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“Giving back” the research

Between July and August I have been back in Rio de Janeiro, this time to return / give back my research to the people and groups that I worked with. I gave several presentation of my research behind closed doors: these events lasted hours, first my presentation, second questions and debate. It has not been easy: the people making questions were the protagonists of my research! At the end everything was good and I received positive comments.

I went back home with the more important support of the final findings and elaborations of my research, the one of the participants of my research.


While I was there, I witnessed the catastrophic effects of the Olympics Games, organized and carried out only thanks to the state of emergency declared by the State of Rio de Janeiro. At the same time I also participated in some demonstration and saw that the spirit of revolt of June 2013 is still alive in a new generation.

IMG_5678Teachers’ demonstration in front of the Maracan stadium, the banner says: “Occupy and Resist”


Teachers’ demonstration in the Cinelandia square, the banner says: “There is money for the Olympics, but there is none for the education”

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A Critical Perspective on Social Ecology and Urban Crises: Learning about, with and from Urban Social Movements in Rio de Janeiro

At this LINK the final (and definitive version) of my PhD. Now is done, finally end of the line.

Let me know if there are any problem to download it.

Looking forward for comments and critiques.

Here the abstract:

We are currently facing incredible challenges due to environmental and social crises on a global scale and cities are at the forefront of these challenges. Within this context, this thesis analyses the role of urban social movements in addressing these crises in the urban environment, learning about, with and from their practices. It does so by critically engaging with social ecology, a theory continuously developed by Murray Bookchin from the 1960s onward, which, while critiquing current social and ecological crises, provides a vision and theory of action needed to achieve a free and ecological society.Specifically, the thesis, using participatory research approaches, focuses on the role of urban social movements in addressing the urban crises which acutely affect Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where intense social mobilizations emerged in 2013-2014. It examines the complex understanding of urban crises by urban social movements, and their tactics and organizational strategies, tracing points of contact between urban social movement practices and the social ecology perspective. The thesis bridges these two, highlighting how urban social movements practices and the social ecology theory can benefit from each other, in order to build relevant and decolonized knowledge for social change.

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Finishing the thesis…

At the end of January I have to submit my PhD thesis and it is (almost) ready.

If you want to have a look to it before I submit and comment, please send me an email!


Later this year I am planning to rewrite parts of the thesis in a different format, accessible and useful for social movements. Keep in touch!

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“The Power to Destroy, the Power to Create”

“The Power to Destroy, the Power to Create”, manifesto of the Ecology Action East group written by Murray Bookchin back in 1969 can be found HERE

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Bologna events

In mid January I was invited in Bologna to participate in some events (HERE the flyer) linked with the international campaign in solidarity of the political prisoners in Rio de Janeiro (for more information about the campaign HERE).

I spoke about Social Ecology at the University (my presentation HERE) and about the recent struggle in Brazil in the self-managed space XM24 (I do not upload the presentation here because is too heavy, if you want to have a copy just write me).

Thanks to the collective Exarchia and all the people that helped in the organization!


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The Importance of Social Ecology

While working on the thesis, I was thinking why Social Ecology is so important for me…
This is what I have produced:

Permeated by dialectical naturalism, social ecology presents two important projects. On the one hand, it challenges the current capitalistic system and all forms of oppression including racism, etno-centrism, and patriarchy. On the other hand, social ecology offers a reconstructive and revolutionary vision for an ecological post-scarcity society. Social ecology considers current societal struggles that surface in both urban and rural contexts, while also addressing central questions of nature, science, and technology that arise in these contexts. What is more, social ecology suggests how to construct a new society, promoting pre-figurative political organizing strategies that include affinity groups, the formation of directly-democratic social movements, as well as educational and political projects that include communalism or libertarian municipalism. Moreover, social ecology provides an ethics of complementarity that lay at the foundation of struggles to promote sex/gender liberation, horizontalism, egalitarianism, mutual aid, self-determination, and decentralization. This is the power of social ecology: it offers a coherent theory that, while critiquing current social and ecological crises, provides a reconstructive vision as well as the tools to achieve a free and ecological society.

Thanks to Chaia, Brian, Eleanor and Ersilia for the useful comments and revisions

Also published HERE

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New article from the journal A Nova Democracia by Patrick Granja from Rio de Janeiro about police repression. I repost it here, translated in English.


The comrade Monica Lima did an exemplary job teaching and politicized prisoners in Bangu and everything points that she was dismissed for political reasons. The role of Monica during the Pubblic Education strike in Rio de Janeiro and in the struggle of the Aldeia Maracana are the reasons for this persecution. Share!



