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Monthly Digest

Latest News and Opinion on and from
Rio de Janeiro's Favelas

August 2016
Volume VI Issue 8

Welcome to our August digest with the latest news from RioOnWatch (Rio Olympics Neighborhood Watch), Catalytic Communities' project to bring visibility to favela perspectives on the rapid transformations in Rio through the Olympic Games. For this month's RioOnWatch articles and videos see below. For a sample of news reports and features on favelas see the right-hand column, or click here for our exhaustive list from the full range of English-language media sources. Should this email appear clipped, please 'click to view this email in a browser.'

The 2016 Rio Olympics are over but the effects of seven years of rapid urban transformations remain. The Games leave behind questionable legacies from projects like the BRT lines to the Port revitalization project, inspired by Barcelona's redevelopment ahead of 1992. Economist Andrew Zimbalist argues the Olympics are unlikely to bring about the economic benefits touted by organizers and the elite members of the IOC. As CatComm's Theresa Williamson argued in openDemocracy, the real positive legacies of the Games were not the expected ones.

As the Olympics unfolded, a court ordered the removal of the entire community of Horto within 90 days. Residents of Vila Autódromo celebrated their victory to remain with an occupation and protest in front of the Olympic Park, but those who were excluded by the City continue to struggle.

Thousands of families moved into public housing in the West Zone are now under the control of militia. Members of the Aldeia Maracanã indigenous community are inappropriately housed in restrictive public housing, while the site they were evicted from remains empty. Community activists who put their lives at risk were honored in the Front Line Defenders press conference.

As documented on social media by community groups like Maré Vive, police killings continued during the Games. The violence was a key focus of activists' "Hunger to Live" protest and the "Exclusion Games" protest on the opening day of the Games. The Olympic torch relay attracted both protest and pride in the Baixada, while residents of Sepetiba in the West Zone demanded attention for their own polluted bay. Despite the heavy issues at stake, activists have often used humor to critique the Olympics. 

Local journalists organized the first Community Communication Congress to discuss how local media can be most impactful. Favela journalists also participated in CatComm's #StopFavelaStigma campaign, with two of the articles published on RioOnWatch that day written by community contributors Daiene Mendes and Diana Anastácia. We also published an article showing how Asa Branca scores higher than the Olympic Athletes' Village on the LEED sustainability scale, and materials that highlighed favela qualities like this fantastic favela explainer video from Vox. 

In general, the Olympics offered a unique occasion to challenge the stigmas around favelas, from the passinho featured in the Opening Ceremony to the opportunities for favela tourism to influence tourists' perceptions positively. That said, increased tourism to Vidigal's Dois Irmãos trail has had some negative consequences for the community. 

City of God resident Rafaela Silva won Brazil's first gold medal and her victory parade brought joy to her community. Several other Olympic athletes from Rio favelas also brought pride to their neighborhoods. One trained at the badminton school that was one of the five innovative community projects featured in the Reimagine Rio film series. Another of the five films explores the Afro-Brazilian dance tradition of jongo, in Madureira.

We spotlighted several other creative community projects this month, including work to paint murals on a wall preserving Afro-Brazilian history near the Olympic Boulevard, an event in Providência that brought together artists from the favela and the formal city, and the NGO Onda Verde, in Nova Iguaçu, which does exemplary work to keep local water supplies clean. In Santa Teresa, residents took repairs for the neglected bonde track into their own hands, while the Neighborhood Association president of Pereira da Silva discussed his vision for his community.

After we weighed in on how journalists could productively cover Rio's Olympics in POLITICO, some international media nonetheless focused on the Games themselves at the expense of issues facing the city, though ultimately there was a substantial amount of thoughtful, critical reflection in the mainstream media. We published our take on the best and worst reporting during the Olympics, and supported another Olympics media analysis piece in the Columbia Journalism Review. This piece and one other we supported were cited in a Columbia Journalism Review analysis of best and worst reporting for August.

