This talk is about the various social and legal strategies adopted by different actors in the context of urban restructuring in the Port zone of Rio de Janeiro, with focus on the particular case of landmarking Pedra do Sal, an Afro Brazilian historical and religious monument located in this zone. By narrating the different strategies used in this complex set of conflicts around social recognition, demarcation of a place of memory and heritage making, I will try to situate these in the socio-political processes accompanying the ongoing urban reforms, Porto Maravilha (Operação Urbana em Consórcio, municipal law 102/2009), launched in 2009 with the aim to promote local restructuring, by extending, forming and re-qualifying the region (Concessionaria Porto Novo).
I will discern such strategies through the claims of inhabitants who have faced the consequences of historical injustice as well as the current urban reforms. Through their voices, and based on a series of interviews conducted with several stakeholders, from local shopkeepers and activists to members of drug dealers’ movements, I will show in which ways informal power games, social pressure and intimidations permeate the harbor district as it undergoes profound structural changes, and operate decision making processes, influence speculation and promote economic benefits through producing and marketing heritage.
Nicolas Bautès is working in the field of urban studies, social and political geography. His main domains of interest are: the local fabric of urban politics, conflicts, illegalisms and informal politics, social movements and activism; the politics and contestations of heritage.
On leave from his permanent position of senior lecturer at the University of Caen-Normandy (France), he is currently Research Fellow at the Department of Social Sciences of the French Institute of Pondicherry (UMIFRE 021 CNRS), where he recently started a research project on the “political economy of cultural production in South India”, starting to focus on the “forgotten creative industries” and the politics of heritage in Pondicherry and surroundings in the context of the recently launched Smart City scheme.
This workshop is free and there is no registration required. Find all the available videos of our previous workshops, here.