Articles written by Anna Kaiser:
Cidade de Deus, Rio’s most famous West Zone favela, was made (in)famous thanks to the book and international blockbuster by the same name, City of God. The community today is occupied by a Pacifying Policy Unit (UPP). Here we interview Iara Oliveira, a CDD (as the community is popularly known) teacher and political activist. Iara is coordinator of Alfazendo, a community-based NGO in Cidade de Deus. Alfazendo’s focus is literacy for community residents of all ages, but they also serve as an advocacy organization and provide general educational opportunities and enrichment for the community. Mostly self-educated, Iara has built her career More >
Negligence by state and local officials has led to deteriorating conditions in Duque de Caxias, a municipality in the Rio de Janeiro Metropolitan Region just north of Rio itself, only to be brought to a pinnacle of disaster when a tropical storm descended on the region last week. Ongoing issues with waste collection had reached unbearable conditions for citizens when the storm hit. By the time the storm came, 50,000 tons of waste lay on the city’s streets. The intense storm has left areas of the municipality flooded, filled with trash, and uninhabitable.
In a protest organized and funded by the Rio de Janeiro state government–with the right to take off from work to participate–held on Monday, November 26, up to 200,0000 people flooded the streets of downtown Rio to protest a bill that would partially redirect revenues from oil royalties away from the oil producing states of Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, and Espirito Santo, to the other 23 states in Brazil. Already passed by national Congress earlier in November, the fate of the bill was decided by President Dilma Rousseff this past Friday, who gave the final “No,” vetoing the proposed redistribution. The More >
“I have one rule,” says Felipe Paiva, as my calves start to feel the burn from ascending the streets of Vidigal, “to see the view point at the top of Vidigal, you can’t drive, take a motor taxi, or a van, you have to walk!”
And it was worth the walk as we arrived at a platform high atop favela Vidigal, where there emerged a stunning view of the vibrant community and beyond it, Rio’s South Zone, the white sand stretching from Leblon to Leme.
Felipe’s pride and connection to his native neighborhood are apparent not just in his photographs but also in More >
Democracy has strayed far from its origin as a system of governance giving all citizens equal access to decision-making authority and the opportunity to serve in office. Modern day political campaigns not only entail budgets reaching thousands, millions, or even hundreds of millions of dollars, but also require extensive networks of coalitions and connections, all of which completely soil the ideals of democracy. Countries, governments, and democratic systems differ, but in today’s democracies, at least one thing seems to be shared: you need money, and a lot of it, to be elected into political office.
But in Rio’s municipal elections, we are seeing More >