The article publishes for the first time the lecture given in 1968 by Anthony Leeds at the Rio de Janeiro Museum of Modern Art, accompanied by comments from Mariana Cavalcanti. In this talk, Leeds takes an innovative approach to the theme of the infrastructural investments and capital circulating in Rio’s favelas by criticizing the view prevalent at the time of the favela as a problem. Instead he discusses this alternative residential location through the agency of urban workers, as an urban life project that responds to a situation of deep inequality. Everyday life comprises the starting point for Leeds to build an analytic model capable of accounting for the processes through which favela and city are coproduced. The text also prefigures the author’s later debates on the use of multisite ethnography and the demystification of the theory of marginality and the culture of poverty.
Anthony Leeds; favelas; urban workers; culture of poverty; urban Anthropology