Uncovering the reality of violence against women in Brazil
The ESRC-funded project Healthy, Secure and Gender-Just Cities: Transnational Perspectives on Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) in Rio de Janeiro and London, an international collaboration between Queen Mary, King’s College London, People’s Palace projects, the Latin American Women’s Rights Service, Redes da Maré, the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and Casa Latin American Theatre Festival, has focused on the brutal reality of gender-based violence among Brazilians in London and in the favela complex of Maré in Rio de janeiro, Brazil. ‘An estimated 15 women are killed by men every day in Brazil’, according to Professor Cathy McIlwaine, the director of the project, ‘with up to two women being killed every week by a current or former partner in the UK.’
The research team conducted extensive fieldwork during 2017, undertaking hundreds of interviews with residents of the favela of Redes da Maré in Complexo da Maré in Rio de Janeiro and with Brazilian migrant women in London. Now nearing completion, the project showcased its findings in March 2018 at the Women of the World exhibition at the Southbank Centre, with a special installation presenting the testimonies of women directly affected by violence. The piece, designed by Brazilian artist and theatre director Bia Lessa, attracted wide coverage and highlighted the experiences of Brazilian survivors of domestic violence to a large audience.
The project, has explored a range of innovative methods to communicate its findings, including an acclaimed theatrical production, Efêmera, that has already staged a number of performances in Brazil and the UK, with a forthcoming slot scheduled at the Brighton at the Brighton Fringe on 19 May. The team have also published reports of their findings: ‘We Can’t Fight in the Dark’: Violence Against Women and Girls among Brazilians in London (a shorter version is also available here) and Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) in Complexo da Maré, Rio de Janeiro (available also in Portuguese). They have also produced a short video summarizing their research, ‘Raising awareness of violence against women and girls (VAWG) in London’.
The tragic killing earlier this month of Marielle Franco, a black activist and councillor from Complexo da Maré who campaigned fearlessly against gender-based violence and police impunity, drew attention to the considerable barriers Brazilian women continue to face in accessing their rights and enjoying a safe, equitable existence in cities today – whether Rio de Janeiro or London.
For more information please visit the project website: https://transnationalperspectivesonvawg.wordpress.com/
‘We Can’t Fight in the Dark’: Violence Against Women and Girls among Brazilians in London (a shorter version is also available here)
Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) in Complexo da Maré, Rio de Janeiro (available also in Portuguese).
Efêmera (theatrical production)