Finally, we were thrilled to have supported a destigmatizing favela message reaching tens of millions through NBC's Today Show on August 12, one of a record number of articles and videos we supported this month. And we were absolutely delighted that our tireless work over these past six years building RioOnWatch and tackling favela stigma was recognized in an article in The Development Set, titled, "The tiny NGO that changed reporting on Rio's favelas during the Olympics."
We hope you enjoy this month's carefully compiled digest below. Due to limits of space we have compiled our recent social videos here, and the full list of publications mentioning favelas this month here. Please share and don't forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

RioOnWatch spoke with Jorge Luiz to learn about Pereira da Silva, his life story and leadership role, and his hopes for the community
  Topics discussed included the definition of community communication, community versus mass media, and whether objectivity is possible or even desirable for community reporters.
  Between August 5 and 21, over the course of the Olympic Games, 92 shootouts took place in Rio de Janeiro, leaving at least 31 dead and 51 injured due to armed conflict.
  Across one day RioOnWatch published articles and shared posts highlighting community voices to counter the damaging stereotypes.
  Directed by Kátia Lund and Lili Fialho and produced by Luis Lomenho, the film Jongo Fever evokes the magic of dance, music, and culture of the Afro-Brazilian practice of jongo.
  There has been plenty of global praise for the Olympics in this week of post-game analysis, but Brazilians should be aware of the prevalent critique too.
  BBC Brasil traveled along the routes listening to the stories of Cariocas affected by the new system of transport, both within the buses and around the construction of the line. 
retirada-de-moradores-do-centro-do-Rio-de-Janeiro201402180002-620x264 (1)Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Olympics Clearance of Rio’s Homeless by Igor Robaina, Katharina Schmidt | August 26
In 2015, the Rio de Janeiro Municipal Development Secretariat made a promise in the newspaper O Dia: “By March 2016, homelessness in Rio will no longer exist.”
  For her return visit and parade through City of God, Rafaela Silva was welcomed by about 200 people including youth that practice jiu jitsu, community leaders, residents, and press.
  The international media is aflutter with assessments of the Olympic Games, but how did the media themselves fare in reporting on the city of Rio and its favelas?
  Activists unfurled a bright orange banner reading, “How many bodies of black favela residents does it take to make the Olympics?” 
  Founded in 1994, NGO Onda Verde has a long history of educating local residents about sustainability and providing education programs for people of all ages.
  Despite the presence of around 30,000 journalists, scant attention has been paid to important issues which affect Rio residents after the Olympics.
  The hometown Olympics team included a number of athletes across a diverse range of sports who have lived and trained in favelas.
  The mural painting was used both to highlight the important history of the region and to celebrate the 65th anniversary of a local carnival group.
IMG_0338-620x264 (1)Olympic Tourists Share Perceptions of Rio’s Favelas by Alex Besser, Natalie Southwick | August 19
Visitors gave a range of views on these communities, showing the influences of international media and received perspectives of favelas from abroad.
  More than 100 residents and supporters gathered there to share information and enjoy a celebration of solidarity and resistance that went well into the night.
Who is this elite clique of decision makers who each receive US$900 per diem allowances during the Games and whose choices permanently affect urban fabrics around the world?
  Passinho has come a long way to get to this point, from near obscurity to stigmatization to international fame, in an amount of time that rivals the iconically speedy footwork itself.
  The Botanical Garden had promised no compensation to residents set to lose their homes, despite a minister contending the evictions should not take place before compensation.

IMG-20160724-WA0012-620x264 (1)The Sahara Tram: The Soul of Santa Teresa under Attack by Maristela Grynberg | August 16
Our tracks now serve merely as promotional marketing, a touristic charm. Where do residents fit into this?…Squeezed inside a bus, obviously…

