Accepted paper:

Law, state and favelas: a study about (i)legibilities

Author:

Juliana Farias (UFRJ)

Paper short abstract:

This paper examines possibilities of interlocution between favelas dwellers and state agents, focusing on cases of institutional violence turned into lawsuits. It explores the (i)legibility of state documents and the relationship between sovereignty, lawmaking and the so called "state of exception".

Paper long abstract:

This paper examines possibilities of interlocution between favelas dwellers and state agents, focusing on cases of institutional violence in Rio de Janeiro that are turned into lawsuits. Those processes are strongly linked to the action of a specific group of favelas dwellers: relatives of fatal victims of police violence - whose struggle for justice is enrolled in a context of poverty criminalization.

Considering state and law as an ethnographic problem, the research's fieldwork is draw according to the schedule of these relatives at different spheres of institutional representation - meetings at the Public Defender of Rio de Janeiro and judicial audiences are being observed as part of a largest agenda composed by privileged situations to think about state practices not in terms of law and transgression, but rather, as proposed by Das and Poole (2004), in terms of practices that lie simultaneously outside and inside the law.

Official documents and all paperwork that become part of the judicial processes is object of special attention in this research, not only its production or what is written in (by different state agents), but what can be read in each one and what can be understood. Then, this paper explores especially the question of the (i)legibility of state documents and the relationship between sovereignty, lawmaking and what is often called "state of exception".

panel W041
Regulating uncertainty: anthropological approaches to spaces of uncertainty in and of law [EN & FR]