With sustainable development at the center of global discussion at last week’s Rio+20 UN conference, Catalytic Communities presents “Favela as a Sustainable Model,” a short film contributing to a growing global dialogue around the qualities inherent in informal settlements, particularly consolidated ones like those in Rio, and the potential lessons they offer towards a sustainable urbanization worldwide.
Premiered at the Rio+20 People’s Summit last Friday, and featured in the Summit’s Film Series, “Favela as a Sustainable Model” explores the ways in which sustainable principles are in the very fabric of favela life and also the development difficulties favelas face due to state neglect.
CatComm Founder and Executive Director Theresa Williamson explains: “Over the years our work in Rio’s favelas has exposed us to a wide range of qualities in these communities that are typically associated with sustainable, or resilient, neighborhoods. We decided to film a documentary with footage recommended by Rio’s community leaders, to shed light on the aspects of favela life that the broader society could and should model in terms of sustainability.”
From the largest informal settlement in Latin America to a small community deep in the Tijuca forest, the people and projects featured in the film show the creative solutions and common values that contribute to these communities’ sustainable development. In producing the film, Catalytic Communities aims to dispel some of the widely held negative preconceptions about favelas. “In the past year we’ve realized the formidable obstacle posed to Rio’s favelas’ development simply by the stigmas associated with these communities. And not one of these stigmas is well-founded,” says Williamson. “With our film for Rio+20, we’re looking to break these stigmas while contributing to the dialogue around sustainability.”
From June 13-29 CatComm also offered Educational Community Visits to the favelas featured in the film, visits led by the protagonists themselves (click for photo archive of visits). For more information and articles on the projects and communities featured in the film visit RioOnWatch and search for the community of interest. To join in the debate around sustainability in Rio’s favelas, fan us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or join our mailing list for monthly updates.
Watch full film here: