If these quarters of poverty are on one hand hotbeds of crime,
on the other hand they are as well fertile fields of cultural productions.
Not only samba, carnaval, and soccer are obtaining their unbowed power from
the favela, but also hip-hop, funk and other music styles. Theatre, dance,
and fine arts are experimenting there. The legendary film 'City of God'
was not the first one to create a proper favela-genre.
For politicians, economists and sociologists the favela may be a nightmare, but for artists it is a treasure chest. It is a glance into the abyss, but also a room for wildest imaginativeness.
By the turn of the millennium, violence and brutalisation in the
megacities was an omnipresent issue. The favela became the scenario per se:
'favela-fiction' was followed by 'Telenovela-Favela' and sound waves of
baile-funk-nights crushing Rio. The media made the favela a worldwide
export hit that thrusts upon us.
Over a hundred years, Brazil has been availing itself of the favela and its cultural activities in producing images, sounds, and lifestyle.
In all forms of expression the artists are following a uniform string of topics:
- from 1930 on 'My Reality
– from 1970 on 'Justice't
– from 1980 on 'To Put Things Right'
– from 1990 on 'Self-assertion'.
Astonishing is the dense network in which various ways of
communication are enmeshed. A favelado becomes
... the network lives, feeds, and fertilises itself again and again.
The Brazilian way to look at the subject is always in an easy,
humorous, and ironic manner. Those who would complain should have a
cachaÁa first. Certainly this way of criticising [what?] is a main
attractor for the audience. The denunciation comes through the back door.
Brazil has long understood that the fight 'colonised versus colonizer'
(black against white) has ended. Now it is only about changing the reality.
Exactly. The rage of the favela will be a cultural one.
Nowadays the daughters of the middle class are listening to the funk sound
of the morro. The daughter of a friend of mine is going out with a favelado,
who she met at a funk party. At the same time parabolic antennas are serving
the favelas with MTV and NBA games. An identification with the North American
blacks came out for those who are denied to find a place in our society.
Diffusion of information in Rocinha, the biggest favela in Rio de Janeiro:3 radio stations (2 FM) and a TV broadcaster
2 newspapers (circulation 5.000/month)
a channel for local TV
Kabelnetz, 97% der Häuser haben TV
more than 5.000 mobile phones and ca. 2.000 telephone extensions
in Lapa, Rio de Janeiro
it is a art to live in a favela
Noone is robbing
Noone is obeying
Nothing is lost
Rule who can
Obbey who is right
Murilo Salles, Brazilian director, *1950 in Rio de Janeiro