Title: A voice for the past: making 'public' slavery heritage in Rio De Janeiro
Authors: André Cicalo
Addresses: King's College London, King's Brazil Institute, Room 222, Norfolk Building, Strand, London WC2R 2LS, UK
Abstract: This article discusses the first steps of slavery heritage making in the port region of Rio de Janeiro, after the prolonged institutional forgetting of the city's slave past. The material presented shows that this slavery memorialisation interweaves with the contemporary flourishing of affirmative action in favour of Afro-descendants in Brazil, which aims to redress historically-rooted social inequalities and to include 'minorities' in the nation. In spite of its inclusive aims, however, the making of slavery heritage in Rio also exposes old and new social imbalances. Some imbalances are revealed, for example, by the different times that certain social actors (i.e., black social movements) have joined the process of public memorialisation in relation to others (i.e., archaeologists and the city council). Other imbalances are revealed through the political meanings that black activists now attach to slavery heritage in support of their struggle.
Keywords: slavery heritage; collective memory; Brazil; Rio de Janeiro; Gamboa; affirmative action; gentrification; black social movements; public memorialisation.
International Journal of Tourism Anthropology, 2013 Vol.3 No.2, pp.170 - 183
Received: 05 Nov 2012
Accepted: 05 Sep 2013
Published online: 12 Jul 2014 *