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I returned to Rio de Janeiro on May 20th to begin ethnographic fieldwork for my PhD in Urban Geography. Within weeks, tens of thousands of Brazilians had taken to the streets in São Paulo, initially led by the small band of urban activists known as Movimento Passe Livre (The Free Fare Movement). By June 21st one million were marching on the streets of Rio de Janeiro and hundreds of thousands more demonstrating in 100 cities throughout the country.

I attended the first marches in Rio and dozens since. I began to observe, participate, photograph, take notes, and record interactions between protestors, bystanders, union activists, and police officers. I’ve closely followed public debates in mainstream, alternative and intellectual media, tracked various activist-leaders through social media, and discussed the protests at every possible social opportunity.

Over the coming months I’ll share some of my experiences and observations about the urban unrest from Rio de Janeiro. It will serve as motivation to begin sifting through piles of notes, newspaper clippings, and essays and sorting out the thousands of images on my computer. I’ll connect the protests with issues that FAVELissues have discussed since its inception, offer a more nuanced first-hand account of the politics ‘on the street’, and explore some broader questions about what the burgeoning social movements can tell us about urban space, the state and citizenship. This first post, however, is a curated collection of photos and images that I believe have ‘something to say’ about these past 6 months of resistance in Brazil. Most are from Rio de Janeiro. And I’ve included some lengthy captions to give context and explanation. Click on the first photo below and you can scroll through the images as a slideshow.

Feel free to leave links to your favorite images in the comments section, and check out Andrew Carmen’s two pieces on FAVEL issues. One published about the protests in June, noting the disconnect between political rhetoric on socio-urban integration and what the state has actually delivered; and again in his recent post about police violence against Rio de Janeiro’s educators when municipal and state teachers went on strike for two months.

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I tweet about urban resistance and politics (and other interesting topics) @yosoytucker

5 thoughts on “From the streets of Brazil; 25 telling photos of urban protest

  1. Pingback: When the favela protests- Part I | {FAVEL issues}

  2. Pingback: Rio's Favela Pacification: Militarized Gentrification? | WilderUtopia.com

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