Reframing the Favela, Remapping the City: Territorial Embeddedness and (Trans)locality in “Framing Content” on Brazilian Favela Blogs

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In recent years, the internet has become a key site for the portrayal of Rio de Janeiro’s favelas. This article examines blogging by favela residents and argues that digital culture constitutes a vital, and as yet not systematically explored, arena of research on the representation of Rio de Janeiro and its favelas. Based on ethnographically inspired research carried out in 2009–2010, this article examines two examples of blog ‘framing content’ (a sidebar and a static page) encountered during fieldwork, which functioned to establish a concrete link between the posts on the blogs in question, their authors, and a named favela, even when the posts were not explicitly about that favela. At the same time, the framing content also made visible, and affirmed, the translocal connections between that favela, other favelas, and the city as a whole. These illustrative examples from a wider study show how favela bloggers are engaged in resignifying and remapping the relationships between different empirical scales of locality (and associated identities) in Rio de Janeiro, demonstrating the contribution an interdisciplinary approach to the digital texts and practices of favela residents can make to an understanding of the contemporary city and its representational conundrums, from the perspective of ‘ordinary practitioners’.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-319
Number of pages41
JournalJournal of Latin American Cultural Studies
Issue number2
Early online date26 Apr 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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