Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Three views from inside the favelas

The BBC offers the words of three favela dwellers in Rio about life in Complexo do Alemao in Zona Norte and Rocinha in Zona Sul.

I'm glad that reporters are offering verbatim opinions of residents. Still, it's sad that the Beeb frames the story as one of violence. Journalists, as the first person interviewed says, "sell violence to sell newspapers."

Think about it: this compendium of interviews is titled "Inside Rio's violent favelas" and notes that "Brazil's government has pledged $1.7bn (£850m) to improve conditions in Rio de Janeiro's huge shantytowns, or favelas, in an effort to beat organised crime."

And what about normal life in the favelas? Will any news service ever simply walk in and cover that?

[thanks to Washington for the tip about the clip!]


Unknown said...

Robert- I am a literary journalist/sculptor with bodies of work that primarily focus on social reform in Latin America. I am looking for your advice regarding the destiny of a few peices in particular, potential fundraising, future projects, etc. I would love to send you a JPEG of a large peice I made of the barrios in Caracas. To what address might I post further correspondance? If that is okay with you, please respond to Thank you for your good work, Shadow Cities is excellent. Best, Caitlin Waugh

Buscapleito said...

That's right, as urban planners we have to deal with infrastructure and urban improvement, not directly with crime policies.

Buscapleito said...


I would like to visit your blog but your profile is not available. I'm an Urban Planner working in slums in Caracas, other venezuelan's cities and Latin American´s countries, since 1984.
(Thanks Squattercity for your space).

Anonymous said...

hey robert,

enjoyed your TED clip.
have a small but very useful tip (and i don't want to make you self conscious.. but...) if, during public speaking you get dry mouth, simply chew on the sides of your tongue and you'll generate saliva. actors' secret finally revealed.
thanks for your work.

now delete this!!! :)

sparkle said...

it seems to me that the pervading attitude is that poverty is an anomaly as well as a sin... so, 'normal' to the media is often to show the worst of the worst & occasionally offer a token individual or group. the token is then used by the outsiders as an example to those who are 'everyday' or 'average,' as if to say 'you need to be like ____! why can't you be better, poor person?'

sad. but true.

thanks for sharing this.