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Perspectives on Police Violence in Brazil: Data, Documentary, Ethnography

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Part of Race and Policing in the Americas Seminar Series, organised by Queen's University Belfast's Centre for the Americas, Autumn 2021

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In this panel discussion (via Zoom), anthropologist Christen Smith, filmmaker Natasha Neri, and data researcher Pedro Paulo da Silva will explore how research undertaken and disseminated in different contexts (both within and outside of universities) and formats (from publications to documentary film and digital media and beyond) can contribute to raising critical awareness of police violence in Brazil, including in gendered and comparative perspective.

Christen Smith is Associate Professor of African and African Diaspora Studies and Anthropology at University of Texas at Austin. Her work examines engendered anti-Black state violence and Black community responses to it in Brazil and the Americas. Her book, Afro-Paradise: Blackness, Violence, Performance in Brazil (U of Illinois Press 2016), uses the lens of performance to examine the immediate and long-term impact of police violence on the Black population of Salvador, Bahia, Brazil and the grassroots movement to denounce and end this violence. Her more recent, comparative work examines the lingering, deadly impact of police violence on black women in Brazil and the U.S.

Natasha Neri is a journalist, filmmaker and researcher in the areas of criminal justice and human rights. Together with Lula Carvalho she directed the documentary Auto de Resistência (in English, Police Killing) which won the prize for best feature at the It's All True - International Documentary Film Festival in 2018 as well as being nominated for the International Documentary Filmfestival Amsterdam (IDFA)’s Amsterdam Human Rights Award. Currently a researcher for the Association for Prevention of Torture (APT), she has previously worked for Amnesty International Brazil, ISER (Institute of Studies on Religion), and NECVU/UFRJ (Centre for the Study of Citizenship, Conflict and Urban Violence, at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro). She is involved in and supports movements for de-incarceration, anti-violence, and relatives of victims of state violence in Rio de Janeiro.

Pedro Paulo da Silva holds a B.A. in International Relations from the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio), where he is currently pursuing a master's degree in the same field of study. He is part of the research team at the Centre for Security and Citizenship Studies (CESeC) and the research coordinator of LabJaca – the Laboratory of Data and Narratives from Jacarezinho, a favela in Rio de Janeiro. His main research interests are the relation between race and racism and public/global security, policing and anti-radicalism, and the citizen generation of data.

Chair: Tori Holmes (Senior Lecturer in Brazilian Studies, Queen’s University Belfast)

This event is part of a semester-long series on Race and Policing in the Americas. Please see the Centre for the Americas' website or social media for details.

As part of the series there will be an opportunity to view the 2018 documentary Police Killing online from 20-27 October via password-protected link - please sign up via Eventbrite.

image credit: still from Police Killing film

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