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Favelization: Appropriating Brazilian Slums in Foreign Luxury Items

April 30, 2014 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

President’s Conference Rm 2, Rosenthal Library

"Favela Chair", 2003. Fernando and Humberto Campana. Produced by Edra.

“Favela Chair”, 2003. Fernando and Humberto Campana. Produced by Edra.

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“The world of design, art and film has recently embraced imagery from favelas, urban slums in Brazil. What are the implications and moral conundrums of the appropriation of stereotypes of Brazilian poverty onto high-priced non-Brazilian products?” is the provocative question Adriana Kertzer explores in this lecture.

In Favelization, Kertzer sets out to understand the ways in which specific producers of contemporary Brazilian culture  have capitalized on misappropriations of favelas (informal squatter settlements that grow along the hillsides and lowlands of many Brazilian cities) in order to brand luxury items as “Brazilian.”  She explains how designers and filmmakers engage with primitivism and stereotype to make their goods more desirable to a non-Brazilian audience through case studies that look at films, fashion, and furniture design.

This event is co-sponsored by the Latin American and Latino Studies Department.

Adriana Kertzer

Adriana Kertzer


Adriana Kertzer (@adrianakertzer) is a Curatorial Assistant at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York. She has a J.D. from Georgetown University and an M.A. in the History of Decorative Arts & Design from Parsons The New School for Design.



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