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Visual regime and periphery's representation in Favela Naval's image-event (1997)

Grant number: 17/02489-8
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2017
Effective date (End): January 10, 2018
Field of knowledge:Humanities - History - History of Brazil
Principal Investigator:Marcos Francisco Napolitano de Eugenio
Grantee:Felipe da Silva Polydoro
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


In March 31, 1997, Jornal Nacional (Globo Network) aired a series of newsreports denouncing police brutality against the population of Favela Naval, in the city of Diadema (São Paulo). The main source of the reports was an amateur footage shot by an independent cameraman with the help of the local population. The images of police brutality caused great repercussion, a scandal with political and institutional consequences including the regulation of the crime of torture by the House of Representatives, the elaboration of a constitutional amendment regarding the demilitarization of Brazilian police and hearings at São Paulo's Legislative Assembly. The following research project wishes to investigate the Favela Naval incidents emphasizing the close relationship between visuality and social impact. Our hypothesis is that the reason of the enormous repercussion it obtained was the manner it became visible in the public sphere. The amateur traits of the footage intensified its realism, its evidentiary value and created a new place of enunciation for the socially excluded. The distribution of these images also delimitated a new form of public intervention in major media networks and created space for renewed modes of political action and discoursive dispute. The analysis of this cultural phenomenon will include the examination of the ruptures and continuities between the Favela Naval events and the representation of Brazilian peripheries that emerged in media coverage in the 1990s. These continuities also express the violent logic of public security policies and police authority established during the Brazilian military dictatorship (1964-1985).

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