10 years of the June 2013 protests in Brazil: From democratic dreams to authoritarian nightmares (and back?)

On June 6th, 2023, Loughborough University London hosted the seminar “10 years of the June 2013 protests in Brazil: From democratic dreams to authoritarian nightmares (and back?)”. It was a joint initiative of The Institute for Media and Creative Industries, the School of Journalism, Media and Culture - Cardiff University, the Instituto National de Ciencia e Tecnologia - Democracia Digital – Universidade Federal da Bahia, the Institute for Advanced Studies of Loughborough University, and TV Nestante.


During June 2013, millions of citizens took the streets of hundreds of Brazilian cities. The movement started as a regular protest against the increase in the cost of public transport and quickly unfolded as a larger mobilization embracing a variety of claims from access to health and education to corruption issues. Some affirm that those protests were the fertile ground for the emergence of right-wing forces that pushed the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff in 2016 and ended up leading Bolsonaro to power in 2018. After 10 years of those protests, the Workers Party is back in power. This seminar looked back at this decade searching for open sores and lessons learned.


The three panels proposed a debate about dynamics of citizen participation and media representation in the constitution of democracy. Among the main reflections was a concern with a tendency observed both with journalists, researchers and political analysts in general, of searching to summarize complex events or phenomena. Speakers brought data indicating how journalists felt unable to cover June 2013 as well as other protests in Chile or the United States, in the last decade, because they did not fit the general framework of street demonstrations. Similarly, a question from the audience summarized an analytical problem: “what democracy are we talking about?”. Speakers raised the need of reviewing conceptual frameworks to engage better with citizens claims, while searching for ways to preserve and strengthen democratic values.


You can watch the recordings of all debates, including Q&A sessions here