[Podcast] Dispatch from Rio: Brazil’s Urban Social Movement Demands Better Quality of Life

Protests in opposition to rising transit fares is part of a broader social movement demanding a better quality of urban life in Brazil. Photo courtesy Agencia Brasil, Wikimedia Commons.

Protests in opposition to rising transit fares is part of a broader social movement demanding a better quality of urban life in Brazil. Photo courtesy Agencia Brasil.

This movement has opened up a new field of possibilities and what people are fighting for is a real democratic system. This movement is forcing a dialogue.

–Professor Cecilia Mello, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro

What began as protests against increases in public transit fares is part of a broader social movement challenging Brazil’s state policies, the deteriorating quality of urban life for the poor, and the highly uneven benefits derived from the country’s economic growth as the country prepares to host the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

On the program, we hear from Dr. Cecilia Mello, a professor of social and cultural anthropology at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, about this rising urban social movement, the right to the city, and the conditions on the ground. We also discuss Brazilian cities in relation to the rural and peripheral areas of the country and indigenous land dispossession and resource extraction threatening traditional livelihoods.

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