My PhD is about the work of Redes da Maré, an NGO based in Maré, Rio de Janeiro. Maré is a favela neighbourhood that carries a history of local movements fighting for residents’ rights in response to the legacy of inequality based on class, and racial segregation. Still today, many residents think they are not entitled to their rights just because of their economic and spatial conditions. In my work, I am investigating the ways the NGO uses the urban space to promote citizen awareness and empowerment, breaking with stereotypes and creating new imaginaries for that place. What I call ‘Practices of Narration’, common activities such as drawing, walking, performing, painting, building, and others carried out in collective spaces (inside or outside), are aimed at new forms of engagement, to provide new skills to residents, and essentially to communicate a narrative of rights promoting recognition and empowerment.
Bruna Montuori is a designer and urban researcher investigating the relations between space, community development and autonomy through participatory methods. She was trained as a Product Designer at the Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio) and holds a Masters degree in Architecture from Faculdade de Arquitetura e Urbanismo, Universidade de São Paulo (FAU-USP). She is currently a PhD Candidate at the School of Architecture, Royal College of Art, funded by the Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq).