Favela culture on the Internet

December 2007 -

Viva Favela shows that life in Rio de Janeiro's slums is more than violence and poverty alone. Youth from the favelas – community correspondents – report each day on the comings and goings of the 1.2 million inhabitants. A local band from Cidade de Deus gained popularity, for example, by distributing their music and videos via blogs. In Morro Azul, the inhabitants help one another in a solidarity network. And a Miss Baixada competition was held in the favela of the same name.


Webportal VivaFavela, December 2007

The web portal, nominated for the Stockholm Challenge / Global Knowledge Partnership Awards 2007 to be presented from 11 to 13 December 2007 in Kuala Lumpur, also boasts a cultural calendar, a list of jobs available, and a variety of courses. It is the first of its kind in Latin America. The ICT project was conceived by Viva Rio, an organization that has devoted effort to improving the living climate in Rio de Janeiro's slums since 1993. In addition to Viva Favela, the organization is combating digital isolation by offering favela inhabitants inexpensive wireless access to the Internet. It also established telecentres (stations for the future) with Internet access and computer courses.

Since its launch in July 2001, Via Favela visitors have increased to eighty thousand per month. The stories about the Favela Culture are regularly used by other media. Viva Favela also manages a network of community radio stations interconnected via the Internet, the animation site Camitolândia about life in the favelas, and a variety of hip-hop sites.

The Stockholm Challenge, supported by organizations including SIDA, started in 1994 by initiative of the Swedish city as a competition for the best development-stimulating ICT applications. Six award ceremonies have since been held, and world-wide network of more than five thousand ICT projects now exists.