Archive for April, 2012
“In theory it sounded like one of the most innovative models for including citizens in the democratic decision making process,” one Federal University of Rio doctoral candidate told me. Her research focuses on participatory processes in the favelas pacified under the Pacifying Police Units (UPP). She continued: “But spending a year closely following meetings between residents and the government showed me that it was just that: participatory only in theory.”
Democracies require some degree of public involvement. Citizen participation is a complicated concept, because it is not a well-defined ‘thing’ but rather a scale of different degrees of inclusion of More >
Originally in Portuguese in Viva Favela here.
The start of March marks the end of summer, disappointing those Rio locals (cariocas) who frequent the beaches, swimming pools and other sun traps. For many workers, the arrival of fall can be a relief. That is the case for mailman Cléber Saraiva, who works in downtown Bangu. During his shift, carrying a heavy weight and wearing a stifling uniform, he goes from street to street in two of Rio’s hottest neighborhoods. Cléber gets doubly tired working in the summer: “there are days when I get home and it feels like my head is exploding.”
The More >
With a menu that proudly announces the inclusion of orange peel, watercress stems and pumpkin skin, Sunday’s Favela Orgânica taster event was an exciting introduction to an innovative food project for the favela and beyond.
In the Babilônia resident’s association building in the pacified community overlooking Leme, Regina Tchelly and her team served up a range of gourmet dishes made with ingredients commonly regarded as trash. The full vegetarian feijoada with watercress root farofa, watermelon peel risotto and pumpkin peel dessert may sound like unreasonably experimental cooking but in fact are delicious, satisfying dishes that maximize the nutritious and economical value of More >
Located at the Rocinha Sports Center, Manel Costa runs his ‘Acorda’ (Wake Up) capoeira school, where he trains over three hundred students from the community of Rocinha.
The group started in October 2004 and has been growing, expanding their work to various communities, training students in the Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance and music. Manel and his teachers run classes in the communities of Rocinha, Berimbau, Maculele and Samba de Roda and also have branches in the cities of Petrópolis and the state of Minas.
Along with capoeira, the Acorda school runs youth tutoring, foreign language classes, theater classes, More >
A group of Indian architects wants to import lessons learned in Brazilian favelas to Mumbai in order to improve living conditions in poor regions of the Indian city.
Architects and planners from the Institute of Urbanology – a foundation based in Mumbai dedicated to research and dissemination of ideas on urbanism – believe that several of the Indian government’s initiatives to rebuild housing ended up producing only corruption, decrepit buildings, and miserable neighborhoods.
In some cases, the living conditions of residents in the new blocks even worsened when they swapped their shacks in the slums for these new apartments.
The Indian More >