Accepted Paper:

The Troubling Silence of Photography - The impact sharing images online has in power relations and social mobility in Brazil  


Juliano Spyer (University College London)

Paper short abstract:

This paper presents a case study about how low-income Brazilians living in a dormitory village in the Northeastern coast of Bahia use digital photography associated with social media as tools of political empowerment.

Paper long abstract:

In the past 20 years, nearly one fourth of Brazil's population crossed the poverty line to become what some have called the "new middle class". This is a paper about how photography and social media mediate diverging political interests in a low-income dormitory village in the Northeastern coast of Bahia.

I will compare two batches of photographs shared online during the presentation: the first batch shows street protests happening in large cities as a consequence of corruption accusations associated with for this year's World Cup in Brazil; the second are photos taken and shared to address the consequences of a crime that happened recently in the community where I currently live. My intention is to see if digital technology is a tool of empowerment not just to the educated middle class, but also to the large contingent of undereducated emerging working class that represent today more than 50% of the country's population.

Panel P04
Comparative studies in social media photography