Shared Photography: (Photo)journalism and political mobilisation in Rio de Janeiro's favelas

Alice Barconi, Andrea Mayr

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7 Citations (Scopus)
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One of the most important civic phenomena emerging from favelas in Rio de Janeiro today is “community (photo)journalism”, which is practised by favela residents who are trained in journalistic and artistic techniques to raise critical awareness and promote political mobilisation in- and outside favelas. This paper looks at some of the work produced at one training place for community photographers, the agency-school Imagens do Povo (“Images of the People”) in Nova Holanda, a favela located in Rio’s North Zone. Using an ethnographic approach, this article first provides an account of the working practices of the School and its photographers. This is followed by a discussion of a small sample of their photographic work, for which we employ a social semiotic paradigm of image analysis. This methodological synergy provides insights into how these journalists document long-term structural as well as “spectacular” violence in favelas, while at the same time striving to capture some of the “beauty” of these communities. The paper concludes that this form of photographic work constitutes an important step towards a more analytical brand of journalism with different news values that encourage a more context-sensitive approach to covering urban violence and favela life.

KEYWORDS: alternative media, Imagens do Povo, multimodality, news values, photojournalism.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages17
JournalJournalism Practice
Early online date02 Sept 2016
Publication statusEarly online date - 02 Sept 2016


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