After 2013 Eviction from Aldeia Maracanã, Rio’s Indigenous Feel Trapped in Social Housing by Alix Vadot | August 15
In Estácio, Block 15 of the Zé Keti social housing complex has been the home of some of the city’s remaining indigenous families since June 2013.
  Mark Twain proclaimed laughter as the only truly effective weapon humanity possesses. Activists in Rio de Janeiro have creatively turned that weapon on the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Dois-Irmaos-620x264Increased Tourism to Dois Irmãos Trail Raises Concerns in Vidigal by Nia McAllister, Sarah Cronin | August 13
Since the installation of the Pacifying Police Unit Vidigal has experienced intense gentrification and increases in favela tourism.
  "I will not leave here. We’ve been on this land for 30 years, 30 years fighting to stay, and it won’t be now that I leave.”
  With a premiere screening of the film, Bad & the Birdieman, Festival Reimagine Rio was officially launched on July 30 in Chacrinha, a favela located in Jacarepaguá.
  The website's main feature is a timeline beginning in October 2009 when Rio won the Olympic bid. 
  Maré Vive is an informal community media collective that works to protect and empower residents of Maré through monitoring violence and documenting collective memory.
  Before going less than three kilometers to watch their daughter become a champion, Rafaela Silva's parents Zenilda and Luiz Carlos lived through a night of war on their doorstep.
  On Friday, August 5, several hundred protesters gathered in the Saens Peña square in Tijuca just hours before the Olympics opening ceremony.
  Many from the historically disenfranchised groups represented whimsically on stage felt the ceremony whitewashed reality “for the English to see.”
  Zimbalist examined 19 independent academic studies that looked at 26 mega-events
  Residents of Sepetiba joined together in a symbolic “hug” of the Sepetiba Bay to mobilize stewardship for the bay’s environment and community.
  Barcelona is no model and has no magic Olympic formula that can be simply exported and implemented anywhere in the world.
  On June 23, the Largo do Cruzeiro square in Providencia in central Rio hosted the Climbing the Hill Festival.
  The State's current “state of calamity” due to budget shortfalls has led many see the torch as a symbol of Rio and Brazil’s misplaced priorities. 
PublicaEvictionsMap-620x264The Legacy of Olympic Evictions: A Multitude in the Hands of the Militias by Giulia Afiune, Jessica Mota, Natalia Viana | August 4
According to government data, of the total of 16,309 people relocated through the program, half went to the [extreme] West Zone.
  Neither the Brazilian Olympic Committee nor the state government have carried out any works to transform the Aldeia Maracanã occupation site into a museum as promised.
Foto-Leo-Limaok-620x264 (3)Jacarezinho From a Resident’s View by Diana Anastácia | August 3
To live in Jaca means to sit in the doorway of the house, on the edge of the Jacaré river, to place a laptop on your knees and enjoy funk in the breeze of the afternoon. 
  One of Rio’s nearby favelas scores 28% higher than the Olympic Village on the same LEED rating tool for green neighborhoods.
7589164774_568e979ffb_o-620x264 (1)Favelas, Popular Territory by Daiene Mendes | August 3
From the tone of their voice, to how they walk and sit to table manners and etiquette...there are still many things a favela resident has to learn in order to be accepted in certain places.
  Front Line Defenders hosted a press conference with five outspoken activists from Rio who have gained distinction as Human Rights Defenders.

in the Media

Paste August 30
A Hometown Hero Made Badminton Rio 2016’s Most Unexpectedly Exciting Sport by Anna Jean Kaiser

Buzzfeed August 30
What It’s Like To Live-Tweet The Day Your Neighborhood Becomes A War Zone by Ryan Broderick

TIME August 29
How the Olympic Legacy Could Hurt Rio’s Poorest Citizens by Diane Jeantet, Caterina Clerici

Marie Claire August 29
Ballet, not bullets: Meet Rio de Janeiro's favela ballerinas by Taylor Barnes

BBC August 25
Kenya athletes angry at Rio shanty accommodation

The Development Set* August 24
The Tiny NGO That Changed Reporting on Rio’s Favelas During the Olympics by Katia Savchuk

First Post* August 24
Olympics 2016 came at a high price for Rio de Janeiro, an enchanting city of jarring inequality by Samindra Kunti

Vox August 23
The Olympics left Rio with a few improvements. And a frightening police violence problem by Jenée Desmond-Harris

The Telegraph August 23
Brazilian judo Olympic gold medallist gets hero's welcome in favela by Charlotte Krol

Fastcodesign* August 23
Photographing A Different Side Of The Olympics: The People They Evicted by Meg Miller

