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Barcelona article

After many corrections, the article that I presented at the XIII Coloquio Internacional de Geocrítica in Barcelona (you can found HERE all the program), was published online, and it can be found HERE (in Italian), LE PROTESTE POPOLARI A RIO DE JANEIRO A PARTIRE DA GIUGNO 2013: UNO STUDIO PRELIMINARE.

Please send me any critique/comment/suggestion!

I want to stress one critical point (more than the grammatical errors) of my document: I stated there that there were no published works dedicated to the analysis of the social struggle in Rio de Janeiro. However, after more research, I now am happy to suggest two well written and important books (both in Portuguese, a translation in English is needed!) that are based on the events in Rio de Janeiro and, starting from a Marxist and Negri viewpoint, offer an invaluable tool to understand what happened.

1. A multidão foi ao deserto: as manifestações no Brasil em 2013, author Bruno Cava.

2. Amanhã vai ser maior: o levante da multidão no ano que não terminou, editor Bruno Cava and Giuseppe Cocco.

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A Failure…

Since the end of July I am back in Italy and I was not able to write a single post since the last time while in Brazil. This can be define as a complete failure: the initial plan was to report very often on the blog the various events during the FIFA World Cup. However, this did not occur and the reason is very simple: I had not time to sit down for a bit to concentrate and write a coherent post with some photos. Many things happened. I thought that my knowledge of the city and of the movement would make things easier and help me manage everything… that was unrealistic. Too many things has happened: I was deeply involved with the FIP which was at the forefront of the struggle against the FIFA World Cup and it was heavily repressed on the eve of the final by a huge state’s repression. Moreover, I was heavily involved with a project of the Grupo Popular Pesquisa em Ação, shootings of a video on the area of the Marakana stadium that, hopefully, will be ready for the beginning of September. Happily, I was able to do all the things that I planned before going to my last field trip in Brazil and to collect all the information that I needed (even there are never enough; behind every peace of information collected there is an unexplored world and impossible to explore due to time constraints world). Here I repeat my wish, I hope to be able to update now more often the blog, filling some of the gaps. Now I am back in Italy, recovering from the intense period in Brazil and at the end of the month I will go to a conference in London, to co-present a work “Towards a production of knowledge from the movements for the movements: the experience of ‘Grupo Popular Pesquisa em Ação’ in Rio de Janeiro”. Now, the most important (and stressful) activity of a PhD is waiting me: writing and finalizing the thesis as soon as possible!

You can find HERE a small article that I wrote one month ago for my department, with the title Why is the country of football screaming “FIFA Go Home”?

Usually at the end of a trip or after an important journey there is a part that acknowledge all the people/groups met and during my PhD I had several incredible encounters. However, I think that now is not the right time to do this and will say only one things to all the comrades that, despite a heavy state repression, are still fighting for a better world in Rio de Janeiro: “Estamos juntos!”.

 IMG_0363June traditional festival – FIFA GO HOME, 2º Festival of FIP-RJ 20.06.2014 (more info HERE)

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just few hours more and…

Just few hours more and the Fifa World Cup 2014 will officially start.

It will begin for politicians, for tourists (the gringos), for the rich, for the bureaucrats of FIFA.
For poor people, the vast majority of the population, there will be no World Cup.
Hundreds of marches, protests and strikes, combined with the evidence inability of the state to improve the living conditions and stop the violence (especially from the police) have determined that this will not be the Cup of the people.
And this is already a result of the mobilizations of the past year.

What will happen during the cup?
All the international media are waiting for the news that will pierce the first page …
All politicians flaunt certainties but are holding their breath, hoping that nothing can ruin their dream of grandeur …
All the FIFA bureaucrats hope that nothing can spoil the show around the stadiums, modern temples for the God of money …

On the other hand, there are activists and people, committed for years against a mega-event marked by waste and corruption in a country that clearly need urgently to schools and hospitals.

What will happen nobody knows.
What is certain is that there are all prerequisites (mobilizations that continue from last year, daily marches, ongoing strikes, repression …) for a month to be interesting and intense.

All the world is watching.

 

Interesting and well written article with many information HERE

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back in Brazil!

On the 19 of May I came back in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I will stay here till end of July, with the aim to answer some of the questions that come out from the preliminary analyzes that I did on my material and to see what will happen during the FIFA World Cup 2014.

I arrived only few day ago but I found myself again back in a city where demonstrations, assemblies or mobilizations are the normality …For example the bus drivers and the teachers are (again!) on strikes and maybe other categories will follow.

The Cup will start on the 12 of June, we will see what happen!

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From Barcelona

As I announced, I attended the XIII Coloquio Internacional de Geocrítica “EL CONTROL DEL ESPACIO Y LOS ESPACIOS DE CONTROL” (HERE the program) in Barcelona. HERE you can find my presentation. After few corrections, I will post the article in this post.

I was also able to give a talk at the Ateneu Llibertari del Casc Antic (thank you to everyone to help to organize!). I presented my experiences in Rio de Janeiro, using my presentation, photos and short video. We also screened the documentary Com Vandalismo (Nigéria Audiovisual production)(in Portuguese and Spanish subtitles).

brasil_mov sociales_2(1)

This was the flyer of the event.

More photos coming!

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Second Meeting of TRISE April 2014

In April I took part in the second meeting of the Transnational Institute of Social Ecology in Marathon, Greece.

HERE more information with the program.

