Romance Languages and Literatures

Whose Narrative? What Happens When Rio de Janeiro’s Favelas Speak for Themselves?

WhenApril 25, 2018 05:00 PM
WhereSaieh Hall for Economics
Event Website
Contact InformationCenter for Latin American Studies
DescriptionTypically it is the privileged that set a narrative and nowhere is this clearer than in Rio de Janeiro, where the city’s favelas have experienced a 100-plus year legacy of marginalization. The talk will present this historical context in light of recent trends to greater visibility for favela voices and the new narrative that is unfolding thanks to communities’ empowerment, strategic global communications (including RioOnWatch, a hyperlocal-to-global community news site, now a reference for international media outlets covering Brazil as well as international researchers on Brazil and urban topics), and social media. The talk thus offers effective strategies for confronting privilege, social inequality, and power dynamics in transformative ways.

Dr. Theresa Williamson, a city planner, is the executive director of Catalytic Communities (CatComm), a Rio de Janeiro-based organization that provides media/networking support to favela communities. She is an outspoken advocate on behalf of Rio de Janeiro’s favelas to help ensure they are recognized for their heritage status and their residents fully served as equal citizens, with four opinion pieces published in The New York Times. Among other awards, Dr. Williamson received the 2012 NAHRO John D. Lange International Award for her contributions to the international housing debate and the 2005 Gill-Chin Lim Award for Best Dissertation on International Planning. She is also editor-in-chief of RioOnWatch, CatComm’s internationally recognized watchdog news site and favela news service regarded for its work in informing and influencing international journalists covering the Olympics, and local debates on housing in Rio. Dr. Williamson earned her B.A. in Biological Anthropology from Swarthmore College and her Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning from the University of Pennsylvania.

Organized by the Center for Latin American Studies. Cosponsored by Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation; Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture; Department of Romance Languages and Literatures.

Saieh Hall for Economics, Room 146
CategoriesConferences/Lectures, Lectures
Persons with disabilities who need an accommodation in order to participate in this event should contact the event sponsor for assistance.