amusement moments, and they used to get thisover there in Mimosa Village.
One of the most diligent frequenter was the poet Manoel Bandeira. The zone localization was kept there until about 94/95, when the state decided that the building would be registered by the historical patrimony.
T O D A Y
Mimosa Village was made from a commercial and social construction where there is commercial configuration of different kinds of businesses, that go beyond prostitution. It’s about trades located in a same place (streets), connected by prostitution activities.
Although the place has the name of village, it began in a big storage shed, about two thousand five Hundred square meters, a building built in a square shape where the front part is opened and facing the main street (Sotero dos Reis). In the other three square lines and in its central part there are prostitution establishments. The passage way between the two sides of this square is narrowed and covered by sidewalks. The storage shed’s passage ways are identified by the yellow and blue marquee put on the establishments’ balcony close to the main street. The pubs are located below, and the bedrooms for the programs achievement, on the second floor. It looks like a commercial gallery where a store would be beside the other one, however, it’s about pubs.
In this kind of passage way, the trade is intense. There are informal salesman that exhibit their goods on the ground, on the establishment’ window, the other ones walk on the streets. The informal salesmen sell different kinds of products like: juices, sweets, salted food (such as, snacks and Sandwiches), clothes (lingeries, bathing suits, top t-shirts), cosmetics (lipstick, eye shadow, deodorant, perfume, creams), incense, costume jewelry, and other things.
Mimosa Village was the storehouse of many different kinds of “carioca” actresses of adult movies, The most famous one was Natasha Lima, who acted in a sitcom called MIKE IN BRAZIL.
There are exactly seventy houses in the village, and each one has at least ten bedrooms. Almost all the establishments work twenty four hours a day (only the stalls, tents, and trailers that sell meals and drinks work from 3 o’clock pm or 4 o’clock pm on.
According to Residents’ Association of Condominium and Mimosa Village friends, on Friday evenings and on Saturdays, about 4.500(four thousand and five hundred) people: 3.000 (three thousand) men and 1.500 (one thousand five hundred) women pass through Mimosa Village area.
In order to offer security to Sotero dos Reis street and streets around, security guards’team is paid by the houses owners. It’s not allowed transvestite or escorts working in this place; to preserve the tradition, only women are accepted.
For the Brazilian legislation, keeping a prostitution establishment is considered a crime, therefore, Mimosa Village is an illicit business. In the legal contract is written that the storage shed is a trade undertaking without making explicit about its use. The prostitution houses, located in front the storage shed, are dwelling that used to live there in commercial undertaking. Each one of these pubs work with their legal business register.
T H E G I R L S’ C I T Y
The original itinerary of high speed train that interconnects Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo passes through Mimosa Village. According to the National Agency of Terrestrial Transportations, the route will be officialized only after analysis of the Account Union Tribunal.
Dwellers, little entrepreneur girls of programs of Mimosa Village and one hundred fifty business men of Sotero dos Reis,Ceará, Hilario Ribeiro and Lopes de Souza streets, where restaurants, stores and companies generate thousand direct Jobs move R$1 million reais per month, would be displaced with railroad construction New Mimosa Village’s project has already been baptized with the name of girls’city, by the prostitutes. It’s divided in two areas with five modules in a total of one thousand eight hundred twenty five square meters.There is space for amphitheater, fashion defile, rooms for professional courses, nurseries for fifty children, parking for seventy cars, health attendance and offices.It was designed by the architect Guilherme Rodrigues Ripardo, who got the inspiration from Oscar Niemeyer’s Masterpiece. The structural part, without counting with the ground is estimated in a minimum, of R$ 3 million reais.
C U R I O S I T I E S
Among the well known personalities that used to pass through over there are painter Di Cavalcanti and musicians Dicró, Mr Catra and Cartola.
In 2003, the couple MC Serginho and Lacraia wrote a song to render homage to Mimosa Village.
Mimosa Village is the biggest heterosexual prostitution zone around the world.
The Village started to decrease when mayor Pereira Passos began his modernization project of the city in the beginning of twentieth century. Ever since, a lot of facts contributed to Village Mimosa changed the place where it was located, like the sanitary transformation promoted by Oswaldo Cruz , the subway, the” teleporto” construction and the Government ‘s Municipal Headquarter . Two buildings that belong to the City Hall were built and tenderly nicknamed as “piranhão” and “cafetão”.
The transference of the village was obtained by an indemnity given by City Hall in the value of R$300.000 (three hundred thousand reais). However, there is someone who says that the money was stolen by an old President of the residents association. In spite of the money deviation, the procuresses, the prostitutes gathered one thousand reais and bought the storage shed in Bandeira Square, where they remain until today.