Leonardo Custódio

Leonardo Custódio (he/his/him) is an Afro-Brazilian educator and activist researcher. In his teaching, research, and activism, Custódio focuses on processes where underprivileged and discriminated people use multiple media technologies available to act against the inequalities they suffer in their everyday lives. WITNESS welcomed him to its Board of Directors in January 2022.

Between 2009 and 2016, Custódio received a PhD by studying how and why low-income young people do media activism for human rights, social justice, and peace in Brazil. Since 2017, Custódio has researched and collaborated with anti-racist media activism initiaves in Finland and Brazil starting in his postdoctoral fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Social Research (IASR) at the University of Tampere (2017-2019) through his current role as a postdoctoral researcher at Åbo Akademi University (2019-2022).

As an activist researcher, Custódio co-founded and co-coordinated the Anti-Racism Media Activism Alliance. Custodio is also the co-founder and coordinator of The Activist Research Network, a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary initiative to promote dialogue among researchers engaged in politically motivated research.

Custódio is the author of Favela Media Activism: Counterpublics for Human Rights in Brazil (Lexington Books). An example of his collaborative experience is the documentary “Complexos” (2021), produced in partnership with the favela-based audiovisual collective Cafuné na Laje.   

WITNESS is excited about the addition of Custódio’s highly relevant extensive experience in media activism as a tool, as well as learning from his anti-oppressive approaches to activists collaboration and sharing knowledge to fight for human rights.  

Follow him on Twitter @_leocustodio_

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