Tuesday 24 February 2015
Professor Paul Heritage (with People's Palace Projects) and Dr Eliana Sousa Silva from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro have secured a British Academy Newton Fellowship. They will collaborate on research into police and culture in the favela complex of Maré in Rio de Janeiro.
Working with UK researchers and specialists, Dr Silva will investigate how distorted perceptions between low-income communities and the police affect the implementation of public security initiatives and consider ways in which local cultural strategies can be effective in transforming attitudes and public policy. The Fellowship will enable Dr Silva to develop her work in integrating research that emerges from organisations within Rio’s peripheral communities as part of the Federal University’s Interdisciplinary Centre of Actions for Citizenship. The collaboration with QMUL will enable the creation of an international network of scholarship and an exchange of knowledge that strengthens initiatives that Dr Silva has developed over the last decade.
Responding to the announcement, Professor Paul Heritage said "As we all know, grants and fellowships are not just about money raised but about research that is made possible. With this grant we get to look at how cultural strategies can transform distorted perceptions between low-income communities and the police, initiating new opportunities for cross-disciplinary and collaborative research. I am delighted by the chance it will give us to work with Dr Eliana Sousa da Silva from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, where she coordinates a postgraduate course on Public Security for the Departments of Law and Social Services. The daughter of migrants from one of the poorest North Eastern Brazilian states who came to Rio de Janeiro when she was seven, Dr Silva was raised in the Complexo da Maré – a web of 16 favelas on Rio’s periphery. It is in Maré that she brought up her 2 children, studied to get herself into university and completed her PhD on power relations in Rio’s marginal communities. Today she is Director of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro’s Department of Community Integration. It will be a privilege and a pleasure to have Dr Silva as a Newton Fellow at QMUL over the next two years."