Rio de Janeiro workshop

From April 10th to April 16th 2015 our Research Team met for the first of three site-specific workshops.

The three principal investigators and three researchers from the London School of Economics, The University of Amsterdam and the Ludwig Maximillian’s University of Munich were joined by three guests. Veronica Matilde Hernandeh Hernande,  a street vendor from Tepito’s famous market in Mexico City, Trevor Spence, Chairman of the Boy’s Town Association and Sophia Dowes, tour guide at the Culture Yard in Trench Town  in Kingston Jamaica.

During the workshop, we were able to map and experience a little of the favela tourism landscape in Rio de Janeiro where Alessandro Angelini, post-doctoral researcher for the London School of Economics, is currently carrying out his fieldwork. Our busy schedule included visits and tours of the communities of Vidigal, Babilônia, Santa Marta, Rocinha, Alemão and Providencia. During our stay, we met with a wide range of local stakeholders including tour guides from both commercial operators and community based organisations, artists such as Mauricio Hora, a photographer and author of Picture a Favela (2012), and community activists. Opportunities were also provided to exchange with local academics such as Bianca Freire-Medeiros who has carried out extensive work on favela tourism. Meetings with government officials included a presentation and Q&A with Antonio Roberto Cesario de Sá, Sub secretary of Operational Integration and Planning at the State Security Department, and Philipe Campello, Deputy Secretary of Tourism. Both meetings brought to the fore the entanglements between violence, security and tourism, providing insight into the specific Brazilian context as well as an opportunity to compare these realities with the other research sites. Furthermore, we experienced first-hand the developing hospitality cultures of Vidigal, and how this participates in the complex relationship between pacification, favela tourism and gentrification.

Overall, this activity based workshop fostered opportunities to stimulate discussions and exchanges between participants, enabling us to highlight similarities and differences between community tourism in Rio, Kingston and Mexico City. This comparative approach shed light on the themes and common questions that underscore all three research sites. It allowed the researchers to confront and recalibrate their topics list, as well as bring together actors who are rarely connected – creating connections between Trench Town, Tepito and Rio de Janeiro.

We look forward to the next workshop to be held in Mexico in September 2015!

Latin American Studies Association 2015 Congress

LASA – Conference Panel:

LASA’s mission is to foster intellectual discussion, research, and teaching on Latin America, the Caribbean, and its people throughout the Americas; to promote the interests of its diverse membership; and to encourage civic engagement through network building and public debate.

During the 2015 LASA Congress, our research team will present a Panel entitled: “Slums on Show: Poverty and Violence as Spectacular Commodity” into the Track: Mass Media and Popular Culture for This event will take place May 27 –30 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Stakeholder Meeting in Rio de Janeiro

Rio Stakeholder meeting

Stakeholder meetings will be held in the four field sites to disseminate research results through research presentations and active discussions with, and input from, participants. These workshops will include all researchers/PIs, and bring together stakeholders from tourism and urban development agencies, commercial tour companies and community-based organizations. In addition, this project will be able to make a significant societal impact through its relevance to non-academic stakeholders, and its activities aimed at including them.


The workshops will create a space for cooperation between different stakeholders (slum residents, policymakers, academics) from all four countries, bringing together actors who are rarely connected.

The first of these stakeholder meetings will be held in Rio from the 10th to the 16th of April 2015.

Rivke Jaffe Selected for the Young Academy

Rivke Jaffe selected for the Young Academy

The Young Academy selects ten new talented researchers annually for a period of 5 years. The academy is a dynamic and innovative group of top young scientists and scholars with outspoken views about science and scholarship and related policies.

The Young Academy organises activities for various target groups focusing on interdisciplinarity, science policy, and the interface between science and society. Its members represent a broad spectrum of scientific and scholarly disciplines and work at Dutch universities and a wide range of research institutes.

The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences decided to set up the Young Academy in 2005. The Young Academy operates independently within the Royal Academy. It has its own working plan, organises its own events and is responsible for its own viewpoints.

The official induction of the new members will take place 26 March 2015 at the Trippenhuis of KNAW.