— Artigo

Moment, flow, language, non-plan
The unique architecture of insurrection in a Brazilian urban periphery: in___Historical Geographies of Anarchism


Rita Velloso


This chapter examines June’s 2013 Brazilian urban demonstrations that started
in Belo Horizonte’s Metropolitan Area, considering them to be a new type of
political action, led by citizens who live on the capital cities’ poor peripheries,
thus allowing the emergence of new recognisable social actors. These uprisings took place in the outskirts of Greater Belo Horizonte’s peripheral neighbourhoods, which are connected to the city by federal roads, where local people built barricades to block the access in and out of the capital. Belo Horizonte, in opposition to Rio de Janeiro, was designed to hide its poor inhabitants. If in Rio the limits between middle class neighbourhoods and favelas are not that well defined – always mixing people and places – here the spatial segregation is natural to the point that the local government uses the academic jargon ‘extensive occupation’ to describe our outlying suburbs. The peripheral population’s aims through these insurrections were not simply to pose the problem of replacing local government but to regain control of their territory. Their struggle was waged by the transformation of the traditional
urban planning logic, centre/power/margin/oppression, that usually defines
large metropolitan areas. Emphatically, their claim is to establish new lines of
escape from urban poverty while achieving citizenship, beginning to explore
new ways of doing politics.