FAVELA TRANSMISSION (2016)
Digital video and photographic documentation of guerilla projection of a video installation in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
"This video is part of an ethnographic project in Morro da Babilônia and Chapéu Mangueira, a favela complex in Rio de Janeiro that overlooks Copacabana Beach. It documents the communities’ oldest residents, telling their personal and collective histories at a time when the community is undergoing significant demographic change. While this community, like other favelas in the city, is a space that has historically been marginalised, recent changes have led to a rapid influx of new residentsboth foreign migrants and middle class Brazilians—in what is locally experienced as a process of gentrification. My own presence in the favela, as a British-Brazilian resident there for three years, is very much part of that process, and this project is a response to my feelings of ambiguity about my own role in the changes I witnessed.
As a resident I began to realise that local histories were told and learnt through the oral narratives of the communities’ oldest members. I documented these oral histories that revealed the networks of kinship and alliance that made up the communities’ close-knit social bonds, and became aware of the role these relationships played in the constitution of the physical architecture of the favela itself. The stairways, houses, and even electricity poles were built through mutirão —a local concept which describes community members coming together to construct the favela’s self-made infrastructure. While traditional documentary formats often use images of local scenery as “covering shots” to overlay interviews, here the format is reversed, and the faces of the favelas’ residents are projected onto the brick walls, stairways, and the physical surfaces that make up the favela, highlighting the personal histories that are embedded in its walls."
Fryer-Moreira is an anthropologist and artist of British-Brazilian descent. She was awarded an undergraduate degree in Anthropology from UCL in 2012, and in 2016 completed a Masters degree in Social Anthropology at the Museu Nacional in Rio de Janeiro. She is currently conducting doctoral research at UCL. Raffaella's work draws on both material culture studies and the ontological turn, and has examined knowledge practices, techniques, and experiences of ontological rupture. Her recent work has incorporated multimedia components of ethnographic research and presentation in an attempt to explore new modes of anthropological practice.
In 2017, Fryer-Moreira co-founded the UCL Multimedia Anthropology Lab, and is currently experimenting with film, projections, and VR as alternative methods for conducting and presenting anthropological research.