Maré from the Inside:
Race, Gender and Utopia in Rio de Janeiro’s Favelas
Minto House, 20-22 Chambers Street, EH11 1JZ (map here)
Right across the street from the main entrance to the National Museum of Scotland!
Guided tours or additional opening hours are available upon request – contact Dr Nicholas Barnes
Maré from the Inside is an interactive visual and textual exhibit developed through the collaboration among artists, activists, and academics. It centres and displays the intellectual and artistic production of the mostly Black and Indigenous residents of Complexo da Maré, a group of 16 contiguous favelas in Rio de Janeiro’s Northern Zone. The elements that comprise the exhibit present Maré in all its vibrancy, diversity, and contradictions. They do so in spite of the tenacious pejorative frames about favelas that circulate in mass media, public discourse, as well as research. In so doing, the project leverages art’s pedagogical potential with the hope to contribute to a more nuanced public understanding of favelas. The favela, after all, is both a product of the structural forces of slavery, colonialism, and capitalism that have shaped Brazilian society, as well as a geography of resistance in which Black, Indigenous, and other marginalised people have refused to be overdetermined by these interlocking systems of oppression. From this perspective, favelas are also an ongoing project, a desire for utopia, and a dream. They are future-oriented territories rooted in Black and Indigenous ancestry and historical resistance.
Our Guiding Questions
From the inside, how do we produce a memory of a place and people marked by so many erasures? How can this memory help us imagine a different future, a utopia, for this/our place and for these/our people?
From the outside, how do we encounter unfamiliar people and places in ethical ways? In this encounter, how do we navigate the ever-present risk of voyeurism and exoticisation? How do we relate across our differences?
These questions have guided the exhibit’s artists and curators, who are from inside and outside of Complexo da Maré. The installation is centred around the interplay between inside/outside, subject/object, relationality/difference, and knower/known.
Visit the Maré from the Inside project website to find out more: https://exhibits.lib.vt.edu/mare-from-the-inside/
Explore Collaborator Profiles here