This is how a slum was turned into an Instagram sensation

A shanty town in Indonesia has been transformed into a tourist attraction and Instagram sensation through the sheer power of colour.

Authorities decided to paint the whole place like a rainbow and curiously, the crazy idea has been a success.

Kampung Pelangi is a small collection of ramshackle homes about 500 kilometres east of Jakarta. Originally named Kampung Wonosari and part of the South Semarang district, the village is generally regarded as highly overpopulated and impoverished.

Slamet Widodo, a 54-year old local teacher and school principal proposed the idea inspired by Kampung Warna-warni, Kampung Tridi in Malang and Kampung Kali Code, provinces which have taken similar initiatives to boost their economy.

The local government committed a budget of 300 million Indonesian rupiah – around $30,000 – to fund this rainbow makeover. With the help of the Indonesian Builders Association in Semarang, who provided paint and the workforce for the project, the former slum was transformed into a living rainbow.

Gapensi Semarang’s Art and Culture and Sports Department head told the Jakarta Post, “One house has a minimum of three colours. We also cooperated with the Roads Agency, Tourism Agency as well as other agencies to help develop Kampung Pelangi. The locals have enjoyed the results, for instance by selling food and souvenirs.”

Each house has been splashed with colours, patterns and lively cartoonish drawings that are attracting tourists and photographers from all over the world and boosting the economy in the process. After just two months the #kampungpelangi hashtag has already more than 4000 posts on Instagram.

Kampung Pelangi follows the example of other towns around the globe that have invested in aesthetically pleasing, brightly coloured makeovers in order to improve their economy. Back in 2011, the Spanish village of Juzcar was painted blue, and many of Rio de Janeiro’s favelas were painted in saturated colours for the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics.