Racialized Governance

The Production and Destruction of Secure Spaces in Olympic Rio de Janeiro

in Conflict and Society
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  • 1 Volda University College, Norway margit.ystanes@hivolda.no
  • 2 Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil alexandre.magalhaes@ufrgs.br

Abstract

Based on ethnographic fieldwork, this article explores the eviction of residents from Vila Autódromo, a neighborhood that was decimated as Rio de Janeiro prepared to host the 2016 Summer Olympics. Inspired by Achille Mbembe's notion of “necropolitics” and Mindy Fullilove's concept of “root shock,” we argue that forced evictions in Rio constitute a form of racialized governance. The authorities exclude favela residents from the citizenry security interventions are intended to protect and conceptualize them instead as security risks. This exclusion reflects the spatial expression of racial hierarchies in the city and produces a public security governance that in the case of Vila Autódromo terrorized residents and destroyed life conditions in their community. Racialized governance therefore exacerbates insecurity for large parts of the population.

On an early morning in February 2016, residents in Vila Autódromo prepared for the demolition of a symbolically important building in their community: the house of the Residents’ Association. Evoking associations to a funeral rite, protesters placed lit candles on the space in front of the house. Members of the community and activists appeared with a banner criticizing the absence of a social legacy of the Rio Olympics. Some wore T-shirts that read “SOS Vila Autódromo” or “Rio without Removals.” They put on black gags to symbolize the silencing of their voices on a matter of crucial impact to their lives, and posed for photos before an audience of activists, local journalists, international correspondents, researchers, and filmmakers. The atmosphere was solemn; people spoke in hushed voices, and the conventional greeting “Tudo bem?” (All good?) felt inappropriate. At this point, there were about 30 to 40 families left of the approximately 600 that originally resided in Vila Autódromo. Those who had already left the community had done so under varying degrees of force. Some had voluntarily accepted replacement flats or negotiated at times significant compensation. Others had left because the city government had demolished their house, or because public servants had pressured them to do so in different ways. While the response of residents had varied, those who remained at this point all wanted to stay. Some former residents also joined the protest of those who still resisted eviction.

Rio's city government had long considered Vila Autódromo problematic. As a poor neighborhood in a wealthy district, the community sustained various attempts at removal since 1993 (AMPVA 2016). Now, as the Olympic Park was under construction on the plot next to it, the city seized the opportunity and let the construction site swallow the community bit by bit. Carlos Carvalho, the main landowner in the district, Barra da Tijuca, and developer involved in the Olympic constructions, had made it clear that his vision for the area was to create a “city of the elite, of good taste” (Watts 2015). This vision had no space for a favela, and the resisting residents were well aware of it. As one of them explained, “They want to remove the favela, because they don't think there should be any favelas in Barra.”1

On this mild February dawn, the residents’ quiet protest was eventually interrupted by the preannounced2 arrival of the Municipal Guards’ riot force, demolition workers, and a massive excavator. A judge had issued the demolition order under pressure that they would otherwise be held responsible for the cancellation of the Olympics (Huidobro Goya and Ystanes 2017). The riot police encircled the house to be demolished and forced people away, while workers loaded the furniture from an adjacent bar into a truck and left. The excavator crawled slowly up to the Residents’ Association house and started crushing it with loud blows. As bricks fell to the ground, two women residents broke out in song, an ironic rendition of André Filho's famous tribute to Rio, “Cidade Maravilhosa,” the “Marvelous City.”3 Several persons started crying as the excavator worked systematically to destroy the house. The ruins and debris from the demolition was left scattered on the soccer field behind it. The Brazilian flag that had been waving on top of the association building now hung lopsided in the ruins. Someone from the Municipal Guard carefully removed and folded it with great respect and took it with them as they left. The residents continued their protests throughout the day, before a dwindling audience. In the end, only 20 houses were left when the Olympics were inaugurated some months later. The original houses of these residents were demolished. Instead, they were relocated to new, small, white brick houses gathered in a single street.

The demolition of the Residents’ Association house and the protests that accompanied it encompass several issues we will explore in this article. The protests were symbolically pregnant with references to death and a divided city that is marvelous to some while making life impossible for others. The resisting residents opposed the emergence of a new, standardized city that violently replaces the personalized aesthetics of favela architecture, the cooptation of the legal system by elite interests, and a national identity that excludes favela residents. This exclusion must be understood in the context of Brazil's past as a colonial slave society (see, e.g., Alves 2018; Perry 2013), and its entanglement with security concerns is evident from the presence of the Municipal Guard's riot police to subdue any resistance to the demolition. The residents of Vila Autódromo are rendered as a security risk and an obstacle, not as citizens to be included in the urban social fabric. As one former resident observed: “There is great negligence of residents on the part of the city, they don't see us as citizens. They see us as persons outside of society. We are citizens, we work, we pay taxes … The working class doesn't have money to rent apartments, that's why we go to the favelas.”

In Rio de Janeiro, urban planning cannot be meaningfully separated from security concerns. The contents of such concerns are outcomes of lounge durée processes that have cast the urban poor, who as a group are racialized as nonwhite or black, as security risks rather than citizens to be protected (see, e.g., Valladares 2000). We argue that the exclusion of favela residents from dominant conceptualizations of the citizenry, and the destruction of life conditions in favela territories in the name of societal improvement, constitute a form of racialized governance. It is important to note that the racialization of favela territories does not imply that all the persons living there are black—and our argument is not that the city singles out individuals for eviction based on their skin color. Rather, we are concerned with how racial hierarchization is expressed in the city, and how security governance builds on this articulation. Such racialized governance has long historical roots in Rio, and the city administration drew heavily on this legacy during the recent mega-event preparations. Mayor Eduardo Paes (2009–2017) framed the Olympic transformations in the tradition of former Mayor Francisco Pereira Passos’ (1902–1906) belle époque urban reforms. During this period, Rio's reputation as a modern and marvelous city consolidated, while poor, disproportionally nonwhite residents were pushed out of central areas and out of view (Carvalho 2016: 21–24, see also Carvalho 2013). During the Olympic preparations, the city administration also expulsed poor, disproportionally nonwhite residents to the outskirts (for a cartographic representation of this expulsion, see Rolnik 2015: 366). The result was a spatial reorganization of the city where poor areas were disrupted and destroyed to facilitate elite enclave formation—a mode of urbanization frequently employed as a response to security concerns (see, e.g., Caldeira 2000).

In this article, we explore the decimation of Vila Autódromo and argue that it constitutes an example of how Rio's city government activated racialized governance as part of the efforts to secure urban areas ahead of the Olympics. We outline the historical backdrop to the articulation between urban planning and public security thinking in Rio, how social processes have racialized this entanglement, and how it was activated in Rio's Olympic City project. Our analysis engages the philosopher and political scientist Achille Mbembe's (2003) theory of “necropolitics” to address how eviction from Vila Autódromo was achieved by a destruction of life conditions. To explore how this process affected resisting resident's sense of security, we engage the psychiatrist Mindy Fullilove's (2004) concept of “root shock,” which describes the trauma that forced displacement can produce in persons and communities. We thereby combine two theoretical approaches that tackle security at the level of governance and as ontological security respectively. The interconnection between these two approaches arises at the level of experience: the destruction of life conditions in Vila Autódromo terrorized remaining residents, and terror works by producing trauma. Our aim is to contribute to debates about how racialized governance impact populations who are excluded from the conceptualization of the citizenry to be protected.

This article is based on ethnographic fieldworks in Vila Autódromo, as well as other areas of Rio de Janeiro, conducted separately by both authors in the period 2008–2016. Alexandre Magalhães lived in Rio during this period and followed the urban development projects ushered in by the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics closely. Margit Ystanes conducted fieldwork in Rio for 12 months in 2013 and 2014, and 5 months between 2015 and 2016. Both authors followed the evictions in Vila Autódromo carefully, through participant observation and through open-ended interviews with residents resisting removal and residents who had already left for different reasons. We also interviewed and interacted with other actors such as activists, public defenders, and a councilor of the Municipal Parliament of the city of Rio de Janeiro. Requests to interview the local planning committee for the 2016 Olympics were not answered. Despite our simultaneous fieldworks, we experienced the decimation of Vila Autódromo from different positions. Magalhães is a male, nonwhite, sociologist who grew up not far from Vila Autódromo, while Ystanes is a female, white, foreign anthropologist. These different scholarly and social identities influenced both our interaction with field interlocutors and our experience of what transpired. Our analysis is therefore founded on this dual perspective.

Security: The Administration of Emergencies, Life, and Death

In this article, we work with the notion of security in two ways. First, we approach security as a strategy of city governance. Here, we are in dialogue with Stephen Graham (2016), who has highlighted the increasing militarization of urban life as a way to expand forms of government, which activates security devices for the control of certain populations. In Rio de Janeiro, the logics of destruction (Magalhães 2019) that favela removals represent is intertwined with the logics of intervention (Gros 2009). The latter promotes, in a technical language, the removal of risk or inconvenience. Risk refers not merely to the historically established concern that part of the population constitutes a risk to society but also to a contemporary concern of global expansion with populations at risk, so-called resilience governance (see, e.g., Gressgård 2018). In Rio's Olympic City project, however, the authorities did not replace the logic based on emergency as exception with resilience thinking. Instead, it complemented and expanded the legitimacy of intervention, thus paving the way for a definitive break between a “time of politics” and the “administration of emergencies.”

Contrary to democratic decision-making, the administration of emergencies is managed by persons considered experts. The purpose of the intervention is to “restore a threatened order, reestablish broken harmonies, repair dysfunction, find solutions.” The intervention focuses on the flexible management of risks, populations, flows, and movements, in the sense that both targets and problems can be redefined (Telles 2015: 157). Authorities construct “governable” or “secure” spaces (Barbosa 2013) through the continuous establishment of specific territories as disordered places where the authorities have the obligation to intervene. Graham (2016) calls this mode of governance, which is informed by bellicose grammar that continuously invades new dimensions of social life in the city, “military urbanism.” Paul Amar (2018) points out that the militarization of urban development must also be understood as part of military capitalist expansion into various private sector ventures. These different aspects of the militarization process together create the necessary legitimacy as well as political, moral, and material support for interventions.

Racialization processes in Rio construct persons with dark skin as security threats (see, e.g., Robb Larkins 2017), and put them at heightened risk of violent interventions. Throughout history, Rio's political elite has extended the fear of “the other” not only to individuals but also to entire groups such as the urban poor and the territories they inhabit. Consequently, the city has implemented military urbanism with a particular focus on controlling and regulating these areas. We therefore argue that military urbanism in Rio echoes historical, racialized transformation processes, the purposes of which were to simultaneously secure, civilize, and whiten the population (see, e.g., Chalhoub 1993; Garmany and Richmond 2019; Valladares 2000).

Our thinking on these processes is inspired by Achille Mbembe's (2003) notion of necropolitics and Jaime Amparo Alves's (2018) analysis of how necropolitics works in the Brazilian context. These works are part of a large field of scholarly approaches that explore the use of death, terror, and destruction to devastate and simultaneously create social orders. Ignacio Gonzalo (2017), for example, analyzes what he calls the production of the uninhabitable, while Veena Das (2007) refers to such destruction as a ceaseless, intense unmaking of life. Judith Butler (2004, 2015) discusses practices that make places and persons appear to be not real, which are therefore perceived as not being harmed when subjected to violence. Michael Taussig (1993) calls the landscape of fear produced by such terrorizing of populations “spaces of death.” This is a politico-existential space in which certain persons (in this case, black and poor) are continuously subjected to death, situating them in a “satanic mill” (Polanyi 2000). Mbembe (2003) contributes to this field by analyzing sovereign violence toward certain populations as necropolitics. In contrast to Michel Foucault's (2008) seminal work on biopower, Mbembe emphasizes that death constitutes part of its very foundation. In other words, death is politically productive. In this conception, death signifies not only someone's physical elimination but also the continuous exposure to death that authorities subject some populations to. That is, in Mbembe's work, death appears mainly as a recurrent expansion of conditions that make life unviable. In the empirical universe from which we extend our reflections, the city administration produced this scenario by cutting off essential public services such as water, electricity, basic sanitation, and waste collection; degrading the physical and sonic environment; and in other ways deliberately worsening local living conditions or rendering them impossible altogether.

This leads us to the second way we engage the notion of security: to think about what Anthony Giddens (1991) called “ontological security,” that is, a sense of continuity in everyday routines. Our purpose with this is to include the experience of removal in our analysis. For our field interlocutors, the removal practices they were exposed to dramatically disrupted the sense of continuity in their everyday life. The decimation of their community led to the disarticulation of a kind of existential security that is necessary for the projection of life into the future. One resisting resident, for example, explains how he ultimately regarded the city's pressure to evict the community as a threat to his life: “I don't want to leave. So first they offer me a compensation for my house, then an apartment, then compensation plus an apartment, and finally the [paramilitary] militias come and threaten to tear down my house. When will this stop? When I'm dead? Maybe they will kill me? When is it no longer about property speculation, but about the immorality of public authority?” The immorality of public authority here refers to the willingness to make life impossible, even destroy it, in order to implement a vision of the city where the favela has no place. The existence of this vision, and the recurring efforts to realize it in the urban landscape, devastates the possibility of ontological security for favela residents.

To address how this experience affected resisting residents, we combine the notion of necropolitics with the work of Mindy Fullilove, which centers on the psychiatric implications of evictions and introduces the concept of “root shock.” This concept recognizes that human lives are embedded in places and relationships and take the violent destruction of this rootedness to be traumatic. While we can question how well the notion of trauma travels across different cultural contexts (see, e.g., Broch-Due and Bertelsen 2016), we nevertheless find this concept useful for thinking about how being forcibly evicted can impact on a person's sense of security. Fullilove argues that at the level of the individual, root shock is a profound emotional upheaval that destroys the person's preexisting working model of the world: “Root shock undermines trust, increases anxiety about letting loved ones out of one's sight, destabilizes relationships, destroys social, emotional, and financial resources, and increases the risk for every kind of stress-related disease, from depression to heart attack.” At the level of community, root shock ruptures bonds and disperses people in all directions. Even when neighborhoods are rebuilt elsewhere, the restored geography is not enough to repair the many injuries produced by the destruction (2004: 14). Because of this, being forcibly evicted does not constitute a single dramatic event whose impact can be isolated to a particular moment in time.

Instead, forced evictions bring about circumstances that continue to reverberate throughout the lives of persons and communities for years and lifetimes (see also Perlman 2010). Resisting residents in Vila Autódromo expressed their concerns about the future in multiple ways. One interviewee explained: “The children here saw a lot of ugly things. It was a warlike scenario, this will forever affect the minds of the children, they have been damaged … they won't have a good future. They play that they are demolishing more houses, that they are police who come here to attack residents.” Another resident emphasized the economic and legal problems that followed his eviction: “Everything is more difficult. The city tore down my house, and now I must pay rent. I am trying to see justice done, but I'm still waiting. I don't get any social support for rent; I must cover everything with my very low wage.” Hence, our interlocutors in Vila Autódromo described the eviction process as traumatic, as psychological terror, as marked by fear, confusion, mistrust, feelings of powerlessness, and people who “went crazy” or even died because of the psychological stress (see also Huidobro Goya and Ystanes 2017; Ystanes 2018b). This resonates with Fullilove's notion of “root shock” and emphasizes that for the evicted, the creation of secure places in attractive areas of the city, does not make city safer for them.

The combination of Mbembe's and Fullilove's work allows us to include both the level of urban governance and the level of experience in our analysis of security. Mbembe's notion of necropolitics introduces, as Alves (2018) shows, the question of “race” into the analysis of governance, whereas Fullilove's concept of root shock allows us to connect this to the experiences of those targeted by racialized urban development in contemporary Rio de Janeiro. In combining these two analytical and empirical levels, we aim to illustrate how racialized governance involves the terrorization of populations who are excluded from those conceptualized as the citizenry to be protected.

Hygienizing the City: Race, Public Health and Urban Planning

Considering contemporary urban interventions in light of historical articulations between urban planning and public health and security, Jeff Garmany and Matthew Richmond argue that the eviction of Vila Autódromo is an example of hygienization (hygienização)—a specifically Brazilian mode of urban displacement especially attuned to colonialist legacies of racism and class stigma (2019: 126). This approach echoes scholars such as Ananaya Roy and Aihwa Ong (2011), Asher Ghertner, and Christopher Gaffney, who warn against studying the urban transformations currently taking place around the globe through generalizing lenses. Ghertner points out that while gentrification is mainly associated with increased rents and poor people leaving their historical neighborhoods, a more radical transformation underway in much of the world threatens to eliminate the very possibility of non-private forms of tenure (2015: 553). Similarly, Gaffney (2016) argues that recent urban transformations in Rio do not constitute full-blown gentrification processes but rather create the necessary preconditions for gentrification through privatization of land. In contrast to gentrification, however, “hygienization” refers to processes that are not entirely motivated by the prospect of financial gains. Instead, it suggests a more comprehensive vision for the city under development. Our work to untangle this vision is inspired by Alves, who argues that Brazilian cities are racialized in a particular way: they are anti-black. While officially racial lines are blurred, “the state and civil society are consistently able to identify black bodies and thereby establish racial boundaries through everyday violence, incarceration, and death” (2018: 11). Alves therefore maintains that the black dead bodies produced by police violence can be read as political symbols of the making of the city and the Brazilian polity (11–12). Similarly, we argue, the destruction of territories racialized as black also function as political symbols that are fundamental for the making and reproduction of Rio de Janeiro.

As noted earlier, it is important to emphasize that in Rio de Janeiro, favela residents constitute a racially diverse group of people, as do those evicted from Vila Autódromo. Bruno Carvalho points out that Rio is indeed a “porous city,” where throughout history, people have made myriad connections across spatial and social boundaries. Such porosity, however, has not eliminated social and racial segregation. Carvalho, notes, for example, that mixture mainly occurs in cultural realms such as football, samba, funk carioca, carnival, and beach-going. The boundaries of other realms—which are more associated with access to power and privilege, such as education, business, law, medicine, and government—are notably less porous. The city's porosity has also decreased throughout history as “spaces of mixture became a target for state-sponsored modernization projects, hygienist practices, intellectual discourses, and city planning” (2013: 13). Consequently, Licia Valladares (2010) shows that although the number of favela residents with access to higher education has increased in Rio, social mobility is significantly more limited for younger than older generations of university graduates from favelas. Hence, even though efforts were made to reduce inequality in Brazil during the so-called pink tide4 years, racial and economic inequities persist (see, e.g., Costa 2018). The reactualization of favela removals in the mega-event context (Magalhães 2013) is illustrative of how this stratification is spatially structured, and the entanglement of public security and health with urban planning.

In Rio, this entanglement has a long history. The notion of hygienization harks back to late nineteenth-century Brazil, where efforts to “modernize” the new republic had an explicit racial dimension and was inspired by eugenicist theories emerging from Europe. Such theories linked modernization with the “whitening” of the population, and undergirded urban planning as well as policies aiming to eradicate crime and other social ills (Garmany and Richmond 2019; see also Chalhoub 1993; Stepan 1991; Valladares 2000). Two particularly serious yellow fever outbreaks in 1873 and 1876 contributed to linking public health interventions with urban planning. Many newly arrived European immigrants lived alongside free and enslaved Africans in Rio's crowded cortiços (slum tenements), where illness could spread quickly. Cortiços were therefore associated with immigrants dying of yellow fever, which damaged Rio's and Brazil's reputation as an attractive destination for Europeans (Chalhoub 1993: 457–58). For Rio's elites, these fears merged with ideas about the cortiços as locations for malandragem (roguery) and crime, and they came to see these tenements as threats to social and moral orders (Valladares 2000: 7).

The urban interventions intended to promote public health in Rio during the late nineteenth century hence simultaneously aimed to promote the “whitening” and “civilizing” of the population by creating favorable conditions for European immigrants. However, the demolition of cortiços also contributed to the rise of new informal settlements as displaced residents settled on the city's hillsides (Chalhoub 1993: 457), and hence to the birth of the favelas (Valladares 2000). Moreover, it paved the way for the idea of removing informal settlements for the betterment of public health (Garmany and Richmond 2019; Perlman 2010). In its present configuration, the term hygienization is associated with social injustice, and refers to instances in which low-income people are violently displaced from specific areas for the purposes of urban beautification and the restoration of order (Garmany and Richmond 2019: 129)—as in the case of Vila Autódromo.

This complex history, together with a persistent concern with the repression of blackness as part of the Brazilian polity (Alves 2018), has led to a contemporary understanding of favela territories as intimately associated with African descent, poverty, crime, and social deviance (Perry 2013; Robb Larkins 2015; Valladares 2000). Hence, even though Rio's favelas are inhabited by a racially and economically diverse population consisting mainly of ordinary workers and students, the words pobre (poor), preto (black), favelado (favela resident), and bandido (criminal) share the same semantic field in the Brazilian social imaginary. Historical and contemporary social processes have therefore racialized favela territories in ways that associate them with blackness, and blackness is associated with societal danger. This means that for those living in favelas, their place of residence come to define them in ways very distinct from residents in “noble” neighborhoods. For example, a 2015 survey showed that 69 percent of Brazilians feel afraid when passing a favela, and 51 percent associate the word favela with drugs and violence (Brasil 2015). This mirrors how, in the nineteenth century, the cortiços were considered both the locus of poverty and the home to a “dangerous class” (Valladares 2000: 7). In 1993, a Rio de Janeiro Catholic priest started an educational program for preparing “negros and carentes” (black and wanting) for college entrance exams (Valladares 2010: 157–158). Here, “black” and “wanting” are intrinsically connected, thus illustrating the strong symbolic association between blackness and poverty. The former Vila Autódromo resident cited earlier, who explains that workers settle in favelas because they cannot afford to live elsewhere, emphasizes the connection between favelas and poverty. The racialization of favela residents as a group is therefore not a singular process but intersects with other modes of hierarchization—here exemplified by the semantic bridge between “blackness” and “poverty.”

We analyze the contemporary destruction of favela territories through forced evictions against the backdrop of historical efforts to “whiten” and “hygienize” Rio through forced evictions. Indeed, Garmany and Richmond argue that the destruction of Vila Autódromo was done at such high cost and for so little concrete gain that it can only be understood as reproducing historical efforts to reform the city's social reality and put everything in its “right place” (2019: 136). As the Olympic urban transformation shows, “putting things in its right place” involves the suffocation of life and security in areas racialized as black.

Making Rio an Olympic City

After Brazil's return to democracy in 1985, Rio's authorities largely abandoned favela removals because of their association with previous authoritarian regimes (Magalhães 2013). However, after heavy rains devastated many favela homes on Rio's hillsides in 2010, Mayor Paes announced that the city would remove entire neighborhoods deemed to be at risk (Anthony 2013). This marked the inclusion of resilience thinking in the rhetoric applied to legitimize evictions. However, the encompassing logic of this undertaking remained the creation of spaces where middle class residents and tourists—an overwhelmingly white demographic—could feel secure. Tellingly, the surge of favela removals that followed was not limited to homes considered at risk from landslides. Between 2010 and 2015, more than 22,000 families were removed from their homes. While official explanations are often misleading or unclear, at least 4,000 of these cases have been directly linked to the city's Olympic preparations (CPCORJ 2015: 20). In response to widespread international criticism, the city government issued a publication in English, in which the evictions were essentially presented as a means to lift poor people up to a middle-class standard of living (Rio Prefeitura 2015). Many public housing residents, however, strongly contested this idea (see, e.g., Talbot 2016).

Indeed, the pattern of evictions during these years coincides with the urban reconfigurations initiated as part of the preparation to host the sporting mega-events (see, e.g., Rolnik 2015). Favela residents were evicted from the areas surrounding the famous Maracanã Stadium and the Olympic Park, to make space for a cable car in the suburban favela complex Alemão (which closed down almost immediately after the Olympics) and for BRT (bus rapid transit) lines facilitating transport between the international airport and Olympic infrastructure in other parts of the city. One of the BRT lines also connects these central areas with Santa Cruz, a poor and peripheral district of the city where many public housing projects are located. When it opened, the city closed down several bus lines serving the Olympic Park neighborhood. This meant that while it was now easier to get to this area from elsewhere in the city by public transport, it became very difficult to move around within it without a private car or motorbike. For residents of Vila Autódromo, doing errands locally now involved long walks by foot alongside four- to six-lane boulevards with very little pedestrian infrastructure. Many therefore regard the reconfiguration of public transport as facilitating evictions. Removing public transportation routes within wealthy areas contributed to stifle life conditions for poor people there, while new routes connecting poor and wealthy areas secured the availability of service workers for the upper and middle classes. Bruno Carvalho calls the outcome of these developments “unprecedented segregation” (2016: 26).

As Rio transformed into an “Olympic City,” the authorities also evicted poor residents from the historical port now rebranded as Porto Maravilha, thus invoking the Marvelous City trope to legitimize the expulsion (23). While formerly considered a rundown and dangerous place by many middle- and upper-class residents, the port has been reconfigured as an “upgraded” area boasting a futuristic science museum and armed police vigilance. Many locals read the city's intervention in this area as an attempt to discursively erase the crucial part this former slave port has played in the making of contemporary racialized hierarchies. The physical removal of many poor and black residents, security measures conceived from the perspectives of the privileged, and the careful design of a space that looks to the future, architectonically enunciated by the Museo do Amanhã (Museum of Tomorrow), all contributed to making the past invisible.

It is important to underscore, however, that these attempts at creating elite enclaves in the city have not necessarily worked according to plan. For example, the 3,604 luxury apartments constructed as the Athletes Village encountered a stagnant market. This gated community was at the center of Carvalho's vision for a district for the elite (Watts 2015), but by the end of the Olympic Games, only 260 units had been sold (Cavalcanti 2017: 222). In 2019, the condominium was still mostly abandoned, with just a few windows lit up at night inviting passersby to contemplate the lonely existence unfolding behind the gates. This points to how both mega-events and large redevelopment schemes necessarily entail the production of ruins (Cavalcanti et al. 2016: 85). Everywhere in Rio, Mariana Cavalcanti and colleagues write, “new shining office and commercial buildings seem overblown, and emptied out” (2016: 88). At the same time, the number of residents in some favelas in the Barra Olympic Park region actually increased while Rio prepared for the mega-event, even though other communities were almost completely decimated (Cavalcanti 2017: 226). This harks back to the historical emergence of favelas following the demolition of cortiços and illustrates that the use of favela removals to create urban enclaves reserved for the elites has never quite achieved its stated purpose. Nevertheless, the decimation of Vila Autódromo shows that the consequences for those targeted by the eviction were devastating.

Figure 1:
Figure 1:

The Museo do Amanhã and mega-event-related urban renewal effort inscribed in the urban landscape through the #CidadeOlimpica (#OlympicCity) monument (© Margit Ystanes).

Citation: Conflict and Society 6, 1; 10.3167/arcs.2020.060110

Waging War, Suffocating Life

The city administration applied innumerous strategies during the eviction process in Vila Autódromo. The aggregate effect of these strategies on residents can be understood through the image of suffocation (Magalhães 2018). It was common for residents to describe their experience as feeling suffocated by the situation. As their neighborhood was deteriorated by the presence of trucks, tractors, excavators, municipal guards, dust, representatives of the city administration, and cuts to public services, the residents found it increasingly difficult to breathe, to stay alive. The destruction wrought by the eviction process had pushed their lives to the limit of what they thought possible. When talking about the situation, the residents almost always emphasized the “conditions of the environment” through close descriptions of how the public intervention had deteriorated their surroundings. Recurring elements in these narratives are the debris and the dust. As the city administration demolished houses and other constructions, they left behind a trail of rocks, twisted pieces of iron, bricks, domestic utensils, and innumerous other materials. Several of the houses were not completely demolished but simply made uninhabitable. Mountains of debris and semi-demolished houses thus merged into the landscape where the residents spent their daily lives.

The dust produced by the transit of trucks, excavators and by the demolitions always featured prominently in conversations with residents about the evictions. While the presence of dust may not seem very dramatic, Magalhães (2018) points out that there is nothing banal about emphasizing this feature of the eviction process. The excessive suspended particles not only directly affected the residents’ health but also serve as a powerful image of how they understand their treatment by the city administration. Dust is a residue of the circulation of heavy machinery on their territory, but it also serves to describe how the residents’ lives dissolved through the eviction process. To avoid eviction signified to hinder that their lives would, like dust, dissolve into air.

Residents came to think about this process as an intense, destructive transformation of their surroundings and their lives, as well as a particular way of existing in the city (Magalhães 2018, 2019). It is not surprising that one of the recurring images employed by residents to talk about what happened to them was that of war. They often compared their neighborhood, scattered with mountains of debris and semi-demolished houses, to images they had seen of the destruction of war in Syria. A post made on the community's Facebook page in 2016, toward the end of the eviction process, contained a montage of images of debris and destruction from different locations, and challenged people to identify which of the photos were taken in Vila Autódromo. For those who were unfamiliar with the concrete situation in Vila Autódromo, the photos would not allow for distinguishing between the effects of the eviction process and of military warfare in Syria. One of the residents explained: “When you see all these destroyed houses, it gives you a sensation of war. We started to feel this sensation, we felt it here. It was as if they were bombing us, you know, like we see on television. It was a horrible feeling.” The recurrence of the war metaphor draws our attention to not only the physical destruction of a locality but also to what Gonzalo (2017) refers to as a radical disintegration of forms of life. The mechanisms of war significantly change the vital daily reproduction that allows life to continue. According to Gonzalo, these forms of destruction produce ways of life that are decontextualized and removed from previous modes of being in the world. Instead, people's existence is inserted in processes that make their life conditions profoundly precarious. This is precisely what happened in Vila Autódromo.

The Municipal Guard was called for operations in Vila Autódromo whenever the construction of the Olympic Park expanded to its frontier and was ready to swallow another piece of the community. The tactics of the Municipal Guard is characterized by a strong visual component. On demolition days, they mounted a grand spectacle of force: several buses filled with guards dressed in riot uniforms similar to that of the Military Police, excavators, and divisional signs. The impressive amount of personnel as well as their performance, hostile attitudes, and rough treatment of residents gave the impression of a force prepared to attack. The encirclements they created to hinder opposition during demolitions contributed to the residents’ sensation of asphyxia. The guards obstructed local streets both to facilitate the demolitions and to demarcate the area to be taken. After the demolitions, the city administration's representatives usually erected hoardings to delimit the area that was no longer to be part of the community, thus tightening the encircling of the residents. The residents experienced part of this process as violent and potentially life threatening. One resident explained: “The city arrived with aggression, with their machines and this public servant … They tore down the houses with the furniture still inside. If you didn't run out quickly, you could die in there.”

Here, the description of death builds on and extends the feeling of asphyxia, by conjuring up the image of a living body being crushed altogether, as the space inside the house literally collapses over it, unable to sustain the blows of the excavator. After the fact, the demolitions left remaining residents to live amongst obstacles that were both tangible and symbolic. As Magalhães (2018) points out, the debris left behind by the demolitions, the semi-destroyed houses, the walls about to come crashing down, exposed rebars, burst tubes, damaged electric wires scattered across the terrain, draw our attention to the multifaceted nature of the destruction the residents were exposed to. Not only were their houses and local geography destroyed, but so was their meshwork of relationships and references that had facilitated their existence in the city up until that moment (see also Fullilove 2004). The destruction of brick houses modified the way its residents related to their next-door neighbor and, consequently, the community itself. Just as Fullilove has shown spatial alienation to be the effect of forced displacements elsewhere, the demolitions in Vila Autódromo affected the profound relationship between emotions and the physical landscape in which they are embedded, between material constructions and the moral values projected on them. In other words, the eviction process was an attack on a particular way of existing in the city—that of being a favela resident (Magalhães 2018).

