Friday, February 07, 2014
So who says Brazil is a post-racial society? IPS adds its voice to the reporting on the phenomenon of young people from the favelas who gather in flash mobs at Brazil's fancy shopping malls. Mall security officers and police have used rubber bullets and pepper spray to attack the groups--and some participants and officials suggest that the violent response has revealed racial cracks in Brazilian society. In their view, the mostly-white elites who shop at the malls are afraid of largely Afro-Brazilian favela dwellers. Author and Green Party Activist Fernando Gabeira initially saw the rolezinhos as attempts to "democratise the space for whoever wanted to enjoy the beauty of the shopping centres." Now, however, he sees them as more political--and perhaps a response to the luxurification of many Brazilian cities in the run-up to the World Cup and the Olympics.