Online self-representation in Brazil's favelas: Personalising the periphery
First Monday

Online self-representation in Brazil's favelas: Personalising the periphery by Helton Levy

This paper focuses on blogs, Web sites, and social media pages produced from Brazil’s favelas to study existing notions of online self-representation. Semi-structured interviews conducted with 21 media producers questioned if favela media can really forge a new image of dwellers by creating new representations or by reversing past media stereotypes. Results revealed that dwellers have often appeared in their own media as new community leaders, or as journalists, and frequently, as conveyors of culture and personality. This paper shows that personalising the life in favelas is emphasised, through which producers tailor a more individualist, less-victimised image of themselves.


Self-representation as community leadership
Self-representation as journalism
Self-representation as culture, affectivity, and personality




The consolidation of the favela as an iconic element of Brazilian inequality has led to many debates on how fairly these communities are represented in the media (Souza and Barbosa, 2005; Perlman, 2010; Jaguaribe, 2004). Scholars have described these communities’ gradual development as autonomous urban spaces (Nagib, 2004; Alves and Evanson, 2011), as locations for tourism (Freire-Medeiros, 2013), and as dangerous, impenetrable neighbourhoods (Vargas, 2006; Holston, 2009). At the same time, young favela dwellers have been reporting on life in favelas. In blogs, digital newspapers, and social media pages (all henceforth grouped collectively as online media), these media producers prioritise social issues, such as poverty, inequality, and inefficient public services (Baroni, 2015; Davis, 2015; Custódio, 2017), as they seek to deliver more positive accounts. This paper analyses the latter aspects by collecting information from favela-based media producers, contrasting them with an extensive record of favela media representations and past literature. What has changed after the relative popularisation of ICTs [1] in favelas? What are the potential political impacts of these forms of self-representation?

Favela media, media representation, and self-representation

Online “media” representations of favelas are narratives that portray life in favelas. This research examined narratives on Web sites that described activities in favelas or were authored by their dwellers. Content may be created by locals with support of NGO partnerships (Davis, 2015; Nemer, 2016), or emerge from direct cooperation with mainstream media organizations (Baroni, 2015). This content, in the context of this paper, is considered as “representations”. in particular, we focus on “self-representations”, that is, media portraits that stem from native-led, bottom-up projects, whether of an activist nature or not (Custódio, 2017), but which refer directly to dwellers as individuals. These self-representations link with what Rodríguez [2] identified as citizens’ media, a levelling of the identities of communities with a resulting development of “their own notion of power”.

This study explores in part a conceptual gap between “media representation” and “self-representation”, the latter being able to channel realities from favelas differently. This distinction may lie in publication processes, with “self-representations” better reflecting what are local affordances and necessities, e.g., the training level of dwellers and their difficulties, but also a fairer and truer analysis of how favelas dwellers live. Perlman [3] argued that one of the biggest issues while living in a favela was that of being considered gente or a “human being”. Self-representation in digital media provides opportunities for humanisation to a large and diverse audience.

Indeed, self-representation in favelas is more complex than following an agenda of “civic”, deliberative standards (Custódio, 2017). These “self-representations” are testimonials to their lives in fuller, subjective ways (Zayani, 2014). For favela dwellers, there are huge challenges. Many are still seen as “black” or “brown”, particularly from the perspectives of some mainstream media (Rosas-Moreno and Straubhaar, 2015). In fact, the personal image of the favela dweller has been dependent on that of the favelado, a formerly derogatory term that meant a “troublemaker” (Gondim, 1981; Beaton and Washington, 2015). This stigma accompanied individuals who had moved away from favelas (Gondim, 1981). In 2014, rapper Eduardo Taddeo published a video The undeclared war according to a favelado [4]. Historian Marcelo Belfort, himself a favela dweller [5] described his experience as a favelado as one lacking “basic needs”, but which also had a positive side of “freedom and creativity” (Belfort, 2013).

A last reason to look at self-representation derives from the need to disrupt the process of “mediatising” favelas as one necessarily brokered by “strong leaders”. During the reign of the Brazilian military government (1964–1985), for example, mediation by the Catholic Church solved some conflicts involving evictions and invasions (Valladares, 1978), tied to the late bishop Dom Helder Câmara, the so-called “bishop of the favela[6]. Social movements and NGOs, such as the NGO Viva Rio, have performed a similar role since [7]. Though fruitful in the political reality of the period, such partnerships today evoke an insufficient image of favela dwellers, particularly misleading as some of these individuals can afford to self-broadcast.

