How to live in a violent and racist neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro?


”Now it’s chic”, that’s what I always hear when I flag my new zip code. In reality, not so new, not so old, just different. And no, it’s not funk, because it can only be done here until 10pm on weekdays. If a 150 bpm drum is released on the streets surrounded by greenery and prison bars after this time, the Police drops it in a snap. The order here is made to exist. And it happens, that’s what they say.

Being who I am and living in São Conrado, for some time, became my childhood dream. But, for people like me, dreams grow old or almost never come true. Well, I turned around and here I am, holding the trophy of re-existence right in the enemy’s grave. Crazy? What nothing! I wanted to make amends by residing where, for years, I accumulated and saw, through my retinas, so many being observed with rolled eyes and from top to bottom, with their prejudices pointed towards Rocinha Occidental.

Did you read this? The mother, the boy and the demonstration in a neighborhood of racist acts

Today, on the Eastern side of the game and the map, I didactically analyze, with each step I take when leaving home, the reasons that make this neighborhood, even in 2024, widely ostentatious and dictate, with its “don’ts”, what will happen in this part of the resort. And more than that: who sets the rules.

The Rocinha favela and the buildings of São Conrado: what it’s like to live in a racist neighborhood (Photo: Luís Souza / AFP)

Wherever I go – and if I go – there are all rules aimed at the non-existence of people like me and also the place where I came from, where I now live the experience of being a neighbor. Great subject of analysis; sqn .

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From the beach, a side only for residents of Rocinha. From the mall, the only place in the city and state where the largest fast-food chain in the world is facing stairs, close to the entrance, precisely for certain individuals residents of Rocinha Do not step inside the complex of establishments, as they are full of flies. In addition, of course, to the unequal assistance in terms of services for those who do not pay high IPTU – as if living in what was classified as a ”subnormal agglomeration” and now becomes a favela again at IBGE was a choice.

What scares the most is the treatment. Last year, almost at the same time, an iFood delivery person was chased away with a dog collar by a ”neighbor”. The case made headlines around the world, due to the inhumane way in which methods from the time of slavery were repeated – which has not ended. This Carnival, Max Ângelo dos Santos, 38 years old, will be one of the men to give life to João Cândido, the Black Admiral, in Sapucaí; he will be applauded by more than 72 thousand people as they pay homage to the soul and work of the activist who demanded better working conditions for sailors and their rights. Little is known about the criminal neighbor.

But the case is not over: not long ago, in a new building, a new neighbor, committed atrocities with yet another delivery man. The reason? Not having gone up to the apartment with the order, which made her equip herself with a cleaver to force him to exercise.

Between reasons and emotions, continuing to live here makes me have to think about the need for a survival guide in a completely racist neighborhood, without knowing for sure if it will be of any use. It’s like going back to the USA in the 1960s, where black and poor people were only given the space at the back of buses. Or even Brazil 2024, which day after day makes the same people daily victims of society.

The article is in Portuguese

Tags: live violent racist neighborhood Rio Janeiro



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