LSE Research: Underground Sociabilities - Identity and Culture in Rio's Favelas





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Published on Aug 1, 2012

During the nineteenth and the twentieth century, rapid economic and social development concentrated ever greater numbers of the Brazilian population in cities. This urban expansion drew in thousands of workers from across the country, where - in the absence of sufficient infrastructure - they settled in shanty towns, or "favelas," on the steep hillsides around the city.

Although justifiably associated with extreme poverty, and the problems of crime that accompany this, the favelas of Rio de Janeiro are also places of surprising cultural richness. LSE professor Sandra Jovchelovitch has been studying the society and culture of the favelas for several years, and in this short film talks about how grassroots organisations such as AfroReggae and CUFA have been working with favela residents to establish a stable space in which that cultural richness might find identity and expression.

An accompanying article describing Professor Jovchelovitch's work appears in the Summer 2012 edition of LSE Connect:


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