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Epistemic injustice, risk mapping and climatic events: Analysing epistemic resistance in the context of favela removal in Rio de Janeiro

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Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>12/11/2020
<mark>Journal</mark>Geographica Helvetica
Issue number4
Volume75
Number of pages11
Pages (from-to)381-391
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Environmental and climate justice scholarship has increasingly focused on how knowledge and expertise play into the production of injustice and into strategies of resistance and activist claim making. We consider the epistemic injustice at work within the practices of risk mapping and assessment applied in Rio de Janeiro to justify the clearance of favela communities. We trace how in the wake of landslides in 2010, the city authorities moved towards a removal policy justified in the name of protecting lives and becoming resilient to climate change. We examine how favela dwellers, activists and counter-experts joined efforts to develop a partially successful epistemic resistance that contested the knowledge on which this policy was based. We use this case to reflect on the situated character of both technologies of risk and the emergence of epistemic resistance, on the relationship between procedural and epistemic justice, and on the challenges for instilling more just climate adaptation strategies.