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Organizing culture in slums: the dynamics of precarious spaces

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Abstract

Slums are arguably the most evident and outrageous symptom of inequality. More than a social “problem”, slums are also recognized nowadays as a characteristic of urban occupation settings in cities that have experienced the modern development process. As poor and deprived areas, these precarious spaces are also the most common targets of external social programs. Our study will evaluate how organizing practices encompassing a variety of cultural initiatives in precarious spaces (in this case, a Brazilian slum) mediate the effects of cultural organizations in the transformation of space. The fieldwork to be presented in this article was conducted in a specific favela of Rio de Janeiro: Morro do Cantagalo/Pavão-Pavãozinho, Brazil. This chapter contributes to the understanding of the cultural organizing processes in these spaces, considering the increasing depth and range of actions performed both by the Brazilian government and civil society, which produce multiple transformations within the confines of the favela.