The civic legacy of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games

(Originally written in April 17, 2013)

Rio’s preparations for the 2016 Olympics have been marked by human rights violations. Unfortunately, the sacrifice of the poorer for the progress of a city historically ruled by the rich is not new. But now, organized citizens have increasingly reacted. The Olympics have created a promising set of civil society alliances that may be re-shaping citizens’ involvement in Rio’s local politics.

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The challenge of mobilizing the poor in Brazil

(originally written in July 30, 2013)

During the demonstrations in Brazil, many said the giant – the Brazilian people – finally woke up. While it is true that many young people, especially the well-off, have been more active as citizens for the past weeks than they were before, mobilizing lower-income populations remains a hard challenge. This challenge is very familiar to civil society actors from favelas (Brazilian kinds of slums) who have for years been engaged in civil society networks. A current example of the difficulty in mobilizing the poor is perceived in the struggle against the impacts of mega-events in favelas of Rio de Janeiro.

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Brazilian Everyday-Life Stories (2012-2013)

Part of my research is to do fieldwork in Rio. That means I visit places, talk to people and try to understand why media activists and community journalists in Rio do what they do.

In 2012 and 2013, I decided to update my Facebook status every now and then with short stories (like textual snapshots) showing a bit of the everyday life of the Brazil (I mean Rio) I saw in the process.

This (long) post is a collection of those everyday-life stories. They represent my first writings after I realized I was a local outsider. As I realized many things I had considered normal were highly complex, I started writing about them. Now, I post them publicly.

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O desafio de mobilizar pessoas de baixa-renda no Brasil

(texto escrito originalmente em Julho de 2013)

Durante as manifestações no Brasil, muitos disseram que o gigante – o povo brasileiro – tinha finalmente acordado. Enquanto é verdade que muitos jovens especialmente de boa qualidade de vida têm sido mais ativos como cidadãos nas últimas semanas do que antes, a mobilização das populações de baixa-renda continua como um grande desafio.

Este desafio é muito familiar para atores da sociedade civil das favelas que há anos estão engajados em diferentes redes de movimentos sociais. Um exemplo atual da dificuldade de mobilizar pessoas de baixa-renda é evidente na luta contra os impactos dos mega-eventos nas favelas do Rio de Janeiro.

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