The mainstream media in Brazil portrays favelas (unregulated low-income neighbourhoods) in a negative light. This has been the case since their emergence over a century ago. Voices from the Favelas navigates through the contemporary representation of the favelas in the established media, discussing how this partial representation impacts issues of identity and social segregation, the legitimation of structural violence in those sites, and providing an account of the recent emergence of digital social networks as “counterpublics”. In order to understand the struggle against the characterisation of the favela as a site dominated by violence (a framework which has been disseminated on a global scale and accepted as the norm), this book will take its readers inside the mindset of the favela media activists, examining the production of information and the organisation of the residents as they resist and challenge the status quo. Are the activists able to counteract the official narrative in the struggles against misrepresentation and social invisibility, or is the mainstream version of the favela still strong enough to help in the legitimation of the institutionalised violence?
Fernanda Amaral is a researcher at Media Discourse Centre (MDC - DMU/UK) and Laboratório de Estudos de Mídia e Relações Internacionais (LEMRI - UFRJ/BRAZIL) and holds a doctorate in Media Discourse from De Montfort University. Her work focuses on voice poverty, state violence and resistance – especially in vulnerable communities.
Introduction: Favela and Asfalto: A City that Insists on Remaining Broken
1. Urban Growth, Gentrification and Social Hygiene in Rio de Janeiro 1850-1970
2. “A Good Thief is a Dead Thief”: Police and Violence in a Century of Favela
3. Discourse and Practice: A Multimodal Approach to Study Favelas
4. Life in the Favela: Identity, Stigma, Struggle and Survival
5. Legitimating Violence: The Paths of Police Brutality Intersect with the Stereotypical Representation of Favelas
6. How Many Voices Echo in the City?
7. Tales of Violence: The Hegemony of Violence in the News about the Favelas
8. Voices from the Favelas: Media Activism in the Pockets of Poverty of the City
9. Mobile Revolution: Raw Footage in the Epicentre of the Fight
10. The Official Voices, The voices of the Favela: Struggles for Plurality
11. Activism for Whom? Is Favela Media Activism Effective in Reaching the General Population Outside the Favelas?