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Favela in replica: iterations and itineraries of a miniature city

Angelini, Alessandro (2016) Favela in replica: iterations and itineraries of a miniature city. Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology, 21 (1). pp. 39-60. ISSN 1935-4932

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Identification Number: 10.1111/jlca.12174


In an ethnographic investigation of how repetition produces difference as well as sameness, this article presents a role-playing game cum cultural project, known as Morrinho, created and maintained by a youth collective in a Rio favela. Focusing on the replica models they have built at international art exhibitions, the article describes encounters among artists, curators, and collaborators in Rio, Venice, and London. Morrinho's valorization as artwork inflects anthropological debates on iteration and mimesis, as well as the aesthetic and political history of the Brazilian urban periphery. While the artistic travels of Project Morrinho reflect the favela's shifting place in an urban world, conversations around the model reveal anxieties over how it is taken to represent everyday life. Morrinho youth playfully call into question who or what constitutes creativity and authorship, defying their acquired identity as artists. They reshuffle the symbolic order of the city, bringing markers of marginality to its cultural center.[Afro-Brazilian, art, Brazil, urban, youth]

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2016 by the American Anthropological Association
Divisions: Geography & Environment
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
N Fine Arts > NB Sculpture
Date Deposited: 03 May 2016 11:16
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2021 02:10
Funders: Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research

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