Favela Museum

Cultural Centers - Rio de Janeiro


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 Photo: Cris Isidoro/Diadorim Ideias
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The Museum is an interesting open air museum within the connected slums of Cantagalo, in Ipanema, and Pavão-Pavãozinho, in Copacabana. The "collection" comprises of more than 20 thousand inhabitants of the communities and their histories, their lifestyle and idiosyncrasies. The Casas-Telas circuit, of 26 murals, portrays local scenes such as samba musician meeting places, and the immigration from the Northeastern region of the country to the city, which populated the slums.

One of these works is by 59 year old Sebastião Vitalino Nunes, who teaches art to children and sells his paintings at the Hippie Fair Crafts Market in Ipanema. He is also a character portrayed at the museum. He says Prince Charles of England bought one of his paintings on a visit to the city in 2009.

The museum spans 5 thousand buildings within a maze of alleys, stairs and houses with great views to the city. The guided tour takes 2 hours and includes a translator for foreign visitors. A panoramic elevator gives access to Cantagalo slum, which has a viewpoint with views to the Ipanema beach and the Cantagalo slope, which is the starting point for the tour. DJ and community leader Rita Santos is one of the guides: "Exotic here are not foreign tourists, but Rio de Janeiro residents. They never visited the slums. Now they are curious and recognize we are part of the city", says Rita.

One of the tour stops is to meet local resident Vanessa Menezes de Andrade, of 25 years old, who works as a translator for visiting French tourists. "Studying was always important in my family", says the shrink who is part of an NGO and who has, in 2010, travelled to France to represent Brazilian youth at an Unesco event. Another stop is to visit Evanildo da Costa, 52-year-old known as Tabaco, who is a percussionist at three Samba Schools: Estácio de Sá, Império Serrano and Unidos da Tijuca. He is also a member of Cativeiro, a pagode band (pagode is a subgenre of samba originated in Salvador, Bahia).


The museum is a project by NGO MUF at Cantagalo slum. The NGO is a two-story building in which are gathered all sorts of objects donated by the community to preserve the history of the place and its people. Photos and panels portraying local characters can be seen at the NGO. 


General Information

Address: Access by the panoramic elevator, at Teixeira de Melo Street in Ipanema.
Phone: (+55 21) 2267-6374
Website: http://www.museudefavela.org
Opening hours:

Nossa Senhora de Fátima Street, 7, Igrejinha- 2nd floor


Daily from 9am to 5pm - prices range from R$ 40 to R$60 (with translator)

Secretaria de Cultura do Estado do Rio de Janeiro Petrobras

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