Rice University

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Lecture/Lecture Series


Speaker: Bianca Freire-Medeiros

Rio de Janeiro Favelas as a Trademark and a Tourist Destination: Origins, Consolidation and Future Challenges

Monday, February 6, 2017
4:00 PM  to 5:30 PM

119  Humanities Building
Rice University
6100 Main St
Houston, Texas, USA

Based on a ten-year long socio-ethnographic research, this presentation discusses the origins, consolidation and future challenges of Rio de Janeiro favelas as tourist attractions. The development of favelas -- territories usually associated with segregation and violence -- into a tourism commodity is seen as part of the so-called reality tours phenomenon which commodify the experience of poverty in different parts of the world and of the global circulation of the favela as a trademark.

Bianca Freire-Medeiros is Sociology Professor at University of São Paulo (USP) and coordinator of UrbanData – Brazil: databank on urban Brazil. She is one of the main references for those interested in the so-called poverty tourism field in Brazil and abroad. Her book “Touring Poverty” (Routledge, 2013; 2015), as well as the documentary film based on her research project, “A Place to Take Away” (2012), have been highly praised both in and outside academia. Freire-Medeiros is currently a Tinker Visiting Professor at the University of Texas at Austin.

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