Existing beyond the favela

Recent literature has shed light on how the favela looks as seen by its dwellers and how these images shape personal relationships within communities (Holmes, 2016). We know, for instance, that violence is part of ordinary dwellers’ daily vocabulary (Huggins, 2000; Arias, 2006). Penglase [8] perceived that these dwellers have established visual connections with locations tied to episodes of tragic violence. Even if these individuals are no longer victims of state persecution or subject to evictions, they still see themselves as citizens under permanent constraint (Arias, 2006; Alves and Evanson, 2011; Penglase, 2007).

Digital “self-representation” has not received satisfactory attention from scholars. Specifically, there has not been a focus on the personal intentions behind the use of new media, apart from “activism” (Custódio, 2017). For instance, new media in favelas is often framed as transitory, event-specific (e.g., selfies) (Nemer and Freeman, 2015), or conditioned to skills, creating a vague image of an “online favela” (Valladares, 2000; Nemer, 2016). The adoption of online media by favela dwellers may have more intimate and less obvious targets, while remaining political.

Popular Web sites produced from favela, such as Voz da Comunidade, illustrate a merger between violence with other elements that spring from self-representation. Initiated by producer Renê Silva, this news portal has provided live reporting on military conflicts in theAlemão favela. However, Silva has also embodied the self-made entrepreneur, coming to media prominence after his tweets on violent police activities in 2013. Months later, Silva ended up joining a telenovela (soap opera), in which he played himself, a youth from the favela (Jaguaribe, 2014b). Silva’s use of social networks has appeared as a different kind of favela “occupation” (Maia, 2012), with national and international media introducing him as a “spokesman for the slums” [9], a case of self-representation reaching the mainstream.

This short background is incomplete; more details on dwellers’ self-representations are needed, especially those that reflect their aspirations beyond their original neighbourhood. This paper departs from a Foucauldian sense of perceiving blurred boundaries of power, seeing ties between the weakest (favela dwellers) and the powerful (mainstream society) (Foucault, 1982). This analysis of self-representations indicates that the favela population is finding different ways of expressing their experiences. What are intentional, strategic aspects behind current self-representations?What relationships do online self-representations keep with the past and how do these inform producers? What are the consequences of these self-representations, for their author and producers as well as for favelas (see also Jaguaribe, 2014a)? Is it possible to reverse de-politicising terms that have described favelas in the news (Lacerda, 2015; Custódio, 2017)?




To reach a comprehensive sample, this study consulted Brazil’s government’s list of alternative media groups which applied for public grants, the 2015 Free Media Programme. This source included groups with an agenda of human rights and inequality in favelas and other disadvantaged areas in Brazil. From that list, I applied a maximum variation sampling strategy [10] to ensure that: 1. Producers were chosen that lived in favelas and similar kinds of communities; 2. These producers were active and periodically publishing; and, 3. Producers in the sample represented different parts of the country. After contacting selected producers via Facebook, semi-structured interviews took place, involving 21 media producers. The basic script included questions on how long that they have reported on favelas; aspects of their lives; digital publications; and relationships between their lives and media projects, specifically issues of representation.

To reduce subjectivity, I split my analysis of “linguistic evidence” in a few steps [11]. As Seidman (2016) pointed out, the collection, analysis, and interpretation phases of this analysis followed what favela media producers said; listed patterns and divergences of their expressions; and, coded their language or subject patterns linking to research questions. Finally, I analysed differences regarding the intersections between social issues (inequality, poverty, prejudice), and references to personal aspects (such as names, private photos, and testimonials), comparing it to literature on favelas and favela media (Valladares, 2000; Jaguaribe, 2014a; Davis, 2015; Lacerda, 2015; Custódio, 2017), approaching questions on self-representation. I also examined connections to past studies on alternative media in Brazil and elsewhere (Rodríguez, 2001; Downing, 2001).

I also transcribed and extracted content from favela media Web sites, related to each producer’s practice, using content published during 2014 and 2015. This approach provided a better understanding of how producers put their ideas into practice. Moreover, I translated producers’ quotes into English. Attending to some of the producers’ concerns, I did not name them exactly, as these identifications could limit future opportunities for grants or potentially contrain their engagements with the public at large. The basic scripts of interviews were reviewed and approved by the ethical committee of the author’s university.




