Lancaster University: A taste of Brazil in Lancaster University Management School exhibition

The sights and experiences of one of Brazil’s liveliest neighbourhoods are brought to life in a new photographic exhibition in Lancaster University Management School.

Marketing Lecturer Dr Josiane Fernandes captured the bright colours and bustle of daily life on the streets of Rio de Janeiro’s biggest favela, Rocinha. Her pictures are displayed in the Business as Unusual exhibition in the LUMS West Pavilion.

They depict daily life for the tens of thousands of people packed into less than one square mile of land. Here, people live and work in a district where army troops can be seen patrolling following an escalation of violence between rival gangs, and electrical cables hang between buildings, delivering not-always-legal power.

Dr Fernandes’s research looks at entrepreneurship in extreme conditions, and how small businesses overcome barriers and find motivation to shape the world around them.

She said: “In Rocinha, micro-entrepreneurs engage in economic activity amidst stigmatisation, violence, and poverty. And yet, there are businesses who are keeping a market for tourism alive. They bring visitors to an area outsiders might normally avoid through fear and trepidation, and use social media and digital technologies to remake and reshape the favela for visitors.

“Throughout my visits to the favela, I was able to capture a feel for life in the busy streets, where locals encounter one another and create a real sense of community, where commerce thrives in hidden spaces, and where tourists can absorb the atmosphere of a different side of Rio – far from life on the Copacabana.”

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