Rio de Janeiro´s Favelas as a Form of Settlement in an Urban Context 29.06.2017 | 16:45 Uhr - 18:15 Uhr

What is a favela? What is the legal nature of this piece of town? What is the status of its occupants? The author proposes a renewed reading of the favelas and favelados in the city of Rio de Janeiro, thanks to a meticulous investigation located at the crossroads of the anthropology of law and political history. Rio de Janeiro’s urban development has long been under study by the academy, and its favelas have only begun to receive systematic studies since the second half of the twentieth century. The favelas were systematically classified as illegal spaces and, contrary to common sense, their inhabitants are far from the stereotype „poor, passive and marginalized.“ These residents have participated actively in the process of appropriation of the city’s urban land, demonstrating legal knowledge and strategies of political mobilization. The elaboration of the legal concept of favela had great repercussion on the different public policies adopted in relation to these spaces. New government provisions and initiatives, as well as urban interventions in the favelas in recent years, have partially improved the living conditions of the favela population but have failed to break the stigma that still weighs on these spaces and their inhabitants. From the gaps in the construction of knowledge about the favelas of the city, Rafael Soares Gonçalves intends to present a contribution to the understanding of all this history, especially attention to its legal aspects.


Dr. Rafael Soares Gonçalves, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro

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