The first data raised [12] in this research has confirmed a young cohort, with producers on average 20–30 years old. (Figure 1). The young age of these producers points to the influence of digital media on what I consider “self-representations”. The close proximity of this cohort with digital media means that these actors are farther from past standards of media representations (see Valladares, 2000). This is evidenced because fewer media producers mentioned ‘off-line’ profiles of leadership or said that they needed any kind of third-party intermediation (see Valladares, 1978), as they found it “natural” to forge images of their own via social media and Web sites.


Interviewee age groups
Figure 1: Interviewee age groups (percentage).


This discussion on age suggests a further distance from social movements and NGOs that ”made the favela“ in the past, such as Ibase or Viva Rio. Producers overall appeared to be disinvesting from a ”classic“ model of leadership, creating more “online” characters, rather than those seen on the streets in communities. That said, I opted for splitting results in ascending order, from the less to the most frequent emphases voiced by producers. First, self-representation appears as returning to this “classic” community leadership. Second, producers’ discourses were analysed according to their references of themselves as “reporters of their reality” or “community correspondents”. Last, but most frequently, producers praised the mention of “personality, culture, and affectivity” as the main aim of their self-representation, as these elements embedded their values and main motivations.



Self-representation as community leadership

While not concentrated on discussing past or present leadership models, a smaller part of the cohort recognised traditional ways of interlocution between favelas and mainstream society. As seen in the 1970s, this way of “offering quotes to the media” depended on a centralised spokesperson for the whole community. A media producer based in a large conglomerate of favelas in Rio de Janeiro shared his process of information gathering and publication, seeing himself as a “leader” in line with the líder comunitário or community leader role. This self-projection as “leader” included the assignment of duties to other producers, and mapping individual contributions to media outlets, leading to connections between the leader and media. This producer compared these tasks with that of curating portraits that are the real “face” of the favela.

What also resonates is the figure of a self-made individual. Many producers have mentioned that that only makes sense if “self-representation” is seen from the perspective of a successful entrepreneur. I chose two pieces from two favela media Web sites, in which I italicised those elements that illustrate how this representation of a classic model of favela interlocution appear as content, as producers, according to what they said, demonstrating it through life trajectories, stories of struggle, and conquest of rights:

“Threatened with eviction, residents of Curicica Union Village are informed that there is no house to everyone: two of the most important resistance individuals couldn’t attend it. According with residents, the City Hall did very little to ensure transparency and spread information. Zezinho and Costa used a broken microphone, what made it harder for most people to understand what exactly was said. Although the support of Zezinho to the government and the words of Costa as guarantees, the residents continued to fight for their rights” (Rio on Watch, 17 November 2014)

“The one thousand faces of Ana: Mineira from Carangola, she came to Rio de Janeiro to work as a maid and to help out her aunt, who was with an ill husband. For decades, she worked and lived in [employer’s] families’ houses. Once staying in there, she had inspiration to create. “Sometimes I was cleaning and had an idea. I stopped to take a note of a poem, because sometimes the idea escapes away”, she tells. Retired, she moved into Maré Favela and started painting classes (...)” (Viva Favela, 6 September 2014)

Producers who have shared this preoccupation with being “the leader” have also defined themselves as focal points to memorialise the community’s ethics, and union. For that reason, when speaking for themselves, they preserve a humbler image, avoiding descriptions of someone “overcoming poverty”. Their views on why they speak with journalists or why they produce their blogs is that this exposure must always link to the community and its most urgent issues, as this producer remarked:

“Today, 30 minutes before you called in, I was sending information to many journalists from Globo TV, for the O Dia newspaper, and to many journalists about the situation of a municipal school in Xerem [neighbourhood], the situation [over there] is very complicated. Teachers are complaining, pupils can’t have lectures, many risks to human rights” (Media producer 35)

Invariably, what leads us to see what appears as “old” and “new” lies in new ways of self-representation. While a few producers still conceive themselves as old-fashioned “leaders” not as “new”, most have failed in mentioning traditional names (e.g., lawmakers, journalists, social movement leaders, celebrities, local influencers), as others, some of which only &edquo;accessible” via social media, were on top of their minds (e.g., some of them mentioned Barack Obama’s Twitter profile). This analysis is not to assume that new favela media producers are dismissing the work of social movements and traditional community leadership, but, that as producers formulate new social media projects, and assume the task of becoming “public agents” of communication in charge of representing community, at one level they continue the old image of the favelado as an accessible community actor, but at another level, the young cohort vows to fulfil this interlocution by not being on the streets or physically present, but on the Internet, and collaborators reading their blogs. I will explore how this virtualisation of the favela spokesperson leads into discussing another well-mentioned self-representation, that of the journalist.



