The following reference was found as the project was being imagined:
In Brazil, there is a very popular and huge culture of craft building hot air balloons. These balloons are made of tissue paper, and then propelled into the air via a large torch. The torch is placed on the circle in the base of the balloon when it is inflated with hot air. These balloons are then accompanied by a message appearing on a banner, that deploys as the balloon rises.
The culture of balloons is present in Brazil for several generations and is now in other Latin American countries. Dropped balloons are very symbolic and supports many popular festival. This tradition is now also celebrates at a festival, the “festivities of June” where balloons of over 70 m are made with tissue paper. Balloons are sometimes built during several months.
The images above are from the reportage of Etienne Chambolle “Les ballons pirates de Rio”, 2002.