After Rio

by Shane Thomas  Given the panoply of portentous prognostications leading into Rio 2016, received wisdom ultimately deemed this summer’s Olympic and Paralympic Games as a success: The sport was thrilling; the events passed without much disruption; athletes weren’t ridden by the Zika virus; and Brazil doesn’t appear to be a real-life rendering of The Walking Dead.… Read More

Photo Story: Seeing Rio with different eyes

by Felipe Araujo   For the past three years, winters in Brazil have been marked by major events. Around this time in 2014, the country hosted the World Cup, a tournament that ended in bitter disappointment for this football-mad nation of 200 million. Last year, protests against the now suspended president Dilma Rousseff spread all… Read More

Those in power would prefer favela culture to remain out of sight

Dispatch from Rio by Felipe Araujo   The day after the Opening Ceremony of the Rio Olympics, I found myself in northern Rio’s Madureira Park – a place far away from the bright lights of the beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema. On weekends, it’s here that Cariocas from the surrounding favelas congregate to spend quality… Read More

Reflection from the Favela: The Arrival of Peace

by Cléber Araujo It’s time to talk about the union of the people, the peace that is brought by the Olympic torch, and the peace the nations of the world desire. And when we talk about our favela, peace is urgent and necessary, even more so in a moment like this, when the world’s eyes… Read More

Dispatch from Rio: “The History of This Place Has Been Destroyed”

by Felipe Araujo If there was ever a microcosm for the unfair struggle between everyday citizens and huge corporate interests (including a repressive state), then Rio de Janeiro’s Vila Autódromo neighbourhood might just be it. The impoverished community, which has been fighting eviction for years, sits right alongside the Olympic Park. People here have been… Read More

Dispatch from Rio: “where affluent Westerners can turn a blind eye to human deprivation”

by Felipe Araujo “The Olympics are for first world countries and Brazil is still a third world nation.” These were the words of Raff Giglio, a boxing instructor and community leader in Vidigal, a favela that majestically sits among two hills overlooking Rio de Janeiro’s Ipanema beach. Giglio knows Vidigal from top to bottom. He… Read More

“In the favela this happens every day”: Brazil’s disregard for black bodies

by Felipe Araujo Brazil is dealing with an economic, political, and social mess — and if there’s a picture that could serve to illustrate at least some of the above, this one could be it. It depicts a group of boys casually playing football at a beach — right next to two dead bodies. The identity of the cadavers… Read More

Jean Charles de Menezes and the limits of human rights

By Gracie Mae Bradley “In truth, if any officer reasonably decides that he must use lethal force, it will inevitably be because it is absolutely necessary to do so.” Collins J in (Bennett) v HM Coroner for Inner London [2007] Last week, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR or Court) handed down its judgment… Read More

Feminism in the Favela

Two Generations of Afro-Brazilian Women Reflect on Changes by Zaneta Denny  In such a diverse population, can one interpretation of feminism prevail, or is it a case of divide and rule? For 30 years, Latin American and Caribbean women have gathered together for Encuentros to discuss feminist issues in the region. Last November 1,500 women… Read More

Brazil’s new primetime show “Sexo e as Negas” serves the white gaze

TV Channel Globo, one of the largest television networks in Brazil, is broadcasting a series called “Sexo e as Nega”. The series is an adaptation of Sex and the City, but this time with four Black actresses. The series has been written by the famous White actor, writer and producer Miguel Fallabella.

The very title of the series is itself hugely problematic, not only because race is the primary signifier of the women, but also because the terms are full of racist and gendered connotations, such as the venacular Brazilian expression “I’m not your niggaz “. In racist discourses, Black women are those who work for sex, while the white woman is the woman who is worthy of romantic love, kindness and respect. Read More