Duration: 6 months, which puts my return at the end of March
Location: Botafogo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This is right next to the Pao de Azucar (Sugar Loaf Mountain) on this nice little harbor/beach thing. I am 1 mile from Copacabana (which is to the south) and about 3 miles from the Center (to the north), which has all the administrative buildings and turns into a giant black market after 6, apparently.
Motive: Remember how much fun I had with my thesis?!?! That question is sarcastic because I drove myself crazy on it, but I was very excited by studying “marginal” urban populations through rap music. I did not get to look in to Rio as much as I wanted because of subject and time constraints, but I was noticing some really interesting things about the different understandings of the “city” between the formal (asfalto) and informal (favela) populations. This is not particularly unique, but the diverse and interesting (albeit sometimes traumatic) history of the city and the aggressive, numerous, and internationally funded urban program solutions that are getting attention worldwide make Rio a very interesting city to study for me: someone who loves (global) cities and “justice” policies.