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Vidigal Favela Chic: the moral geography of a slum gentrification in Rio de Janeiro
4th October 2017, 5:30 am - 7:00 pmFree
Nestled on the hill between two of the wealthiest South Zone beach neighbourhood of Rio de Janeiro, with staggering city and ocean views, Vidigal is the champion of a recent wave of favela gentrification, earning the epithet favela chic. This wave follows the securitisation policy specifically aimed at pacifying favelas for the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games. Independently on whether it reflects a temporary window of opportunity or an enduring process of slum gentrification through urban restructuring, Vidigal’s new market value was negotiated and disputed in terms of a wide cultural and historical framework deeply charged with moral evaluations. With regards to favelas in Rio, this framework is intrinsically linked to the physical space they occupy in the city and the geographic hierarchies that this place embodies. Drawing on notion of moral geography, I attempt to look at gentrification, from the mesh of multiple and diverging practices, negotiations and ambiguous moral positions people actually engaged with in their everyday encounters. To illustrate this ethnographically, I will show a 10-minute film I made of one such encounter in Vidigal, which I will, in turn, attempt to relate to the idea of moral geography.
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