Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Favela Funk

There´s these things called favelas in Rio. They are essentially slums, populated mainly by the descendants of African slaves who were eventually ´freed´ from bondage by their portugese owners. Freed is not really the right word. They´re completely segregated from the regular population, they have very minimal access to electricity, there´s open sewage everywhere, they can´t get jobs, the Brazilians don´t consider them humans.

They offer tours through the slums, half of which supposedly goes towards humanitarian aid, the other half to the tour operators. They also have favela funk parties where you can go to this giant hall where the favelians party. but you are in a VIP area, looking down on the scene from above. I haven´t been able to bring myself to go to either.

The other travellers here at the hostel all say it´s a great experience, but I can´t help thinking that it wouldn´t feel right. Making this poverty a spectacle, the socialists here revel in their elitism, and it makes me ill.

I´ll definitely be ruminating more on this situation at a later date.

7 comments:

rp said...

Have you considered going, but parting on the same level as the Favelians? Please take some pictures of the Favelians if possible. You're a very unique person; for someone I consider a capitalist, you certainly smash through the common stereotypes.

parent said...

Hi Jeremy, Enjoying your blogs but would like a personal email too. Glad to hear you're having a good time. Tammy thinks William looks just like you! love you Dad and mom.

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear that you got to Brazil okay, think you have to experience all different aspects of a country when you visit. The beaches but also the real life side. Keep well, Squamish

Anonymous said...

packaging yourself >
LESS STUFF, MORE VALUE
COOL STYLE MADE
IN FAVELA

source: www.tordboontje.com/
newscooparoca.html

website: www.coopa-roca.org.br/en/index_en.html
rethinking luxury | waste to taste | committed sportswear | made in favela | 2nd chance to clothes

It all started... more than 20 years ago, when Maria Teresa Leal, a sociologist, organised a workshop about the recycling of materials for the children of Rochina, one of the biggest shanty towns in Rio de Janeiro. Children would create toys from pieces of fabric and rubbish and their mothers would sew pieces of rags together to create beautiful shirts and dresses.

...it flourished into Coopa-Roca, a co-operative that uses cast-off fabrics to create cutting edge, award-winning garments and decorative products such as lamps, rugs, linen, sheets, pillow and sofa covers. The Coopa-Roca initiative - in the largest favela in Brazil - started when Rio de Janeiro native Maria Teresa Leal encouraged a group of 5 women to start manufacturing products out of textile remnants.

it works! The work of Coopa-Roca's women has been shown in exhibitions and fashion shows and has been reported in both the Brazilian media and international press. Magazines such as Elle, Marie Claire and Vogue have portrayed Coopa-Roca clothing in their fashion editorials. The co-operative now comprises 150 craftswomen and a great portfolio of work produced in collaboration with some of Brazil’s best-known fashion designers and artists. Using their skills in patchwork, knotting, crochet and fuxicos, a traditional Brazilian form of circular patchwork, the aim of the co-operative is to enable women to work from home, contributing to the family's budget while looking after their children at the same time.

favela & fashion design: since then, Coopa-Roca has constructed a social and economic bridge between the two disparate worlds of favela and fashion. The founder’s innovative idea of "creating value NOW!" plays with common perceptions: she takes designs and labour that are perceived as "poor" (but which really are culturally rich, e.g., migrant women) and juxtaposes them with materials perceived as ‘luxurious’ (but which are really free, e.g., fabrics that are donated, recycled, or provided by the client).

for women’s sake: Coopa-Roca's members are women between the ages of 18 and 65. The vast majority were homemakers with no income before they joined the co-operative. Now they can earn 200 - 600 Brazilian reais per month (US$87-$263), depending on how many pieces they agree to sew or crochet.

Anonymous said...

A new documentary from Brazil follows 23 community activists from the favelas, or shantytowns, of Rio de Janeiro on their quest to join tens of thousands of participants at the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre in January 2003. Held annually since 2000, the World Social Forum has emerged as a global, social-progressive alternative to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Co-directed and co-produced by Daniela Broitman and Fernando Salis, "Voices from the Edge: The Favela Goes to the World Social Forum" exposes the barriers that marginalized poor people encounter in trying to attend the very forum that purportedly represents their interests. The film is part of an ongoing project to empower low-income communities by giving them visibility and including them in international economic, social and political debate.

Professor Alexander Castilla of Lang College, The New School University in Manhattan, introduced "Voices from the Edge" and Broitman at a public screening in New York City on September 21.

Anonymous said...

Afro Reggae

http://www.favelarising.com/about_afro_reggae/index.html

http://zmagsite.zmag.org/Jun2004/ballve0604.html

seems to be rising from a drowning reality of the extreme inequalities which currently overwhelm Brazils` society. Born out of circumstance and need, Afro Reggae has been growing for more then ten years as a grass-roots organization. Their objectives began and still stand as a way to have direct dialogue with the youths and Afro-Brazilian population imprissoned in and by circumstance in the favelas. By using expression, art and culture as a method to engage the youth in a fresh and dynamic way, they have been increasingly successful and recognized.

Working with limited outside investment and resources, Afro Reggae has given everything they could in the potential of the youth by developing and promoting education, culture and art. By doing this they are determined to create alternative options in the favelas which are plagued by police and narco-trafficking violence. Through out their existance, Afro Reggae has been working to break free from the prejudices that separate the black from the white and the rich from the poor, which they assert is the only alternative to create a durable long lasting peace.

Creative spirit permeates life through music and dance, enhancing health and enduring spirit. Their art transcends the worst of situations and often-extreme poverty and racism. Dance is an expression of the culture and how the process of art is integral to healing and personal freedom of expression.

Rocketman1200 said...

well that's certainly heartening news! Thank you for that. I think that the only way out of these favelas is to learn how to market your skills to others! I will look for favelian-made products during my stay here, as I can certainly appreciate both the heritage and entrepreneurial spirit!