Self-representation as journalism

Younger producers appeared in interviews as reclaiming the favelado term, but coupling it with a notion of “being the journalist” of a community. As most of them have conceded to borrow routines and practices from both professional journalism (by calling themselves editor, for example) they preferred to call themselves favelado, but at the same time adding new abilities as media producers as part of this representation, or as journalists, as this video from the Gatomidia collective shows (the italics are mine):

“The favelado 2.0 is the girl or guy from favela who even not having training resources, not having attended many lessons, gets by with the technology that arrives at him/her, and becomes an expert in mobile applications. The favelado 2.0 films, shoots pictures to his or her entertainment, knowledge, and also to guarantee rights, whenever the rights of those living in the community are torn apart by some other forces.” (Gatomídia YouTube ) [13]

Taking this as an example, the Internet emerges as a path to deconstruct past derogatory meanings of favelado in exchange for a new image, anchored in the appeal of creative professions such as editors, journalists, photographers, or writers. It is known that blogs and informal Internet publications on occasion adopt rules and definitions from professional journalism (Deuze, 2005), but in the case of favela media, favelado 2.0 is not tied only to the uses of ICT resources, but in the ways that producers have used skills in representative ways, so they can frame their own roles based on titles such as “community correspondent” or “communicator”. For example, these notions appear in this blog (in italics):

The quilombo talk
Every week the young communicator invites one activist from the black movement to dialogue about black culture and speak a little bit about a black activist, enriching our knowledge culture on our predecessors and on those who fought for the race recognition (Mídia Periférica, 20 May 2013)

Moreover, when asked whether this representation as “community correspondent” could lead to a detachment from the community (the results of some collaborations with main TV networks), they denied any possibility of “being detached”. Instead, they aim to appropriate communicative resources to change their own image, as their main expectation was not “to show off”, but to change the way commercial media see them all:

“Sometimes we joke that it’s like we are doing a revolution from within. Globo [TV network] has invited us many times, and our colleagues go and talk with them. She [the colleague] then talked [on a TV programme] about subjects that they [Globo] don’t like to touch upon. For example, Globo recently spoke about gender, how can we debate gender in a Globo programme? They have sought us and we are not profiting from it, but we will be happy with the situation because we can enjoy and speak about this and send out our message.” (Media producer 49)

Rather than crediting this media fluency and visibility to the Internet, most have referred to experiences still at school, or in academic projects. Once offered opportunities to become professional journalists, most producers denied any ambitions of becoming famous. From these, a few who have achieved some degree of prominence by self-representation as favela journalists have reported to have engaged with media classes, training sessions, and project meetings across Brazil, as this producer noted:

“The [media] project happened when our leading producer was at school, and there was a student union and she gave her name to be a candidate, and her campaign was the name of our project. After receiving many ‘nos’, the school’s director, [who was] at the time unaware of what exactly our colleague was doing, asked her to continue and [then] took the project to out of the school. Then, many other initiatives followed. For example, working with human rights in freelance jobs. Then we were growing up and getting visibility from people of other states. She has travelled and has got media attention.” (Media producer 49)

These patterns found in interviews differ from a former image of community leadership that producers vowed to project in their outlets. First, as a journalist, there is no need to provide a “location statement”. Here, producers have normalised themselves as experts in media production and spokespersons of the favela without necessarily being “physically present” to report on issues of public services or education, as seen before. This is a clear departure from the former sense of favelado as homelessness [14], it also deconstructs previous anonymity, and reverse claims of “detachment” from mainstream society. To a greater extent, interviews also showed that when favela media producers introduced themselves as journalists it was not meant as a formal commitment of reporting and producing “pieces”. Rather, it was close to a “projection, an aspiration“ of embodying a journalistic sensibility. I will now examine how other aspirations appeared in other self-representations, particularly through a discourse that mixes culture, affectivity, and personality, which ultimately differs from earlier patterns.



