Santander, QMUL and People’s Palace Projects launch grant for QMUL students


Santander, in partnership with People’s Palace Projects, is offering 6 grants for QMUL students to spend a life-changing week in the favelas (shantytowns) of Rio de Janeiro with Grupo Cultural AfroReggae in July 2015 (11th to 18th). This is a unique opportunity to work alongside some of the world’s greatest cultural warriors, as they fight for social transformation through art.

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Grupo Cultural AfroReggae is a Brazilian cultural group from Rio de Janeiro that harnesses the ingenuity and creativity of Rio’s favela (shantytown) communities to provide positive social alternatives through arts and culture.  Forged out of a police massacre of 21 people in their local community, Vigário Geral, in 1993, AfroReggae has gone on to establish an international profile for its pioneering work in taking young people out of drug/gang culture.

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AfroReggae’s arts work balances the impact of high-quality performance with social development: the main AfroReggae band opened the Rolling Stones concert to two million people on Copacabana Beach, and has played to sell-out audiences on five continents, including Carnegie Hall and the Barbican, while AfroReggae now runs over 70 projects across a range of disciplines including music, dance & theatre, circus, and radio & new media, with over 3,000 young people. They also provide social support mechanisms, guiding many participants into mainstream employment in Rio.

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People’s Palace Projects (PPP) is a research centre and charity based at QMUL, advancing the practice and understanding of art for social justice.  We have worked in partnership with AfroReggae in the UK since 2006.

The grant

For a week in July 2015 (11th to 18th), six QMUL students will have the opportunity to work alongside AfroReggae in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro. The £1,600 grant is designed to cover international flights, accommodation and subsistence in Rio de Janeiro, and is open to all QMUL students, both Undergraduate and Postgraduate. Speaking Portuguese is not essential, as there will be a translator available as part of the costs of the trip, but students with language skills may wish to consider using the trip as an opportunity for an extended stay in Brazil or Latin America. This is a wonderful experience for students looking to gain experience within arts & social projects: preference will be given to applicants who can say what they want to learn from AfroReggae and how they want to put it to use in community work in the UK or internationally.  We especially welcome applications from students with experience of children’s social care.

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Are you interested or know someone who might be interested in this opportunity? Download further information here, and the application form here.

If you have any further questions regarding this grant, please email [email protected]

*photos by Ratão Diniz