Citizenship Laboratory. Creativity and resistance in the Maré favelas

  • Otávio Ribeiro Raposo DINÂMIA'CET-IUL
Keywords: youth, hip-hop, slum, ethnography, citizenry, creativity


The favelas of Maré stand out in Rio de Janeiro for the large number of NGOs offering artistic and cultural activities for youth. This context was fundamental for the emergence of one of the most influential break dance groups in the city, whose skill and dedication made it independent of teachers and formal institutions. The use of style to cross boundaries set by different gangs of drug trafficking is exemplary of the creative way in which dancers resist violence and demand the freedom to come and go between the favelas of Maré, a strategy that is being replicated by other Youth cultures. In addition to exposing the cultural practices of these dancers, I discuss in this article the challenges of ethnography in a markedly violent context and the experience of looking for a house to rent in the neighborhood.

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