Transforming informal communities through discourse intervention: RioOnWatch, favelas and the 2016 Olympic Games

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)


In August 2016, tens of thousands of journalists descended on Rio de Janeiro to cover the summer Olympic Games held in that city. While the majority covered the action on the track, many sought stories about the city itself, world famous for startling inequality at close quarters. Catalytic Communities, and a non-governmental organisation which has worked with favela residents for years aimed to capitalise on this attention through their RioOnWatch project, an online news site providing detailed coverage of events in favelas across the city, in both English and Portuguese. The NGO also worked with numerous journalists who visited Rio de Janeiro to help them understand and accurately report on the complexities of the Olympic city. Based on ethnographic fieldwork in Rio, this chapter traces RioOnWatch’s attempts to transform the discourse around favelas during this moment in the global spotlight, seizing this political opportunity. In essence, RioOnWatch is involved, with other social movement actors, in a discursive contest over the power to define favelas. This is aimed at undermining the logic of harmful policies including pacification and forced evictions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTransforming Sport
Subtitle of host publicationKnowledges, Practices, Structures
EditorsThomas F. Carter, Daniel Burdsey, Mark Doidge
PublisherRoutledge Taylor & Francis Group
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781315167909
ISBN (Print)9781138052246, 9780367894092
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jan 2018

Publication series

NameRoutledge Research in Sport, Culture and Society


Dive into the research topics of 'Transforming informal communities through discourse intervention: RioOnWatch, favelas and the 2016 Olympic Games'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this