Sao Paulo motoboy ethnographers
June 30th, 2007

The image above is from a videoclip shot by motoboy Viralata on 2007-04-30. The full clip can be seen on the abaporu project website. Viralata’s videoclip shows what it’s like to ride between traffic lanes at rush hour on a busy SaoPaulo street. Motoboys are quite literally a new kind of voice being heard from the street — their messages made possible by the cell phones they carry:

In recent years, informal pseudo-enterprises and self-employed individuals have started to compete with the more established courier services, leading to a deterioration of working conditions. In reaction, the local government has passed laws to regulate ‘moto-freight’, including punishing fines for motorcyclists riding the corredor. Motoboys, typically portrayed negatively in the media, have not had a voice in the ensuing political debate – until now. Apparently, their use of cellphones to publicly document their daily lives has allowed them to gain attention, for once yielding some sympathetic coverage in the Folha de S√£o Paulo.

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