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Urban cracks

Segregation and Counterculture in Brazil



The cities of Brazil are today among the most violent and unequal in the world. In this debate, a group of prestigious Brazilian intellectuals will analyse the present situation of their cities which are trapped in a process of cracking that has brought them close to the abyss while also sometimes allowing extraordinary spaces of freedom to emerge. The lectures will be accompanied by a series of documentaries, outstanding among which will be the Spanish premiere of the controversial Falcão - Meninos do Tráfico, one of the most vehement and open denunciations of urban violence in Brazil.


The neoliberal policies of the 1980s and growing criminality have led to a progressive degradation of public spaces, as a result of which the upper classes have moved into fortified enclaves while the most underprivileged groups have been pushed into a marginal existence on the cities' peripheries. Security has now become one of the main concerns of the inhabitants of Brazil. Marked by serious racial, economic and social tensions, the great Brazilian metropolises have succumbed to multiple forms of segregation that undermine their integrating capacity and feed fear and insecurity, thus fomenting confrontation between evermore distanced spaces. Yet, paradoxically, the Brazilian city is also the emblem of multiracial cohabitation, festivals, and cultural creation. The urban fringe appears as an inexhaustible fount of creativity: hip-hop, graffiti, and self-constructed houses are some of the ways in which the inhabitants of the peripheral zones assert their belonging in the city as they continually reinvent the spaces in which they live.

Saturday, 15 July


7 p.m.
Notícias de uma Guerra Particular, Kátia Lund and José Moreira Sales, 1999, 56 min. Original Version. This documentary brings together numerous interviews with inhabitants of a number of favelas in Rio de Janeiro, people who are caught in the crossfire between drug traffickers and police. Urban violence is shown here in all its crudeness as a kind of war without end and without any possible victors.

8 p.m. Palace II, Kátia Lund and Fernando Meirelles, 2001, 21 min. Original Version. Two children who live in the Cidade de Deus, one of the most violent favelas in all Brazil want money to go to a concert. The only option they have is the most dangerous one: getting it through drug trafficking.


8.30 p.m. Falcão - Meninos do Tráfico, MV Bill and Celso Athayde, 2006, 58 min. Original Version. This is the first screening in Spain of the documentary that has most powerfully captured the marginality, violence and harsh conditions of Brazil's favelas. The director and rap singer MV Bill went to the favelas of more than twenty Brazilian cities, gathering the experiences of children and adolescents who keep guard at drug trafficking points. The research, which began in 1997, made it possible to record the daily lives of children who are caught up in drug trafficking. The aim was not to condemn but to understand them. Of all the children appearing in the documentary, only one is alive today.

Monday, 17 July

7.30 p.m. DEBATE
: "Narratives of Inequality"

Presenter: Josep Ramoneda, director of the CCCB.

Speakers: Teresa Caldeira, Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Irvine "The City of Walls: Spaces of Isolation and Revolt".
James Holston, Associate professor of Anthropology at the University of California, SanDiego "The Necessity of Aesthetics and Incivility: Two Dimensions of Democratisation in São Paulo".


10 p.m. Pedreira de São Diogo, Leon Hirzsman, 1962, 18 min. Original Version. A favela located over a quarry runs the risk of collapse if the workers continue dynamiting to open up the quarry. Disobeying the orders of their boss, the quarrymen incite the inhabitants of the favela to mobilise to avoid the disaster.

10.30 p.m. Couro de Gato, Joaquim Pedro de Andrade, 1960, 12 min. Original Version. Some days before Carnival, children from a favela trap cats in the street to sell them to tambourine makers. A synthesis of fiction and documentary material, the film describes the love of a boy for an angora cat and the quandary he faces when it comes to selling it.

10.45 p.m. Invasor, Beto Brand, 2001, 97 min. Original Version. Three childhood friends are partners in a prosperous construction company. A simple misunderstanding generates insurmountable conflict within the company and two of the friends decide to kill the other one. The hit-man they take on to do the job ends up invading the lives of the two partners, making them confront the violence they have unleashed.

Tuesday, 18 July

7.30 p.m. DEBATE: "Periphery as a Laboratory of Creativity".

Moderator: Nora Catelli, Critic and Professor of Literary Theory at the University of Barcelona.

Speakers: Gringo Cardia, Set designer and exhibition director"Aesthetics of the Periphery". Esther Hamburger, Anthropologist and Professor of Cinema, Radio and Television at the University of São Paulo "The Favela, on the Screen".
Beatriz Jaguaribe, writer and Professor of Comparative Communications at the School of Communications at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro "Media Visibility and Social Inclusion".


Presentation: MV Bill, rap singer, author of the documentary Falcão-Meninos do Tráfico.

10:30 p.m. Falcão - Meninos do Tráfico, MV Bill and Celso Athayde, 2006, 58 min. Original Version.

Friday 21 July

9 p.m. Notícias de uma Guerra Particular, José Moreira Sales and Kátia Lund, 1999, 56 min. Original Version.

10 p.m. Palace II, Kátia Lund and Fernando Meirelles, 2001, 21 min.. Original Version
10.30 p.m. Falcão - Meninos do Tráfico, MV Bill and Celso Athayde, 2006, 58 min.. Original Version

Saturday 22 July

10 p.m.
Pedreira de São Diogo, Leon Hirszman, 1962, 18 min.. Original Version.

10.30 p.m. Couro de Gato, Joaquim Pedro de Andrade, 1962, 12 min.. Original Version.

10.45 p.m. Invasor, Beto Brand, 2001, 97 min.. Original Version.

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