Self-representation as culture, affectivity, and personality

Besides showing emphases on community leaders or journalists, the dataset also demonstrated producers aiming to communicate themselves as owners of more subjective affordances, such as aspirations of travels, moments of leisure, and consumerism. A good example is the Facebook page Favelados pelo Mundo [15] (or ‘Favelados Around the World’), which illustrates how distinct elements linked with one another, difficult aspects of life, such as economic constraints and past images of poverty contrasting with trips to foreign countries. Producers said they aimed to challenge an old stereotype that states: “The poor cannot travel” what often reads as “The poor should not travel” (see Nascimento, et al., 2008). In their cover picture of their Facebook page, one sees a stereotyped image of the favelado, poor and black, taking a ride on the back of a bus, serving to illustrate this notion. The suggestion of poverty and precariousness contrasts with actual posts on the page, registering trips made by favela dwellers to locales around the world, such as Paris or New York.


Opening page of the Facebook group Favelados pelo Mundo
Figure 2: Opening page of the Facebook group Favelados pelo Mundo.


In the case of Favelados pelo Mundo, as far as the favela and trips to foreign countries appear as unrelated subjects in discourses by producers, it is clear that producers want to challenge the popular myth as a way to make sure that society “does not need to be scared of them”. That is the intention behind walking around abroad, taking selfies, or “enjoying life”, as most producers have admitted mixing culture, affectivity, and personality, in an attempt to reverse ‘radicality&rtsquo;. They create online records of private moments, to the extent of conveying a renovated image of a travelling, cosmopolitan favelado. Visibly, all interviewed producers utilized professional pictures as their avatars, and some had online portfolios [16]. In one of these images, a producer poses on a beachfront location. In another photograph posted on Facebook, a producer is seen with ex-president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, an individual much cheered for his background of poverty and union leader (Figure 3).


Examples of images of media producers on Facebook
Figure 3: Examples of images of media producers on Facebook [17].


Indeed, culture has for a long time appeared as an asset to promote citizenship in Brazil and Latin America, particularly to elevate marginalised communities (Dagnino, 2004). Interviews helped to defend these ambitions to “seduce the audience”, with a need for personal recognition of both “individual talent” and collective (favela’s) messages:

“What would be the world if it were a place wherein everyone has the right of being recognised. What will you show? I can be the person who sells water on the streets. Do you like doing it? I think I do it well, I will show to the people. I’m the traffic light performer, and this is what I want to show off. I see it less as denounce and more as an expression channel. The utopian space is what it could be the media in which everyone meets to know each other.” (Media producer 41)

“The people who are in this [favela] environment go building up a lot of things and this is what we see, these people go down the hill, or if they live in the lowlands, they want to have their space, they want to show they are there. They do it in many ways, they do it through the tattoo, the skate, graffiti, these are completely urban elements and that is what we are trying to push.” (Media producer 22)

These producers disclosed how their struggle is aimed at reflecting individuality that is possible in the favela. Producers cited how they aim to influence rappers, photographers, and other communicators to embed the favela’s message in their art and content. “Cultural practices” are fundamentally understood as stemming from marginalised communities; in Brazil these are namely rap or hip-hop. Producers have mentioned an expectation of having a community member “serving as an example” to the broader society, giving his or her individuality at service of their community. In other words, once one of them achieves mainstream prominence, they must renew their responsibility to their fellow favela dwellers, as a producer analyses a case of a well-known singer:

“We see many concrete cases, in Recife, for example, there is neighbour who lives in the Arruda favela, who became famous as a brega singer. We do not see that he is doing such big investment so the people could grow with him. He wants his stake. Therefore, I perceive a certain contradiction.” (Media producer 41)

One of the Gatomídia videos portrays the manicure, in another, a barber, but during such recorded conversations, producers subtly bring up social issues, framing it along with the individual’s face. Thus, another aspect of this personalisation of the favelas stems from highlighting the “ordinariness” of people through these socialisation rituals. On the Coletivo Papo Reto Facebook page, group members often celebrate grants that they receive, but also illustrate their uses of hotels, while shooting selfies in hotel lobbies and rooms, as well as in tourist locations:

Coletivo Papo Reto and friends from Maré Favela (...) at this moment in São Paulo discussing the issue of Brazilian military troops in Haiti and the militarisation of favela. Pause for lunch [Follows a picture of the group].” (Coletivo Papo Reto, 23 May 2015)

In this interplay of visual and narrative resources, producers concede that they mingle soft content, mostly pictures taken during social events of the group, with graphic imagery of crime and violence in favelas. These representations deliver an important effect, to raise “proper” consciousness, according to the producers. It is not possible to separate private everyday life, habits, and leisure from depictions of violence.

