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Carleton College

Publication Date

Fall 2008

Program Name

Brazil: Culture, Development, and Social Justice


The women’s artisan group, Kilombo do Kioiô, part of the Ação Social da Paróquia Sao Bras (Sao Bras Parochial Social Action Group) in the neighborhood of Plataforma, Salvador, Bahia, works to insert poor Afro-Brazilian women into the economic market and wider society. This community of women is struggling to survive in a society in which they are marginalized by their gender, race and socio-economic position. They are also struggling to survive two types of violence that are pervasive in Plataforma: domestic violence and violence related to drug trafficking.

This research project studies how working as artisans affects the participants’ social and economic position in their community and the wider society. It studies how the artisan classes increase the participants’ ability to participate in many aspects of society by increasing their self-esteem and encouraging them to work towards a better life for themselves. The data was collected during three weeks spent at the organization through interviews with the participants and organizers of the Kilombo do Kioiô as well as through observation of and participation in the artisan group activities such as classes and home visits.


Art Practice | Inequality and Stratification | Politics and Social Change | Women's Studies


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