I gave two presentation:

1. Methodology in research: looking at social movements

2. My ‘classical’ presentation on my preliminary results from Rio de Janeiro (the same presentation that I did few months ago in Leeds)

I hope to add soon to this post some photos from the trip in Greece!

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New article!

My partner and I have just written an article (in Italian) on the event of last period in Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, with the title “Guida semiseria ai prossimi mondiali di calcio” (Semi-serious guide to the next FIFA World Cup) and was publishd on a eletronic italian newspaper, NewsTown – Le notizie dalla città che cambia.

 You can find our article HERE.

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Recovering Bookchin [Leeds School of Geography Seminars]

Yesterday in athe School of Geography I helped to organize the seminar Recovering Bookchin with Andy Price as part of the Leeds School of Geography Seminars. Murray Bookchin is a key author in Social Ecology which is an important political reference and framework for my research/activism.

Flyer of the event: Recovering Bookchin flyer

Through an extensive body of political and philosophical ideas he called social ecology, Murray Bookchin (1921-2006) elucidated one of the first intellectual responses to the ecological crisis. However, over the last two decades of his life Bookchin’s ideas slipped from focus, obscured by the emergence of a crude caricature that portrayed him as a dogmatic sectarian who intended to dominate the radical left for his own personal motivations. In Recovering Bookchin, Andy Price revisits the Bookchin caricature and critically discounts it as the product of a largely misguided literature that focused on Bookchin the individual and not his ideas. By looking afresh at Bookchin’s work, Price argues that his contribution can be seen to provide a coherent practical and theoretical response to the ecological and social crises of our time.

Dr Price is Principal Lecturer in Politics at The Department of Psychology, Sociology and Politics, Sheffield Hallam University. His research focus is on political theory of currently emerging social movements. Please find Price’s staff profile HERE.

Thank you to Andy for the vivid talk (and all the suggestions for my research!) and to all the people that have participated.

For all who could not attend and are interested, I post here the audio of Andi’s presentation.

 

IMG_3470

Andy Price

 

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An attentive audience

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Leeds’ presentation

Thank you to everyone who turn up at the event of yesterday at the School of Geography.Pablo’s and my presentations were well received and we had a vibrant debate afterwards.

To all who could not attend, no worries, HERE the presentation (if you have any problem, please write me) and soon the audio recording, a report and photos from the Contested Cities network!

 

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Difficulties, useful links and developments

Monday morning, in the office; it seems a good (and true) cliche to start with a post.

I arrived slightly more that 3 weeks ago and I started directly to work hard at the University: a bit of teaching, many useful but secondary things, a lot (but never enough) on my research. About my research I am working on two different things: the presentation that I will do this Wednesday and a document that I should send to my supervisors. Both are  a general introduction on what happen in Rio de Janeiro while I was there but they are also slightly different: the first is more general, the second is more focused on my two case studies. Now that I am writing at first I was a bit scared that I did not know what to write but now I have too much to say that I do not know where to start! (And sometimes all the side things that you have to do for you PhD are very disruptive). Never mind: I started, not sure of the quality of the works but I will improve and, fundamental, I have to start from somewhere.

In these days, while trying to find official data, I found these useful links (they are more accessible from the portal, I listed here only the ones that I found more important) from the Rio de Janeiro’s city web site that have a very big and different set of information to offer with free access:

http://portalgeo.rio.rj.gov.br/ portal of entry

http://portalgeo.rio.rj.gov.br/serie_rfoco/municipio/index.HTM data aggregated of city (2001)

http://portalgeo.rio.rj.gov.br/mapa_digital_rio/?config=config/ipp/cadlog.xml interactive map of the city

http://portalgeo.rio.rj.gov.br/bairroscariocas/index_cidade.htm general data on the city

http://portalgeo.rio.rj.gov.br/amdpgint.asp?gtema=5 research data about city/neighborhood in excel document

http://portalgeo.rio.rj.gov.br/sabren/index.html information on informal settlements (favelas / loteamentos)

http://portalgeo.rio.rj.gov.br/amdados800.asp?gtema=15 Aeral maps of the city (1999)

 

Many people are asking me if I get used to be in Leeds and if I wanted to go back. To be sincere, right now I want to stay here in Leeds: I want to work, finish my PhD, the city is calm (even too much…), I have everything that I want for this period of my life (the Leeds Kirkgate Market, the gym, an amazing campus, etc), for the future we will see. However, still a bit of myself is in Rio de Janeiro: I experienced so many things there that it is difficult to cut off. And, most importantly, I have to write something every day: it is always in my mind, I cannot erase or forget.
Recently I found my times myself crying for the news that are coming: a new increase of the ticket price of the bus took place and new demonstrations started. One cameraman died accidentally by a firecracker left by protesters (two people were arrested)  and a street vendor escaping by the police charge was hit and killed by a bus (no actions were taken)(the body of Amarildo is still missing). The count of dead is now at 11 people died linked to demonstration, more all the people that die everyday in favelas. However, the embedded media  started a criminalization campaign of social movements, beginning to dig into the personal lives of activists, inventing evidence and fantasizing that the protesters are paid (even I ask my money!, new viral campaign). This is perfect storm the system wanted to crack the movement before the Cup, we will see what will happen. For now, some communicates against the criminalization have been published, from the FIP HERE, HERE another signed by various groups, HERE from the Forum de Lutas, HERE from OATL. My thoughts go out to all the activists who are still in Rio de Janeiro to fight for a different and better world.

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