Black Youth Alive – Amnesty Brazil creates a QuilomBOX to tackle the killing of black youth

By Julien Ferdinand

Brazil has one of the highest murder rates in the world, with 56 000 people murdered each year. 30 000 of them are aged between 15-29 and 77% of young peoople killed are black. Firearms are responsible for most homicides in Brazil and less than 8% of cases are brought to justice.

The fact that the majority of young people killed are black has been treated with indifference, which is why Amnesty International Brazil launched the Black Youth Alive campaign (in Portuguese) in November 2014, in an effort to mobilize civil society.

The QuilomBOX collection

The QuilomBOX collection (in Portuguese) was built by collectives and groups from the peripheries and favelas of the state of Rio de Janeiro, Bahia and the Federal District of Brasilia. It consists of a box containing mobilization and organization tools used by 17 groups of activists from Brazil, plus the methodologies used in the Black Youth Alive Creative Workshops held in 2016. The BOX itself functions as an image and video projector that connects to a cell phone. Thanks to a simple speaker inside, activists are able to organize video exhibitions and communicate their work to other young activists.

Creative Workshops

Creative workshops were organized as part of the Black Youth Alive campaign, adapting the participative methodologies of the Respect my dignity, respect my rights educational modules and creating different educational materials.

This project was one of the greatest and more beautiful things I've done in my whole life. During the meeting, our partners fell deeply in love with the materials, and it was amazing to see them identifying themselves and their work, see their efforts acknowledged by an international human rights organization, and be able to align our efforts with their actual experiences.
Jandira Queiroz, Activism & Mobilization Adviser at Amnesty International Brazil


A participatory process with local partners

One of the challenges faced by the organizers was the difficulty in obtaining information from local partners, as many did not have easy access to the internet or cell phones to communicate.

To make QuilomBOX (in Portuguese) happen in six months, a diverse young creative team was formed. The team included two dedicated designers, a general project producer, a producer exclusively in charge of graphics, and a journalist in charge of extracting the information and developing the texts. The team worked closely with local partners: a collective of young black women audio-visual producers filmed and edited all the videos, and a tech start-up formed by young activists from suburban neighbourhoods in Rio de Janeiro developed the monitoring and evaluation tool. This was in the form of an interactive map (in Portuguese), that monitored how far the QuilomBOX was spreading.

The material was launched in a meeting of 60 young activists from grassroots groups that the team in Rio de Janeiro had mapped over 18 months. The activists came from 12 different states.

Learn more about the campaign (in Portuguese) and Amnesty International’s work in Brazil