Cultural Identity in the Favelas

Developing a cultural identity whilst living in the Favelas of Rio de Janeiro is a complicated process. Establishing the areas where you culturally resonate is hard, when your life is governed by the pressures of work, safety and survival. 


“But the favelas are so culturally distinguished?”, you might think. The culture of favelas that the world understands, is so far removed from the reality.

 Images of guns and drugs, music and corrugated iron, is an accurate portrait. It is only accurate, however, to 1% of the favela life. 

The other 99% is a space in which people are looking to grow and develop, establish cultural links between each other, and form an identity that is stronger than the global image of favela life. 


A vital part of cultural identity is being able to confidently align yourself with a cultural signifier. The more secure you feel in this link, the stronger your identity. Through our Projects, ACE is looking to build the confidence of our communities, by allowing them to make cultural roots in our activities. Children can now define themselves as ‘a breakdancer’, instead of someone who doesn’t know who they are and what they want to do.


 Children are now tennis players, photographers, artists and linguists. These are not just activities they do alongside their life - these are the cultures the children are building themselves into.


The predominant culture in the favelas is one of drugs. Whether directly or indirectly involved, drug culture pervades. But the value of culture cannot be defined by its size. It only takes one class of breakdancers, and one court of tennis players, to create a culture that is stronger, more meaningful and provides more stability than any other. 


We are not just building a future for the favelas. The children are creating culture, so they can define what it means to be part of a favela. They are learning about themselves, each other, and about the wider global community. So it is our responsibility to learn about them.


Download File

You might also like

Local Grassroots Leadership

The favelas have always been misrepresented by mainstream media; in Brazil and across the world.

Read More >

2019 Annual Report: January 2020

We have compiled an Annual Report for our followers to see exactly how last year panned out and what the future holds for ACE Projects and the people of Rio de Janeiro.

Read More >

ACE Projects Fundraising Dinner 2020: March 2020

ACE Projects hosted its first charity fundraiser, and it was a huge success.....

Read More >

Hello from ACE! September 2020

We are sending our love from Brazil and keeping you up to speed with progress ACE Projects has been making as COVID restrictions lift around Rio de Janeiro. 

Read More >

ACE Projects Updates: July 2020

Resilience: helping the favela communities through the pandemic

Read More >

Thank you to TeamArchie

TeamArchie supports several charities across the world, creating an international community with a common goal - providing the tools for children to reach new heights.

Read More >

Covid Response from ACE Projects

The world has been turned upside down in the last 6 months.The rug has been pulled from beneath our feet, but thankfully, we found a few gems hiding beneath the fabric.

Read More >

The Pandemic & Brazil Fundraising Event

Highlights from our virtual fundraiser The Pandemic & Brazil.

Read More >

MÃE - Our Students' Global Photography Exhibition: September 2019

In 2019 ACE Projects hosted a photography exhibition across the world, showcasing the incredible work taken by children from Rocinha favela

Read More >

Cultural Identity in the Favelas

Developing a cultural identity whilst living in the Favelas of Rio de Janeiro is a complicated process. Establishing the areas where you culturally resonate is hard, when your life is governed by the pressures of work, safety and survival.

Read More >

ACE Projects x Rocinha Tennis School: January to December 2019

In 2020, ACE Projects continued to fund the tennis project in Rocinha....

Read More >

The Order is to Kill: October 2019

We felt it was imperative to show this VICE News Video to you so that you can more clearly understand the communities we work in, the struggles they face, and the work we are trying to do to help solve some of these problems.

Read More >

ACE Donors and Partners Half Year Report

Our Progress in 2020

Read More >

THE FAVELA WILL RESIST: April 2020

In a Rio De Janeiro community, football helps fight viruses

Read More >

Solidarity Amidst Uncertainty - Your donation counts ✊: May 2020

The situation developing in Brazil is leaving the nation victim to the Covid-19 pandemic, with very few protective measures from the government. 

Read More >

BLACK LIVES MATTER & COVID-19 BRAZIL: June 2020

A Statement on the situation in America and its global meaning. 

Read More >

2020 Impact Report

We’re delighted to share with you our Impact Report 2020.

Read More >

Federal vs State Authority: April 2020

The political system in Brazil is a Federal-State administration, meaning each state is autonomous but functions under the general rule of the federal body. Each state has a governor and a mayor of the main city but ultimately falls under the federal jurisdiction. So when an international crisis occurs...

Read More >