The Duke Brazil Initiative and the Global Brazil Humanities Lab are pleased to welcome two master’s students from Rio de Janeiro. Carolina Bittencourt Mendonça and Guilherme Santos Cabral de Oliveira will be visiting Duke University, Durham, and the Triangle between March 18 and 29, 2015.





Carolina Bittencourt Mendonça was born and raised in the municipality of Nova Iguaçu in the Baixada Fluminense, a region on the periphery of Rio de Janeiro. She worked as a cultural agent in the program Observatory of the Baixada, which was working to map diverse cultural indicators connected to youth in the Baixada Fluminense. She is a master’s student in the history department at the Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro. Mendonça is currently researching the history of the Companhia de Canetas Compactor, a pen factory founded in 1955 in Nova Iguaçu, and its relationship to its workers. She is happy to speak further about her current research, about the history and migration of the people of the Baixada Fluminense, and her work with youth in the Baixada Fluminense as a cultural agent.






Guilherme Santos Cabral de Oliveira is a master’s student in the history department of the Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro. He is currently researching how the characteristics and demands associated with the Sindicato dos Estivadores do Rio de Janeiro (Rio’s dock workers’ union) and the impacts of WWII on the daily life of workers in Brazil are reflected in the larger vision and understanding of citizenship. He has lived in Nova Iguaçu in the Baixada Fluminense for 26 years and considers himself an enthusiast of the culture and politics of the region. He is a member of Cine Goteira, an extension of the regional film club, and he often works with the film collective Anticinema, which hopes to promote audio-visual culture in the Baixada Fluminense. Cabral de Oliveira is also interested in discussions about the overall inclusion of Afro-Brazilians, their culture and their contributions to the larger Brazilian society, and he can speak to his personal experience as a black youth in Brazil, specifically in the Baixada Fluminense.