Juliana Barbassa is an award-winning journalist who spent 10 years with the Associated Press, lastly as Rio de Janeiro correspondent. Her talk is part of the Global Issues Symposium.
She’s the author of Dancing with the Devil in the City of God: Rio de Janeiro on the Brink, based on the years she spent in Brazil, among other publications. She was born in Brazil, but has lived in Iraq, Malta, Libya, Spain, France, and Switzerland. She’s currently the managing editor of Americas Quarterly, an independent publication of Americas Society, and the premier magazine on Latin American business, culture and politics.
The first decades of the century saw Brazilian city’s expectations reach tremendous heights, fueled by the commodities boom, the election of the first working class president, and the awarding of international sporting events including the World Cup and the Olympics.
As Brazil’s president at the time said, “our turn has come.” Since then, the country has crash-landed into the worst recession of a century. The president was impeached, and the public works linked to the sporting events have quickly proven to be costly white elephants the population has no use for and can’t afford.
On the nightly news, Brazilians watch, disgusted, as top politicians and business leaders face mounting charges of corruption. With a presidential election just around the corner, what will this souring of expectations mean for the future of the country’s urban spaces?
Cosponsors are the Department of Latin American Studies, Environmental Studies Program, and the Creative Writing Program