Thinking with Mbembe (2003), this destruction can be characterized as an “infrastructural war.” In Vila Autódromo, the physical and moral geography was exposed to an “orchestrated sabotage” that devastated the continuity of daily life. The consequence of this was to make life impossible—to produce the uninhabitable—and the subjection of the population to the production of death in order to make a new, modern, “whiter” city. Indeed, as Camila Pierobon (2018) shows, infrastructure is a fundamental dimension of the management of life and death. It is important in this regard to emphasize that even though the authorities did not enter Vila Autódromo with lethal repression, as they have done in numerous other favelas in Rio, residents understand their general deterioration of health and several deaths as direct outcomes of the enormous stress they were exposed to during the eviction process. The resisting residents frequently described the eviction process as “psychological terror.” The description of this former inhabitant is representative: “It was very traumatic. We wanted to live there peacefully, without the psychological torture of the city government. Sometimes it's not physical violence, but psychological violence, which is even worse.” Another former resident recounts the loss of security and health produced by her eviction: “I felt safe there. When [the demolition forces] entered, I went crazy. Crushed walls everywhere … I fell ill with sadness, I couldn't sleep. I started taking sleeping pills, I felt such enormous sadness.”

The production of impossible life conditions described by these interlocutors did not end with the completion of the eviction process. Even in recent conversation with former residents, they brought up cases of people who had died not long ago “because of the evictions.” This illustrates Fullilove's (2004) warning that people who are violently evicted from their community of residence cannot simply reassemble their lives elsewhere. The trauma of loss reverberates even as relationships are reconfigured in the new geography. In Brazil's democratic era, favela removals takes place with less use of violent force than under previous authoritarian regimes (see, e.g., Brum 2013). Unlike the military regime who evicted favela residents from the upscale Lagoa region in the late 1960s by simply setting their homes on fire and relocating them outside the city (Perlman 2010), some of the residents evicted from Vila Autódromo were able to negotiate reasonable compensations or were given replacement apartments relatively nearby. However, the continuous pressure, suffocation, and destruction of life conditions in Vila Autódromo nevertheless constitute a politics of death that produces similar results as the more authoritarian approach—the impossibility of continued existence in that location.

The Spatial Ordering of Social and Moral Hierarchies

To further explore the spatial ordering of social and moral hierarchies in Rio, it is instructive to attend to the narratives and activities residents in Vila Autódromo engaged to defend their community from eradication. As illustrated by the ethnographic vignette introducing this article, resistance is a multifaceted and creative activity that taps into various discursive fields (Vianna and Magalhães 2019). During Rio's mega-event period, this creativity resulted in numerous new methods and infrastructure for activism (Ystanes 2018a). On one level, residents in Vila Autódromo resisted eviction by defending their physical space against the suffocating, crushing, life-destroying impact of circulating machinery and the gradual, almost daily encroachment of the building site. They built barricades that hindered the entrance of vehicles and persons associated with the construction of the Olympic Park and kept guard according to a roster. In this way, they retained some degree of control over the territory, and over the circulation of machinery and agents involved in the daily suffocation of the community.

This is significant in the sense that the overall purpose of the resistance was not to secure reasonable economic compensation or replacement flats but permanência (to remain). Fundamentally, the struggle was over whether or not a neighborhood conceptualized as favela could continue to exist in this emerging space of privilege—or, in other words, whether or not a space of privilege racialized as white could incorporate a territory racialized as black. The response from the city authorities made it clear that the answer was no. The few residents who managed to remain on the land of Vila Autódromo had their houses demolished and were relocated to new, homogenous, small, white houses concentrated in a single street. While the permanência in itself was a victory for the persons in question, the city's reorganization of the area was referred to as “erasing the favela from Vila Autódromo.” Indeed, during negotiations with the remaining residents, the city tried to change the name of the community from “Vila Autódromo Community” to “Vila Autódromo Condominium.”5 “It is as if the City wants to wipe the slate clean and start again, rebuilding Vila Autódromo in a way that fits with the surrounding condominiums of Barra da Tijuca,” Adam Talbot (2016) observed. Thus, while some residents were allowed to stay, it was on the condition that the architecture that marked Vila Autódromo as a favela was erased. This resonates with Garmany and Richmond's (2019) argument that Vila Autódromo was removed first and foremost because it was a favela.

This problematic was also mirrored in the narrative struggle over whether Vila Autódromo had legitimate reasons to exist as a community in that particular place. What stands out about this effort is that it builds on the residents’ own careful and multifaceted analysis of why they were being evicted. While their economic situations varied, the resisting residents emphasized poverty as the collective identity of the community and underlying reason for their eviction. By defining themselves as “poor,” with all the racialized connotations this has in the Brazilian context, the resisting residents positioned themselves in a complex social hierarchy of colonial origin, founded on racialized notions of human difference and a state whose primary function is to serve the interests of elites.

Figure 2:
Figure 2:

Makeshift barricade blocking the entrance to Vila Autódromo (© Alexandre Magalhães).

Citation: Conflict and Society 6, 1; 10.3167/arcs.2020.060110

While embracing the collective identity as poor so strongly associated with favelas, residents of Vila Autódromo nevertheless rejected the many negative connotations of poverty such as violence, crime, irresponsibility, laziness, being uncultured, and promiscuity (see, e.g., Broch-Due 1995). Resisting to some extent the idea of Vila Autódromo as an urban neighborhood altogether, residents placed great emphasis on its origin as a fishing community on the shores of the Jacarepaguá Lagoon, at a time when the city of Rio had yet to extend this far. There were frequent mentions of the geography and location of the community: the proximity to nature, the fruit trees, the lake, the presence of other forms of life around them. By narrating about a paradisiacal rural past, the resisting residents created distance to the conceptualization of favelas as troubled urban spaces. This is also reflected in how, in conversations about their activism, residents underlined that they were a harmonious community—that even their protests were peaceful (Huidobro Goya and Ystanes 2017). The residents in resistance also countered the negative stereotypes about their community by organizing numerous protests as cultural events that many upper- and middle-class residents of Rio would probably associate with their own social class and neighborhoods rather than with favelas. For example, Vila Autódromo hosted cultural festivals, film festivals, and academic book launches; opened a museum dedicated to the eviction process; and launched a social media campaign that achieved the support of high-profile personalities such as Brazilian movie star Camila Pitanga, Rio's mayoral candidate Marcelo Freixo, and professor David Harvey. These activities probably built resonance with the middle-class journalists, activists, students, and researchers who attended the protests and contributed to disassociate Vila Autódromo from the conception of favelas as places marked by violence, crime, immorality, and misery.

In conclusion, then, the efforts to eradicate Vila Autódromo built on conceptualizations about favelas that have a long historical trajectory and grow out of Brazil's past as a colonial slave society. The residents’ resistance to eviction was built on an effort to disassociate from predominant, racialized perceptions about societal danger identified with favela territories, and explicitly aimed to make residents more legible as good citizens to their upper- and middle-class neighbors. In the end, only a few of them managed to avoid eviction. What remains of Vila Autódromo looks nothing like it used to, as the city's intervention erased the residents’ own aesthetic from the community (Talbot 2016). While favela houses are often colorful, the new, white, homogenous houses mirror the depersonalized design of the secure spaces created to accommodate tourists and middle-class residents elsewhere in the city. However, Vila Autódromo is still an insecure place for its remaining residents, who continue to struggle with the city administration over the full implementation of the agreement that allowed them to stay. Favela residents in Rio remain excluded from the population that racialized governance is aimed to protect.