CBC August 23
'I wanted change': Some in Rio favela hoped for more from Olympics by Susan Ormiston

Quartz* August 23
Waze can now warn you about high-crime neighborhoods in cities. But is that a good idea? by Matt Moffett

BBC August 23
Solar power 'key to peace' in Rio favela [VIDEO]

AZ Central August 23
Churrasco in Rio: Everyone is family when the grills are fired up by Haley Stesiak

BBC World Service* August 22
World Have Your Say: Rio's Olympic Legacy

Vice* August 22
The Rio Games were an unjustifiable human disaster, and so are the Olympics by Aaron Gordon

Ebony* August 22
In Rio, an Unspoken Fight Against Police Violence by Camille Smith

TRT World* August 22
The Newsmakers: Rio 2016’s Legacy [VIDEO]

Aftonbladet* August 22
Hemmet i spillror – på grund av OS
[SWEDISH] by Kristoffer Bergström

Mirror August 22
City counts the human cost of Olympics after eight killed by police and thousands of families evicted by Jeremy Armstrong

CityLab August 22
Olympic Development in Rio Leaves a Tarnished Legacy by Natalie Delgadillo

NPR August 22
2016 Summer Olympics Close. How Did Rio Do? by Tom Goldman, Lulu Garcia-Navarro

The Boston Globe August 22
Rio Olympics were a spectacle of contrast, an imperfect Games by Shira Springer

WORT FM August 22
Olympiad Impact: What's Next For Rio And Its Favelas by Brian Standing

The Conversation August 22
Don’t believe the doom mongers – the Olympics have changed Rio for the better by Beatriz Garcia

Geostadia August 22
Seven years a slave by Christopher Gaffney

The Guardian August 22
IOC president talks a good Games but Rio 2016 was a bumpy ride by Owen Gibson

The Nation August 22
Now That the Games Are Over, the Real Olympic Drama Begins in Rio by Dave Zirin

ESPN* August 21
In a Rio favela, Brazil's soccer gold unifies a divided country by Kurt Streeter

The National* August 21
Golden Rio hides waterfalls of filth in a land of broken promises

Paralelo* August 21
Relatos Salvajes, De Sudor Y Escombros [Spanish] by Marcelo Ayala

Real Rio* August 21
Displaced [VIDEO] by Arman Kazemi, Jordan Wade

The New York Times* August 21
After Olympics, Rio Is Altered if Not Reborn by Andrew Jacobs

The Guardian August 21
After the party: Rio wakes up to an Olympic hangover by Luiz Eduardo Soares

In Depth News August 21
Light Installation and Cinema for Peace Screenings in Rio by Cinema for Peace Foundation

NBC August 21
Best Dancers of the Favelas Compete for Their Own Gold by Emmanuelle Saliba, Maria Martha Bruno

The New York Times August 21
As Games End, Rio Celebrates While Looking Warily to Future by Simon Romero, Andrew Jacobs

iNews August 21
It may seem tasteless to visit Rio’s favelas as a tourist – but it’s worse to ignore them by Rob Hastings

The Guardian August 21
Have the Olympics been worth it for Rio? by Jonathan Watts

openDemocracy August 21
Rio’s Olympic ruins by Mariana Cavalcanti

Latin American Herald Tribune* August 20
Residents of Forested Horto Favela in Rio Given 90 Days to Leave

BBC August 20
Has the Olympics been a success for Brazil? by Wyre Davies

Bloomberg August 20
Coca-Cola Scores on Olympic Boulevard Where Slave Past Sidelined by David Biller

Rio2016 August 20
Football in the favelas: Girls in Rio de Janeiro determined to play the beautiful game by Megan Stewart, Sofia Perpétua

The New York Times August 20
Olympic Hosts Who Aren't Invited
[PHOTOS] by Mauricio Lima

BBC August 20
The hidden trail in the heart of Rio [VIDEO]

Quartz August 20
Keeping the peace was Rio’s top Olympics priority—what happens after the games? by Luiz Romero

Reuters August 20
Police pull down 'favela' built on Copacabana to protest Games by Ricardo Moraes, Stephen Eisenhammer

