Protesting Democracy in Brazil

What exactly happened in Brazil during June and July, 2013? What started as a protest over an increase in bus fares grew into something much larger, with rallies and protests occurring in major cities all over the country. The question of how to understand these events is of interest to scholars, onlookers, comedians, journalists, participants, and voters in Brazil and around the world, and it resides at the well-established intersection of anthropology and history. The pieces we include in this Hot Spot series, written by anthropologists, activists, and writers across several generations, aim to answer this question. As they attempt to do so, the authors are aware that they are opening up new questions not only in the anthropology of Brazil and/or Brazilian anthropology, but also in the understanding of social movements, mediation, and policing writ large.

The series editors, Alex S. Dent and Rosana Pinheiro-Machado, provide an introductory editorial. The first six essays—by Ruben George Oliven, Otávio Velho, Aaron Ansell, James Holston, Carmen Rial, and John Collins—discuss Brazilian society and the protests in June. The next two—by Pablo Ortellado and Claudio Lomitz—reflect on transportation and democracy. Following essays—by Luiz Eduardo Soares, Susana Durão, and Roberto Kant de Lima and Lenin Pires—discuss violence, the police, and the state in Brazil. An interview between Lenin Pieres and Lieutenant Colonel Nádia Rodrigues Silveira Gerhard of the Military Police Brigade of Rio Grande do Sul follows. Four essays—by Juliano Spyer, Marcelo Casteñeda, Anelise dos Santos Gutterres, and Elizete Ignácio—provide reports from the streets and social networks. Finally, the last five pieces—an interview with Manuela Carneiro da Cunha, and essays by Reijane Pinheiro and Wilmar Xerente, Cristian Jobi Salaini and Ubirajara Toledo, Luisa Geisler, and Rosana Pinheiro-Machado and Alex S. Dent—explore Brazilian the demands made by Brazilian civil society.

Cover image: “Revolt of the bus,” Salvador, Bahia. Photo by Marcelo de Troi.

Posts in This Series

The Protests in Brazil

Taking to the Streets of Brazil

Protests in Brazil

The Vinegar Revolts and the Diverse Faces of Democracy in Brazil

“Come to the street”: Urban Protest, Brazil 2013

“Taking to the streets”: Brazilian Demonstrations in the Twenty-First Century

Of Protests and Potato Chips

On Processes and Outcomes: Remarks on the Brazilian Protests of June, 2013, and Other Experiences of “New Movements”

Long Live the Free Pass Movement

Zero Hour on the Popular Clock

Is Nonviolent Policing Possible in Brazil?

The "Vandal" and the Warrior Policeman: The Difficult Relation between Directed Social Changes and Conflicts Management Strategies

Interview with Lieutenant Colonel Nadia Rodrigues Silveira Gerhard

An Ethnographic Account of the Riots in Brazil Seen From the Periphery

Protests in Rio de Janeiro: Socio-Technical Overlap between “Networks” and the Streets

An Intimate Account of the Political Protests in Rio de Janeiro

How a Protestor, Interviewer, Anthropologist, and Businesswoman Perceived the Demonstrations in Rio de Janeiro

Indigenous Rights and Brazilian democracy: An Interview Manuela Carneiro da Cunha

The Indians Who Never Slept: The Indigenous from Tocantins (North Of Brazil) and the Protests of June

Demonstrations and the Quilombola Cause: New Protests for Old Claims

The End of Silence: Slut Walk and the June Movements

Paradoxes of Development: Why Now?