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Polis (Santiago)

versión On-line ISSN 0718-6568


TRAMONTANI RAMOS, Tatiana. Urban heterotopias: Empowered spaces and socio-spatial strategies of homeless movement in Rio de Janeiro. Polis [online]. 2010, vol.9, n.27, pp.293-313. ISSN 0718-6568.

The article is an attempt to approche the struggles waged by the homeless movement in Rio de Janeiro and the idea of heterotopia as it was developed by Michel Foucault. The strategies of this movement, its forms of re-appropriation and re-signification of urban spaces, could be identified in this framework as contributions to the creation and maintenance of insurgent enclaves in the city, i.e. urban heterotopias. These spaces would be created, defined and reproduced from emplaced power relations. Unlike the utopia, that would be immaterial, illusory, idealized, possibly unattainable spaces, heterotopias would be concrete and real spaces, actually performed utopias. The incorporation of the analysis of foucauldian heterotopias, to understanding the socio-spatial dynamics of the homeless may be important, because these are practices which reside, and are precisely balanced, between, on one hand, the "formal", the "institutional", the "morally accepted", and on the other, with what is necessary, fair and possible for survival in the city. The heterotopias would be such forms of reframing and re-appropriation to ensure the survival of those who experience the space, with all its contradictions and conflicts of interest.

Palabras clave : Space; urban; power; conflict; social movements.

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