Final Considerations

This article explores the spatial intensification of racialized hierarchies in Rio de Janeiro. We suggest that these dynamics be understood as racialized governance. Historically as well as presently, the management of Rio has been entangled with public security concerns. These processes are racialized in the sense that political elites perceive nonwhite populations and their places of residence as dangerous, and consequently target them for security interventions. The purpose of such interventions is to secure a citizenry overwhelmingly conceptualized as the nonpoor of the city. Historical and contemporary social processes in Brazil have racialized this group, who is mostly of European ancestry, as white or light skinned. Taking the evictions from Vila Autódromo as case in point, we show how urban interventions intended to make the city attractive and safe ahead of the 2016 Olympic was devastating for many favela residents’ sense of security. The resisting residents’ effort to remain in Vila Autódromo was not a mere struggle over access to a piece of land but also an existential struggle over the right of people like them to exist in the made-over Rio that was emerging in the mega-event context. In stark contrast to the official discourse of improving life conditions of the poor (Rio Prefeitura 2015), forced evictions terrorized the affected persons. In Vila Autódromo, the destruction of the geography where the residents’ social relations were embedded, exacerbated their feeling of existential and physical insecurity. While we have described a life suffocated, at the limit of possibility, asphyxiated by racialized interventions by the state apparatus, it is important to underline that the residents’ resistance also contributes to the continuous reinvention and renegotiation of the city's identity and spatial configuration. Nevertheless, the surge of favela removals that followed the introduction of racialized governance during this historical moment in Rio reinforced the spatial and social reproduction of entrenched, racialized hierarchies.

Acknowledgments

We extend our gratitude to the participants of the workshop “Ethnographies of Urban Securities: Race, Gender and Inequality in the Olympic City” held at the University of Bergen in 2018. The thoughtful comments we received to the draft presented there significantly improved the analysis. We would also like to thank the two anonymous reviewers, Erella Grassiani, and José Alejandro Huidobro Goya, whose comments were immensely helpful for finalizing the article. Margit Ystanes is thankful to the Research Council of Norway, whose SAMKUL program funded her field research for this piece.

Notes
1

All quotes from field interlocutors are from interviews conducted during or after the eviction.

2

Oftentimes the demolitions were unannounced, however, and left residents without any possibility to prepare for the loss of their home (see, e.g., Huidobro Goya and Ystanes 2017).

3

This ironic rendition of “Cidade Maravilhosa” mirrors the work of historians who have pointed out that Rio's reputation as an enchanting, marvelous place of natural beauty and glamour has always been complemented by the brutal inequality of the city (Carvalho 2013; Fischer 2008).

4

The pink tide refers to a period of left leaning governments throughout Latin America, principally in the late 1990s and the 2000s. While important gains were made toward reducing poverty and entrenched inequality, significant redistribution or societal transformation did not occur (see, e.g., Ystanes and Strønen 2018).

5

Comunidade (community) is often used as a synonym for favela in Rio, while condomínio denotes high-end gated communities.

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Contributor Notes

MARGIT YSTANES is Associate Professor at Volda University College. She has conducted ethnographic fieldwork in Guatemala and Brazil, and her current work critically investigates the use of sporting mega-events as a tool for urban and economic development in Rio de Janeiro. She is the coeditor of Trusting and its Tribulations: Interdisciplinary Engagements with Intimacy, Sociality and Trust (with Vigdis Broch-Due, 2016) and The Social Life of Economic Inequalities in Contemporary Latin America: Decades of Change (with Iselin Åsedotter Strønen, 2017). ORCID iD: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8376-4748 | Email: margit.ystanes@hivolda.no

ALEXANDRE DE MAGALHÃES is Assistant Professor at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul. He researches government practices toward populations inhabiting favelas and peripheries, as well as how resistance to these practices creates a variety of ways to continue existing in the city. His work also explores state violence modalities, their territorial inscription, and how they allow us to visualize the constitution of the urban. He is author of Remoções no Rio de Janeiro: Entre formas de controle e resistências (2019). ORCID iD: http://orcid.org/0000-0002-9005-1244 | E-mail: alexandre.magalhaes@ufrgs.br

Conflict and Society

Advances in Research

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    The Museo do Amanhã and mega-event-related urban renewal effort inscribed in the urban landscape through the #CidadeOlimpica (#OlympicCity) monument (© Margit Ystanes).

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    Makeshift barricade blocking the entrance to Vila Autódromo (© Alexandre Magalhães).

  • Alves, Jaime Amparo. 2018. The Anti-Black City: Police Terror and Black Urban Life in Brazil. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

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  • Anthony, Constance G. 2013. “Urban Forced Removals in Rio de Janeiro and Los Angeles: North-South Similarities in Race and City.” University of Miami Inter-American Law Review 44 (2): 337364. https://repository.law.miami.edu/umialr/vol44/iss2/10

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  • Butler, Judith. 2004. Precarious Life: The Powers of Mourning and Violence. London: Verso.

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  • Carvalho, Bruno, Mariana Cavalcanti, and Vyjayanthi Venuturupalli, eds. 2016. Occupy All Streets: Olympic Urbanism and Contested Futures in Rio de Janeiro. New York: Terreform.

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  • Chalhoub, Sidney. 1993. “The Politics of Disease Control: Yellow Fever and Race in Nineteenth Century Rio de Janeiro.” Journal of Latin American Studies 25 (3): 441463. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0022216X00006623.

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  • Costa, Sérgio. 2018. “Entangled Inequalities, State, and Social Policies in Contemporary Brazil.” In Ystanes and Strønen 2018: 5980.

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  • CPCORJ (Comitê Popular da Copa e Olimpíadas do Rio de Janeiro). 2015. Olimpíada Rio 2016, os jogos da exclusão: Megaeventos e violações dos direitos humanos no Rio de Janeiro [Rio Olympics 2016, the exclusion games: Mega-events and human rights violations in Rio de Janeiro]. Rio de Janeiro: CPCORJ.

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  • Das, Veena. 2007. Life and Words: Violence and the Descent into the Ordinary. Berkeley: University of California Press.