Downing [18] examined the “centrality of emotion” in popular media narratives, in which the “informative” role was limited by formalities of “rational thought”. In the case of favelas, insofar as self-representations were derived from an “emotion” of appearing in the media in new, unprecedented ways, these “semi-private” images may be hijacked by mainstream media. Whatever the consequences, producers argued that there is a degree of legitimacy that allow them to laugh and to promote one’s own brand without compromising a final goal of raising critical awareness and creating new images of favelados.

On the one hand, online media has helped producers to deliver these “raw” aspects of living in threatened communities. On the other hand, self-representation was not only made by images already existing in mass media; they needed to create something different. There are collateral effects from this new positivity in self-representations. In a way, they invite entertainment and suggest favelas as places to “tour poverty” (Jaguaribe and Hetherington, 2004; Freire-Medeiros, 2013). These aspects of self-representations are not explored in this paper, as the focus was specifically on deliberate attempts by producers to self-represent as a political response. To this purpose, producers’ discourses suggest produce entertainment while depicting violence and poverty. This ability of prioritising content seems to be at the heart of their aims for self-representation.




This paper examined ways in which producers managed to create online self-representations. There are limitations to this study in that we did not test if these representations tackled well-known, mass-media stereotypes. This paper confirms that self-representations are a result of a conscious and strategic process among favela-based media producers to emphasise personal attitudes and individuality. This young cohort reinvented a traditional image of a community leader by assuming new roles, and personalisation, giving a face for those who live in a favela, following their own priorities, ethics, and policies.

By doing so, favela media producers have tried to reverse Valladares' (2005, 2000, 1978) description of the usual favela as a “maximum zone of poverty and inequality”. While this paper does not examine the implications of these self-made portraits, favelado 2.0, for example, illustrates the degree to which personality has proved to be one of the main “alibis” for a new form of self-representation. In a broader context, the increasing complexity of self-representations in disadvantaged communities matters because of its multiplying effects, forging bottom-up projects of image-building that are costless and persuasive. These representations are beyond Paulo Freire’s (1970) idea of liberation of the oppressed, and, as “consciousness forming.” These new images acquire “materiality,” establishing unprecedented partnerships with mainstream media. Future research should continue to examine self-representations in disadvantaged communities, as these narratives will certainly include the use of online media. End of article


About the author

Helton Levy is a journalist and a Ph.D. student at City University London.
E-mail: heltonvlevy [at] gmail [dot] com



1. Access to the Internet in favelas has been growing rapidly in the last decades, with different rates seen by a variety of studies. If one takes into account the existence of shared Internet points, the so-called LAN houses, this rate grows even more. The average consensus lies in around 53 percent of the households (Lemos and Martini, 2010).

2. Rodríguez, 2001, p. 19.

3. Perlman, 2010, p. 318.

4. In Portuguese, a “A Não Declarada Guerra na Visão de um Favelado”.

5. Article initially published in alternative newspaper Redes da Maré, at, accessed 10 July 2016.

6. Valladares, 2005, p. 8.

7. Valladares, 2005, p. 168.

8. Penglase, 2014, p. 171.

9. This title is given to a story in the Web site narratively, in which Silva is highlighted as one of the main sources of the newspaper O Globo. Silva has also represented his favela in many events, including being chosen by the U.S. Consulate in Rio de Janeiro to attend an event in New York. Silva has also been chosen to represent Brazil in London and carry the Olympic torch and in

10. Lindlof and Taylor, 2011, p. 113.

11. Potter and Wetherell, 1999, p. 156.

12. I checked this information while confirming identities of interviewees based on their personal data on Facebook.


14. Valladares, 2000, p. 23.

15. Profile not originally included in this study, but mentioned on Rio on Watch; see, accessed 10 July 2016.

16. In one portfolio, a media producer is photographed in many locations outside the favela, eith others participating in events, such as appearing with the Olympic torch in London in 2012.

17. On the left Monique Evelle from the Desabafo Social initiative, from the Initiative’s Web site at; image on right from Jefferson Rodrigues’ Facebook page.

18. Downing, 2001, p. 47.



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Editorial history

Received 2 December 2017; accepted 23 July 2018.

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Online self-representation in Brazil’s favelas: Personalising the periphery
by Helton Levy.
First Monday, Volume 23, Number 8 - 6 August 2018

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