Edge of Sports* August 19
The Other Olympic Rio with Favela Activist Theresa Williamson [PODCAST] by Dave Zirin

Fox News Latino* August 19
Residents of forested Horta Favela in Rio given 90 days to leave by EFE

Democracy Now!* August 19
Brazilians are Fed Up with U.S. Olympian Ryan Lochte and Privileged First-World Tourists

The Guardian August 19
Police killings of favela residents continue as Games go on in Rio by Jonathan Watts

Daily Mail August 19
Away from Olympic track, Bolt inspires a Rio favela by Reuters

The Tyee August 19
Dispatch from Rio’s ‘Eviction Museum’ by Bob Mackin

We Check Out the New Body Cams That May Be Used by Rio Police [VIDEO]

Columbia Journalism Review* August 18
Has Olympics coverage shortchanged Brazil? by Sarah E. T. Robbins

Fox News Latino* August 18
Torrents of cash for the Rio Olympics, torrents of sewage for Rocinha Favela by EFE

TheSportsCampus* August 18
Rio Olympics doing nothing for city's favelas

NBC August 18
Rio's Troubled Waters: Tracing the Trail of Pollution Into Guanabara Bay [VIDEO]

The Nation* August 17
One Community’s Resistance Will Be the Rio Olympics’ Longest-Lasting Legacy by Dave Zirin, Jules Boykoff

The Establishment* August 17
Sanctioned Lies About Rio Safety Put Residents At Risk by Ann Deslandes

The Huffington Post August 17
The Olympics Are Always A Disaster For Poor People by Travis Waldron

BBC August 17
Brazilian dance craze sweeps through Rio's favelas [VIDEO]

National Post August 17
Documentary celebrates Rio’s circus of life by Matthew Fisher

People August 17
Carmelo Anthony Leaves Private Cruise Ship to Spend Time in Rio's Downtrodden Favelas by Lindsay Kimble

Children Win August 17
Families begin ‘new’ life in Rio’s Vila Autodromo by Beth McLoughlin

Quartz* August 16
Rio’s poor fear the Olympic legacy will be “repression, militarization, and war” by Ana Campoy

The New York Times August 16
Brazil Bureau Chief’s Notebook: When the Olympics Media Circus Comes to Town by Simon Romero

Around the Rings August 16
An Olympic Truce? It's Not Found in Alemao by Aaron Bauer

The New York Times August 15
Rio ‘Has Never Felt So Safe.’ But What Happens After the Games? by Simon Romero, Andrew Jacobs

NPR August 15
Far From Olympics, Violence Rises In Rio's Poorest Neighborhoods by Lulu Garcia-Navarro

Thomson Reuters Foundation August 15
'Favela chic' will price us out of our homes: Rio's slum residents speak out by Chris Arsenault

Edge of Sports* August 14
Live from Olympic Rio: O Bom, O Mau, O Feio by Dave Zirin

The New York Times August 14
Officials Spent Big on Olympics, but Rio Natives Are Paying the Price by Michael Powell

CBC August 14
Can Black Lives Matter work in Brazil, where 'repression means death'? by Kim Brunhuber

Yahoo! Sports August 14
Rio safe? Tell that to residents afraid of the police by Sebastian Smith

KGW August 14
Inside one of Brazil's favelas [PHOTOS]

Daily Mail August 14
Fancy spending a night in Rio's favelas? The Airbnb stays where Olympic tourists are getting an 'authentic' experience in the city's poorest areas by Chris Kitching

Content House* August 13
Afro-Brazilian Religion by Roy Gachuhi

Reuters August 13
Rio's legacy: a highway where Games buses and local anger collide by Brad Brooks

The Spectator August 13
The first favela – and what it can tell you about Rio’s history by David Gelber

Today Show* August 12
Santa Marta: Matt Lauer tours of one of Rio de Janeiro’s oldest favelas [VIDEO]

Content House* August 12
A Religiously Committed Environmental Warrior by Roy Gachuhi

WIRED* August 12
La realtà delle favelas nelle olimpiadi di Rio 2016 [Italian] by Federica Lavarini

