Creativity, informality and cultural work in Rio de Janeiro's favelas

Dinardi, Cecilia. 2019. Creativity, informality and cultural work in Rio de Janeiro's favelas. International Journal of Cultural Studies, 22(2), pp. 248-263. ISSN 1367-8779 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

In the last decade, new policy initiatives emerged in Latin America as a response to the rise of a ‘creative turn’ in the global North. This article examines the impact of such turn on urban cultural policies for informal settlements in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, focusing on the case of ‘Favela Criativa’ – a governmental programme to support young people’s cultural and creative work across favelas. The analysis reveals that the programme has effectively widened the visibility of favelas’ cultural and creative work, increased financial public support and developed practical strategies for working with informality. However, it also raises questions about the extent to which this innovative policy development actually challenges prevalent managerial views of creativity guided by a market logic. The article demonstrates that a focus on informality as groundwork for political resistance in the city can expand our understanding of the creative economy beyond precarization, self-exploitation and individualization.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):


creative economy, creative labour, cultural work, favelas, informality, Rio de Janeiro

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Institute for Cultural and Creative Entrepreneurship (ICCE)


11 October 2018Accepted
30 January 2019Published Online
1 March 2019Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

20 Mar 2017 11:27

Last Modified:

09 Jun 2021 21:22

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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