In her essay, Karla Mundim examines Indigenous protest movements in Ecuador, focusing on the protests against construction on the Piatua…
Improving Evidence and Relevance at the Same Timeby Neil A. Lewis Jr.
Researcher Neil Lewis Jr. discusses how the SSRC’s Mercury Project's teams approach to research can improve the evidence generation process.
Nós por Nós: How Community Organizations are Reinventing Democracy in Rio de Janeiro’s Favelasby Anjuli Fahlberg, Cristiane Martins, Joiceane Eugenia Lopes, Ana Claudia Araujo, Lidiane Santos, Sophia Costa and Guilherme Baratho
In their research, Anjuli Fahlberg, Cristiane Martins, Joiceane Lopes, Ana Cláudia Araújo, Lidiane Santos, Sophia Costa, and Guilherme Baratho examine how democracy is being recreated in Rio de Janeiro’s favelas, particularly Cidade de Deus, where Covid-19 was first recorded. Drawing on their research on the pandemic’s impact on local residents vis-à-vis emergent forms of autonomous governance and how these are shaped by gender and racial dynamics, they argue that civic associations’ mobilization tactics in Cidade de Deus can help us understand how democracy is being reinvented in these spaces under conditions of extreme governmental neglect.
“An Assault on Democracy”: The Effects of Voter ID Laws on Immigrant-Serving Organizationsby Hajar Yazdiha and Blanca A. Ramirez
Following the weakening of the Voting Rights Act in the United States, many Republican-controlled states enacted restrictive voting ID laws aimed at limiting franchise access to communities of color. In their research, Hajar Yazdiha and Blanca Ramirez examine how immigrant-serving organizations in five Southern states recalibrated their resources to help immigrants vote. Focusing on Alabama, they investigate five shifts these immigrant-serving organizations have made to address the impact of voter ID laws, which, the authors argue, shows how these restrictive laws can lead to new forms of organizing and resistance.
Representing Mining Realities: Journalism of the People and Digital Expressions of Democracy on Facebookby Adela Zhang
The conflict between communities in the Peruvian Andes and multinational mining companies has often been told by national media controlled by elites in the capital of Lima. However, the advent of online livestreams has allowed local communities to make their demands and reveal their circumstances to the public at large. Here, Adela Zhang examines how these popular forms of journalism present a different version of the “reality” of extractive capitalism to the one shown by the mainstream press.
A Relational Response to the Covid-19 Crisis: Perspectives from Two Case Studies in South Africaby Marlie Holtzhausen and Cori Wielenga
As part of their SSRC-funded Covid-19 research, Marlie Holtzhausen and Cori Wielenga examine what a relational approach can tell us about the efficiency of development interventions and how a relational approach can inform whether certain interventions are sustainable during a crisis. Looking at two development organizations in South Africa, they find that “success” for these organizations was not defined by a quantifiable measures like funds raised or people helped but by the dignity of the care and aid provided, which is possible thanks to a foundation of strong relationships.
#RhodesMustFall, the University of Cape Town, and the Deep Inscription of Colonialismby Nick Shepherd
For our “Where Heritage Meets Violence” essay series, Nick Shepherd considers how the violence of colonialism is deeply inscribed in space and landscape. He traces the history of the University of Cape Town, where a protest against a statue of Cecil Rhodes initiated the #RhodesMustFall movement. Shepherd examines the persistent materializations of power, showing how enduring coloniality shapes embodied ways of seeing and being in the world.
Hate in the Time of the Virus: Covid-19, Fake News, and Islamophobia in Indiaby Anirban Baishya
The Covid-19 pandemic triggered a new wave of Islamophobic rhetoric in India. Focusing on the aftermath of the March 2020 Tablighi Jamaat event, Anirban Baishya, with funding from the SSRC’s Rapid-Response Covid-19 grant, investigates how mis/disinformation and anti-Muslim messages spread through media, jumping from social media to mainstream outlets.
Web of Disinformation: Evangelical Christian Media and Covid-19 in Brazilby Olívia Bandeira, Alex Pegna Hercog, Iury Batistta and Réia Sílvia Gonçalves Pereira
As part of their SSRC-funded research, Olívia Bandeira, Alex Hercog, Iury Batistta, and Réia Gonçalves Pereira investigate the impact of right-wing evangelical media on Brazil’s response to the pandemic, paying close attention to how mis/disinformation spread through mainstream and social media run by popular pastors. Echoing the rhetoric of the Bolsonaro government, evangelical media sowed doubt about Covid-19’s impact in Brazil and later distrust about the vaccine. Brazilian evangelical media mis/disinformation about Covid-19, the authors argue, signals support for Bolsonaro’s neoconservative project, which aligns with their beliefs, such as viewing Brazil as a “Christian nation” and bringing an end to the secular state.
Rupturing Research: A Reflection on Collaborative Research on the Blue Economy during a Pandemicby Amalendu Jyotishi, Ajit Menon, Ramachandra Bhatta, Nuwanthika Dharmaratne, Karin Fernando, Holly M. Hapke, Prabhakar Jayaprakash, Channaka Jayasinghe, Derek Johnson, Kyoko Kusakabe, Gayathri Lokuge, Betty Nyonje, Francis Okalo, Bhagath Singh A., Joeri Scholtens, Prasanna Surathkal and Saranie Wijesinghe
The authors reflect on how research on an environment already experiencing significant social and physical change was further impacted by the Covid 19 pandemic. In considering the potential impact of a "Blue Economy" policy scheme, the research team confronted the need to examine the power dynamics inherent in the research process, as well as those inherent to their analysis.