What surprised me particularly during contaRio was how separated Rio de Janeiro’s society is. I have always read about its social inequality, but really experiencing it was different: seeing what that means for the daily life of the people. The economic hierarchy exactly defines who is in contact with whom and who is interested in whom. And how people are treated.
You find this kind of separation already at school. Rich kids go to private schools, whereas poor ones attend public schools. As a consequence upper class people are mostly irritated when you tell them about doing research in Favelas or neighborhoods farther away from the city. Most of them avoid these kind of contacts, if at all possible. People from lower classes are that distant as well: Those who are threatened to get removed fear above all the life close to people from other neighborhood’s. Rio is not a city in the sense of something homogeneous. In the German discourse, we would say that it consists of several parallel worlds.
contaRio meant for me an intense and enriching insight about Rio de Janeiro and exhausting days full of impressions, for which I am very thankful, just as well for the opportunity to meet so many interesting people.