Architectures of Hope: Infrastructural Citizenship and Class Mobility in Brazil’s Public Housing

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Due to health circumstances, this presentation will be organized via the Teams virtual platform.  

Free and mandatory registration: (registration deadline, Thursday, December 16 at 4:00 pm)


Speaker : Moisés Kopper (LAMC-ULB/Marie Curie)

Title : Presentation and discussion around Moisés Kopper's book:  Architectures of Hope: Infrastructural Citizenship and Class Mobility in Brazil’s Public Housing

Abstract :

On the eve of the 2008 financial crisis, Brazil implemented its largest-ever public housing program, the Minha Casa, Minha Vida. Drawing on a five-year-long ethnography among city planners, architects, street-level bureaucrats, politicians, market and bank representatives, community leaders, and past, present, and future beneficiaries, Architectures of Hope examines how communal idealism, electoral politics, and consumer markets made first-time homeownership a reality for millions of low-income Brazilians over the last ten years. Between 2009 and 2016, Brazil’s Workers’ Party relied on financialized low-income housing to reduce poverty, promote democratic governance, and raise the country’s international profile. By showing how these efforts came together in the making a model community of housing activists, Kopper documents some of the value systems and novel arrangements of power and market that underlie Brazil’s post-neoliberal project of modern and inclusive development. He posits the concept of “material hope” to understand how practices of infrastructural citizenship and projects of upward social mobility coalesced to generate ambivalent political and economic subjectivities. By chronicling the making and remaking of material hope in the aftermath of Minha Casa Minha Vida’s public and private infrastructure, Architectures of Hope reopens the future as a powerful venue for ethnographic inquiry and urban development.

Bio :

Moisés Kopper earned his Ph.D. in Social Anthropology from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. He is a Marie Curie IF@ULB Postdoctoral Researcher at the Laboratoire d’Anthropologie des Mondes Contemporains, Université libre de Bruxelles. Previously, Kopper held postdoctoral appointments at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies (Germany) and the Center for Metropolitan Studies (Brazil). He also served as a Lecturer in the Department of Cultural and Social Anthropology at the University of Cologne. Kopper's research and teaching interests include Class, Material Hope, and Social Mobility; Political and Economic Anthropology; Information, Economic Expertise, and Algorithmic Governance.

  • When ?

Friday 17 December 2021 from 2:00 pm until 4:00 pm on Teams