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‘I went to the City of God’: Gringos, guns and the touristic favela

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A regular tourist destination since the early 1990s, Rocinha - the paradigmatic touristic favela in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - has seen the number of foreigners visitors grow considerably after the successful international release of City of God in 2003. In dialogue with the new mobilities paradigm and based on a socio-ethnographic investigation which examines how poverty-stricken and segregated areas are turned into tourist attractions, the article sheds lights on the ways tourists who have watched Fernando Meirelles's film re-interpret their notion of “the favela” after taking part in organized tours. The aim is to examine how far these reinterpretations, despite based on first-hand encounters, are related back to idealized notions that feed upon the cinematic favela of City of God while giving further legitimacy to it.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 March 2011

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