The Listening Road – Rio’s street of media, trends and consumer culture

A brief glimpse into the history of Rio de Janeiro’s Rua do Ouvidor reveals some fascinating insight into the history of Rio de Janeiro but also threw up some interesting facts that you would expect The Listening Agency to find interesting. Not least of which being the historical ties between the street and the history of media and consumer culture in the city and Brazil. Ombudsmann, a Swedish term means quite literally a person who has an ear to the people and the word in Portugues for ombudsman is you guessed it… Ouvidor. The street gained its name by popular usage in the 18th Century as it was the home of residence of the Ouvidor-Mor or ombudsman of the city, Manoel Pena de Mesquite Pinto. In the 19th Century the street was the location where the cities residents went in search of news and new trends from around the world at the cafes and bookshops which lined the road. With the construction of Rio Branco a mojor new Avenue in the early 1900s the profile of the street changed to become one of the principal locations for a newly emerging consumer culture. It was home to clothing stores, cigar stores and jewelry shops and was also a center of social activity and the stage for soirées, exhibitionism and large private parties. In the 1890’s it was on Rua do Ouvidor that the first cinema in Brazil opened its doors as did the first ice-cream shop in the 1830’s.

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