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  • Foucault, Michel. 2008. The Birth of Biopolitics: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1978–1979. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

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  • Gaffney, Christopher. 2016. “Gentrifications in Pre-Olympic Rio de Janeiro.” Urban Geography 37 (8): 11321153. https://doi.org/10.1080/02723638.2015.1096115

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  • Garmany, Jeff, and Matthew A. Richmond. 2019. “Hygenisation, Gentrification, and Urban Displacement in Brazil.” Antipode 52 (1): 124144. https://doi.org/10.1111/anti.12584

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  • Ghertner, Asher. 2015. “Why Gentrification Theory Fails in ‘Much of the World.’City 19 (4): 552563. https://doi.org/10.1080/13604813.2015.1051745

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  • Giddens, Anthony. 1991. Modernity and Self-Identity. Cambridge: Polity.

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  • Graham, Stephen. 2016. Cities under Siege: The New Military Urbanism. [In Portuguese.] São Paulo: Boitempo Editorial.

  • Gressgård, Randi. 2018. “The Racialized Death-Politics of Urban Resilience Governance.” Social Identities 25 (1): 1126. https://doi.org/10.1080/13504630.2017.1418605

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  • Gros, Frédéric. 2009. States of Violence: An Essay on the End of War. [In Portuguese.] Aparecida: Editora Ideias & Letras.

  • Huidobro Goya, José Alejandro, and Margit Ystanes, dirs. 2017. Dirty Games: Olympic Evictions in Rio de Janeiro. Documentary, 63 minutes. Oslo: Research Council of Norway.

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  • Magalhães, Alexandre. 2013. “Transformações no ‘problema favela’ e a reatualização da ‘remoção’ no Rio de Janeiro” [Transformations of the “favela problem” and the reactualization of “removals” in Rio de Janeiro]. PhD diss., Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro.

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  • Magalhães, Alexandre. 2018. “A lógica da destruição: Sufocamento, asfixia e resistências nas favelas do Rio de Janeiro” [The logics of destruction: Suffocation, asphyxia, and resistances in Rio de Janeiro's favelas]. In Militarização no Rio de Janeiro: Cidade, territórios, populações, ed. Marcia Leite, Lia de Mattos Rocha, Juliana Farias, and Monique Carvalho, 262282. Rio de Janeiro: Mórula.

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  • Magalhães, Alexandre. 2019. “A ‘lógica da intervenção’ e a questão da circulação: As remoções de favelas como forma de gerir o espaço urbano no rio de Janeiro dos Jogos Olímpicos” [The logics of intervention and the question of circulation: Favela removals as a way to manage urban space in Rio de Janeiro during the Olympic Games]. Tempo Social 31 (2): 221242. https://doi.org/10.11606/0103-2070.ts.2019.143694.

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  • Mbembe, Achille. 2003. “Necropolitics.” Trans. Libby Meintjes. Public Culture 15 (1): 1140.

  • Perlman, Janice. 2010. Favela. Four Decades of Living on the Edge in Rio de Janeiro. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Perry, Keisha-Khan Y. 2013. Black Women against the Land Grab: The Fight for Racial Justice in Brazil. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

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  • Pierobon, Camila. 2018. “Tempos que duram, lutas que não acabam: O cotidiano de Leonor e sua ética de combate” [Enduring times, never-ending struggles: Leonor's everyday life and her ethics of struggle]. PhD diss., Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro.

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  • Polanyi, Karl. 2000. A grande transformação: As origens de nosso época. Rio de Janeiro: Compus.

  • Rio Prefeitura. 2015. Explaining Rio de Janeiro Habitational Policy. Rio de Janeiro: Rio Prefeitura.

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  • Robb Larkins, Erika. 2017. “Guarding the Body: Private Security Work in Rio de Janeiro.” Conflict and Society: Advances in Research 3: 6072. https://doi.org/10.3167/arcs.2017.030105.

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  • Rolnik, Raquel. 2015. Guerra dos lugares: A colonização da terra e da moradia na era das finanças [The war of places: The colonization of land and housing in the era of finance]. São Paulo: Boitempo Editorial.

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  • Roy, Ananya, and Aihwa Ong. 2011. Worlding Cities: Asian Experiments and the Art of Being Global. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing.

  • Stepan, Nancy Leys. 1991. “The Hour of Eugenics”: Race, Gender, and Nation in Latin America. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

  • Talbot, Adam. 2016. “Erasing the Favela from Vila Autódromo.” RioOnWatch, 21 May. https://www.rioonwatch.org/?p = 28870.

  • Taussig, Michael. 1993. Shamanism, Colonialism, and the Wild Man: A Study in Terror and Healing. [In Portuguese.] Rio de Janeiro: Editora Paz e Terra.

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  • Telles, Vera da Silva. 2015. “Cidade: Produção de espaços, formas de controle e conflitos” [City: The production of space, forms, control, and conflicts]. Revista de Ciências Sociais 46: 1542.

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  • Valladares, Licia do Prado. 2000. “A gênese da favela carioca: A produção anterior às ciêncas sociais.” [The genesis of Rio's favelas: The production preceding social science]. Revista Brasileira de Ciências Sociais 15 (44): 534. https://doi.org/10.1590/S0102-69092000000300001.

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  • Valladares, Licia do Prado. 2010. “Educação e mobilidade social nas favelas do Rio de Janeiro: O caso dos universitários (graduandos e graduados) das favelas” [Education and social mobility in Rio de Janeiro's Favelas: The case of university students (undergraduates and graduates) from favelas]. Dilemas: Revista de Estudos de Conflito e Controle Social 2 (5–6): 153172.

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  • Vianna, Adriana, and Alexandre Magalhães. 2019. “Habitar a cidade e fazer a vida: Questões sobre a existência em situações limite.” [To life in the city and make a life: Questions regarding existence on the limits]. In Curso de direito à cidade, ed. Enzo Bello and Rene José Keller, 143157. Rio de Janeiro: Lumen Juris.

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  • Watts, Jonathan. 2015. “The Rio Property Developer Hoping for a $1bn Olympic Legacy of His Own.” The Guardian, 4 August.

  • Ystanes, Margit. 2018a. “#sosfavelas: Digital Representations of Violence and Inequality in Rio de Janeiro.” In Ystanes and Strønen 2018: 81105.

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  • Ystanes, Margit. 2018b. “Lives Uprooted: Urban Inequality and Olympic Evictions in Rio de Janeiro.” Alternautas: (Re)searching Development—The Abya Yala Chapter, 18 February. http://www.alternautas.net/blog/2018/2/18/lives-uprooted-urban-inequality-and-olympic-evictions-in-rio-de-janeiro.

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  • Ystanes, Margit, and Iselin Åsedotter Strønen, eds. 2018. The Social Life of Economic Inequality in Contemporary Latin America: Decades of Change. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

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