(c) Jornal A Nova Democracia

Until few days ago, Monica Brandã , biology teacher, from the indigenous tribe Manauara, of the Arawak trunk, taught to inmates in the prison pavilions Gericinó in Bangu, northern Rio. The program is one of the activities promoted by DIESP – Special Board of Detention and Socioeducational Schools. Monica is known for her struggle in defense of Aldeia Maracanã and was the victim of police violence numerous times, including two occasions when native people were cowardly evicted from the building of the former Native People Museum. In addition, Monica is a constant presence in the protests that have shaken the city since June 2013 and, as an educator, supports firmly the movement in defense of education, which is already preparing another strike.
In September, the SEAP filed an administrative proceeding against her, requesting his removal from DIESP, who quickly accepted the decision and dismissed Monica. Since then, Monica tries to obtain a copy of the process to understand the reason of the sentence, condemned even before demonstrating the legality of the procedure. However, all requests were denied because according to SEAP and DIESP the process is “confidential”.
– They claim that the process is confidential and deny me the copy. This is a political persecution, is bullying, is illegal! But I will not surrender to the justice and what I do, the fruit of my work and actions, will speak higher for themselves. We have to do not fear any trial, it is an honour, it is the best assessment of my role as an educator and fulfilment of my mission in forging the just changes in this society. Indeed, we may not be on the same side and we will see who will come out worn! The streets are already talking. Do they want to put everyone in jail and urban prisons? – Asks Monica.
Contacted by email to explain the removal of the educator, the Department of Corrections and the state Department of Education said that Monica “endangered, with acts and procedures, the security of the Prison Unit”, but they do not specifically say how.
In addition to teaching Political Biology and Politics of Knowledge in the Gericinó Penitentiary in Bangu (Regional VIII of state schools), Monica is also a teacher of GEPUM (Popular Group of Education of the State University of Rio de Janeiro / Community Metrô Mangueira), teaches at the Intercultural Indigenous University Aldeia Maracanã and is a researcher at the Pedro Ernesto University Hospital (FCM-HUPE-UERJ).


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Scarcity, post-scarcity and local community: L’Aquila as a case study

I am very pleased to inform that the paper Scarcity, post-scarcity and local community: L’Aquila as a case study that I co-authored with Ersilia Verlinghieri has been published on Planum the Journal of Urbanism in a special issue in collaboration with SCIBE with the title WITHIN THE LIMITS OF SCARCITY: RETHINKING SPACE, CITY AND PRACTICES.

You can find all the special issue HERE and our paper HERE (free download).

In our paper, starting from a social ecology perspective, we analyze the effect of the shock economy on the city of L’Aquila produced by the management of the 2009 earthquake. Furthermore, we  present two grassroots initiatives as direct democracy examples and reconstructive model, the Assemblea Cittadina (Popular Assembly) and the Comitato per la Rinascita di Pescomaggiore (Committee for the Rebirth of Pescomaggiore).

We really want to say thank you to all the people that were involved in this one and half year process!

Looking forward to receive some comments and feedback!


Venturini, F. and Verlinghieri, E. 2014. Scarcity, post-scarcity and local community: L’Aquila as a case study. Planum. [Online]. II(29),  pp. 51-69. [2.10.2014]. Available from:


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Ecological Challenges conference, Oslo 2014

On the 27 of September I gave a presentation at the Ecological Challenges conference in Oslo.

Title of my paper was Social Ecology Analysis of Urban Struggles and Urban Social Movements. The paper is available HERE, the slide of the presentation HERE.

Following the audio of my presentation:


All the conference was terrific (and the weather was lovely!): excellent key speakers and presenters, the organization was impeccable. Looking forward to come back for the next edition!


A wellcoming graffiti saying “Ha en fortsatt stralende dag” – “Have a wonderful day!” (playing with the world wonderful that means also radioactive)


The University of Oslo that hosted the conference


An auditorium during the conference


The new and contested ‘Barcode Project’


Another ‘new’ waterfront development area, with at left the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, a Renzo Piano project

I find so many similarities between this waterfront developments and similar projects in Leeds, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro and Barcelona: similar development sites (‘underdeveloped’ areas or former industrial areas), similar buildings (with the Norwegian building are technically much better than all the others), often filled with museum or theaters, always with a certain degree of displacements, gentrification and environmental problems, all forms of the neo liberal plan for cities.

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RGS – IBG Annual International Conference 2014, London

As part of the Grupo Popular Pesquisa em Ação  – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on the 29 og August 2014 I co-gave a presentation at the Royal Geographical Society – IBG Annual International Conference 2014 in London that this year was dedicated to ‘Geographies of Co-Production’.  Title of the presentation was: “Towards a production of knowledge from the movements for the movements: the experience of ‘Grupo Popular Pesquisa em Ação’ in Rio de Janeiro”. More information HERE.


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