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Through artistic imaginaries, media productions, social practices and spatial mappings, this book offers an insightful and original contribution to the understanding of Rio de Janeiro, one of the most contested urban terrains in the world. Offering a rich diversity of examples extracted from lived experience, iconographic materials, narratives and ethnographic research, it provides innovative and compelling connections between theoretical questions and urban vignettes. Throughout the essays, the specificity of Rio de Janeiro is highlighted but it is framed in relation to theoretical questions that are relevant to major contemporary cities. The book underlines the dilemmas of a city that attempts to compete globally while confronting social inequality, increasing violence, the demise of the state, and novel forms of democratic agency. It retraces Rio de Janeiro's modernist memories as the former political/cultural capital of Brazilian intelligentsia and national culture. It explores Rio as a city of popular culture, mestizo legacies, media productions, and cultural innovation.