IS IT GOING TO LAST?
I want it to. And to this end I’ll deliver information, independent and objective, bilingual and multimedia, about the momentous transformation that began in 2008 in Rio de Janeiro.
Is it just a mask? In 2017, should we expect the BMWs to revert to pumpkins and the politicians to turn back into myopic rats?
A BLOG WITH AN AXE TO GRIND
I want it to last. I want the changes to be deep and real. I can see that the way cariocas are thinking and talking about favelas and their residents reveals new tolerance, concern and solidarity.
The more we know about what’s going on, the more we can contribute to the process, whether we are cariocas born and bred, transplants like me, onlookers, investors, tourists, transients, or cynics.
I will give you links, original reporting, questions, ideas, images, sounds, reflections, answers and more questions. No bullshit. You won’t have to read between the lines. My only agenda is I WANT IT TO LAST.
This is Rio Real, a blog created in 2010 by Julia Michaels, an American writer, editor and journalist who has lived in Brazil for more than thirty years.
If you speak both languages, I suggest you read both texts. I’ll be providing more context in English and more detail in Portuguese.
We’re still pinching ourselves. Only five years ago you couldn’t walk in Ipanema and talk on a cell phone, for fear someone would snatch it off your ear. Now everyone has a cell phone, everyone walks and talks. You thought cariocas were a relaxed sort.
But only now are they finally starting to chill!
Construction is booming, favelas have an increased police presence (and more social services as well) rents and real estate are up, jobs and income are on the increase, education indicators are heartening, frozen yogurt is everywhere, health and sewage are getting serious attention for the first time possibly ever, the Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas is being cleaned, new restaurants and shops are opening, Brazilians are moving here from other cities, the beaches are policed, drunk driving is almost nonexistent, the Olympics are coming, the metro is expanding and best of all, key parts of the city are safer than since just about any carioca can remember. Politicians are buddies: President Lula da Silva, elected in 2002, and then President Dilma Rousseff, after 2011; Governor Sérgio Cabral, reelected in 2010 and mayor Eduardo Paes, reelected in 2012, are working in concert to turn around the decadence that set in back in 1960 when the capital moved to Brasília.
But will it last, will the politicians persist and businesses invest?
Please tell me what you want to know about. Meanwhile, I’ve got tons of questions…
Quero que dure. Para que dure, me lanço mar adentro pelas águas da mídia social para fazer oferenda à Iemanjá: informações, independentes e objetivas, bilíngues e multimídia, sobre a transformação histórica que começou há quatro anos no Rio de Janeiro.
É apenas uma máscara? Em 2017, os BMWs irão voltar a ser meras abóboras e os políticos, ratos míopes?
UM BLOG POSICIONADO
Quero que dure. Que as mudanças sejam profundas e reais. Constato que os cariocas pensam e falam das favelas e de seus moradores de maneira diferente do passado, que revela uma nova tolerância, consideração e solidariedade.
Quanto mais informações tivermos sobre o que acontece, mais poderemos contribuir, quer sejamos cariocas da gema, adotivos como eu, observadores, investidores, turistas, flaneurs ou cínicos.
Vou postar links, reportagens minhas, perguntas, ideias, imagens, sons, reflexões, respostas e mais perguntas. No bullshit. Nada de entrelinhas. Minha única agenda é QUERO QUE DURE.
Chegou Rio Real, um blog criado em 2010 por Julia Michaels, escritora, editora e jornalista americana que mora no Brasil há mais de trinta anos.
Se você fala tanto inglês como português, sugiro que leia os dois textos. O inglês terá mais contexto e o português, mais detalhe.
A gente ainda não acredita. Apenas cinco anos atrás, não se podia caminhar em Ipanema e falar no celular –apesar dos seguranças fortões da Richards e da Mr. Cat— pois um assalto era certeza.
Agora, todo mundo tem celular, todo mundo se dá ao luxo de perambular e fofocar. O carioca tem fama de ser relax, mas só agora a noia está começando a se dispersar.
Cresce o número de construções, temos as UPPs e a ocupação social das favelas, esquenta-se o mercado imobiliário, há mais empregos e a renda cresce, os dados educativos são animadores, as lojas de frozen yogurt se espalham, pela primeira vez a saúde e o saneamento básico recebem atenção pra valer, a Lagoa está ficando limpa, abrem-se lojas e restaurantes novos, brasileiros de outras cidades chegam para morar no Rio, nas praias temos o choque de ordem de verão já adentrando o inverno, a Lei Seca pegou, os Jogos Olímpicos estão a caminho, o metrô se expande, e o melhor de tudo é que partes importantes da cidade estão mais seguras do que qualquer época que o carioca consiga se lembrar. Em todos os níveis governamentais, os políticos se tornaram amigos de infância: Dilma, Cabral e Paes estão trabalhando juntos para reverter a decadência que se instalou em 1960, quando a capital se transferiu para Brasília.
Mas vai durar? Será que os políticos irão persistir e as empresas vão investir— ou seja, se comprometer com o futuro a longo prazo?
Me diga o que quer saber. Da minha parte,tenho muitas perguntas...
There seems to be a do it yourself attitude in Favela’s. or a “let’s get together and work on this” outlook that is not widespread in other sements of Brazilian society.
I am willing to make two observations, and one sad prediction.
– Basically that favela folk look to the upper strata as a reference point on what it means to be sucessfull in their country.
– It seems that said reference frowns upon this do it yourself attitude, dismissing it as something pertaining to the lower classes.
– I am betting that, as people move up the economic ladder, they will start expecting more from the government, and less from themselves when it comes to solving neighborhood issues.
I don’t think this is positive at all. When it comes to ATTITUDE towards solving urbanization issues the Favela dwellers are much more enlightened than their middle to upper middle class counterparts. The challenge is how to maintain this attitude while prospering, and how to make the rest of Brazilian society notice that this is actually the enlightened way to behave: it should be adopted, not dismissed.
The only catch to what you say is that the upper classes look not to the government to do things for them, but to the lower classes… so how would that play out?
Bolivians, and other immigrants from neighboring countries willing to do the work that Brazilians used to do, and to do it illegally for that same old wage from yesteryears.
I believe that favela residents are more “enlightened” in regard to to the solution of urbanization issues for two main reasons: their communities tend to be more homogeneous and dense, which engenders trust, something in short suppoly elsewhere; and they have less access to government institutions than do those who live “on the asphalt”, so they’re forced to fall back on their own resources.
As Brazilian society changes and becomes less unequal, trust should increase across the board. And as the poor move up the socioeconomic ladder and demand more of government, government institutions will be forced to professionalize and improve access.
And, as the middle and upper classes have fewer subordinates to boss around (I don’t think the Bolivians will fill the gap entirely), they will have to organize and work to solve their own problems.
So my view is pretty optimistic– it’s all about the development of democracy.
“So my view is pretty optimistic– it’s all about the development of democracy.”
And as a male it is my duty to destroy your optimistic view, and replace it with my somber one. 🙂
Let’s begin then.
“their communities tend to be more homogeneous and dense, which engenders trust, something in short suppoly elsewhere;. . . As Brazilian society changes and becomes less unequal, trust should increase across the board. And as the poor move up the socioeconomic ladder and demand more of government, government institutions will be forced to professionalize and improve access.”
But as the poor move up won’t they live further apart from each other, hence undermining that cohesiveness that engenders trust? Plus, government agencies becoming more professional is a wishful premise at best, just because people see an increase to their income doesn’t mean the state will respond to their new desires. I think the private sector will, but not the state, or if so to a much lesser extent. In other words it is much more likely that people will leave the public health system (SUS) as soon as they can afford to, than SUS improving and beoming attractive to those that now have options.
I think this happens because the private sector receives signals from individuals as to what they want, and are willing to pay for, in much better fashion than the state. Not to mention they can’t fail , but then just tax, and survive. They must deliver what people actually want
I’m not saying that Brazil won’t improve, nor that it’s not a blessing that people will be making more money. I’m just arguing that Brazil will probably resemble a richer, yet still unefficient country like Italy, rather than the Switzerland scenario which I prefer..
If women are optimists and men are pessimists, is androgyny the only path to realism?
There are a lot more things that governments do, besides provide health services, as I’m sure you know. It may well be that this ends up mostly in the private sector, for a while at least. But justice, for example, must always be in the purview of the state. And improved justice and more responsive and transparent institutions in general are certainly in the future of a less impoverished, more informed Brazil. I hope to live as long as it takes, at any rate!
“If women are optimists and men are pessimists, is androgyny the only path to realism?”
I bet you are a fan of Mr. Sheldon Cooper 🙂