Yahoo! Sports August 12
Brazilian soldier shot in favela dies of head wound, day of mourning declared by Alex Baker

Bustle August 11
Representation, The Rio Olympics, And The Voices We Shouldn't Forget by Madhuri Sathish

Vox* August 10
“It’s like a war zone”: how the Olympics nearly destroyed a Rio neighborhood by Tara Golshan

The Nation* August 10
Olympic Joy in the Face of Erasure by Dave Zirin

RFI* August 10
Brazil’s favelas pay price of hosting Olympics by Christina Okello

Vice* August 10
Rio's Olympic legacy bus system is leaving poor and working class residents behind by Aaron Gordon

Paralelo* August 10
La Policía Carioca Como Agente Del Terror [Spanish] by Marcelo Ayala

The Wall Street Journal August 10
Shootings in Rio Favelas Continue Despite Heavy Security Presence by Benjamin Parkin, Paul Kiernan

BBC* August 9
Brazil's first gold from the City of God favela

KPBS* August 9
Visitors To Rio De Janeiro Explore Favela Tourism [VIDEO] by Maureen Cavanaugh, Elma Gonazalez

TV2* August 8
Huset til Luiz ble revet for å rydde plass til en gigantisk parkeringsplass [Norwegian] by Simen Olafsen

CityLab* August 8
Will Rio Be a 'Smarter' City After the Olympic Games? by Juan Pablo Garnham

The New Yorker August 8
Brazil's Olympics Meet Its Favelas by Alex Cuadros

CBC* August 7
'Benefits? What benefits?': Residents of Rio's favelas decry exclusion from Olympics by Susan Ormiston

Real Rio* August 7
Opening Ceremonies... Don't shoot! [VIDEO] by Arman Kazemi, Jordan Wade

The Washington Post August 7
For the displaced of Rio, ‘The Olympics has nothing to do with our story’ by Sally Jenkins

Chicago Tribune* August 6
While Rio spends billions for Olympics, recreation lags in the favelas by Stacy St. Clair

openDemocracy* August 5
Rio’s real vs. unmet Olympic legacies: what they tell us about the future of cities? by Theresa Williamson

ESPN August 5
Behind the Olympic curtain, Rio at a crossroads by Juliana Barbassa

The Atlantic* August 4
A Cheap, Easy Fix to Rio's Sewage Problem by Olga Khazan

NBC* August 5
As Olympic Games Open, Community Mourns Demolished Neighborhood by Emmanuelle Saliba, Jim Seida

RioReal Blog August 5
Have the Olympics been good for Rio? by Julia Michaels

Global News* August 5
Residents protest high cost of Olympics Games and lack of promised infrastructure

The CW6* August 5
RioOnWatch.Org Shows A Different Side of Olympics in Rio by Neda Iranpour

New Republic* August 4
Brazil’s Long History of Faking Progress by Steven Cohen

Fox News Latino* August 4
Rio's actual City of God seeks to dispel cinematic reputation of violence by EFE

Al Arabiya* August 4
Victory for Olympic displaced despite Rio’s ‘biggest eviction cycle’ by Chris Arsenault

WHYY Public Media* August 4
2016 Olympic Games preview

BNR* August 4
Bewoners favela Rio hebben als eerste winst te pakken [Dutch] by Judith Laanen

POLITICO* August 3
How not to write about Rio by Cerianne Robertson

IJNet* August 3
What journalists should know before covering the Rio de Janeiro Olympics by Sam Berkhead

Fox News Latino* August 3
Olympic athletes might win, but favela dwellers in Rio have already lost by EFE

The National* August 3
No Olympic buzz in Rio's favelas [VIDEO] by Susan Ormiston

The Guardian August 2

‘The only Olympic legacy I see is repression and war’ - a year in Rio’s favelas by Jonathan Watts, Thaís Cavalcante, Daiene Mendes, Michel Silva

RioReal Blog August 2
Clarity for Rio's future, despite short funds and political uncertainty by Julia Michaels

Vox* August 1
Inside Rio’s favelas, the city's impoverished, neglected neighborhoods [VIDEO] by Johnny Harris

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