“There is no more pleasure over there on the Hill of Pleasures [Morro dos Prazeres]…” This line, from the composition by the songwriter and poet Paulo César Pinheiro, comes from the song ‘Nomes de Favela [names of the favelas]’, a typical samba sung with a mouth full of life and eyes full of tears.
Pinheiro’s song harks back to a time when making samba in Brazil was associated with being different. Today, people generally consider funk carioca, or just funk [a dance music style popular in favelas that developed from Miami Bass], and its practitioners to be in that position, regardless of More >
Walk into a favela in Rio today and you may see railings and poured concrete staircases amid the more organic alleyways and not-quite-symmetrical homes. Unless there are workers scrambling around—or taking a coffee break—in blue jumpsuits and hard hats, these infrastructure features were likely installed by the Favela-Bairro (Favela-to-Neighborhood) upgrading program of 1994 to 2008.
Before Favela-Bairro, infrastructure upgrades in Rio More >
For original story in Portuguese in Pública, click here.
“They don’t destroy just the house. They destroy that person’s entire life, their plans, and projects,” states Elisângela Sena, 38, who has experienced the drama caused by Rio de Janeiro’s planning of future mega-events. Resident of Pavão-Pavãozinho, located in the South Zone between the wealthy neighborhoods of Copacabana and Ipanema, Elisângela witnessed her house literally fall to the ground in 2010. Two years later her story became a documentary, and she is still waiting for a new house, indemnities, follow-up from an aide of the Municipal Housing Secretary, and a phone call from More >
In the bright expansive upper level dining area of her Providência restaurant, Pensão Sabor de Ana, Ana Maria dos Santos, 50, explains the mixed fortunes of her business since the community, which celebrates 115 years this month, received the Pacifying Police Unit (UPP) and public-private works started in 2010.
Originally from the Northeastern state of Pernambuco, Ana Maria came to live with her mother in Providência, Rio de Janeiro aged 15. She describes how she had many different jobs including bank teller, maid and elderly care assistant but in middle age it became more difficult to find work so she started selling takeaway More >
“I have one rule,” says Felipe Paiva, as my calves start to feel the burn from ascending the streets of Vidigal, “to see the view point at the top of Vidigal, you can’t drive, take a motor taxi, or a van, you have to walk!”
And it was worth the walk as we arrived at a platform high atop favela Vidigal, where there emerged a stunning view of the vibrant community and beyond it, Rio’s South Zone, the white sand stretching from Leblon to Leme.
Felipe’s pride and connection to his native neighborhood are apparent not just in his photographs but also in More >