Urban Rio: life in between beaches and favelas

Lara Ciarabellini

2017 - Ongoing

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Among the two media stereotypes of Rio de Janeiro - namely the beautiful ocean beaches of the residential districts of Leblon and Ipanema immersed into a dolce vita, and the favelas on the outskirts commonly stigmatized by violence and poverty -, lies the urban and political heart of Rio de Janeiro, territory mainly inhabited by a white population.

As the seat of the public institutions of the city and the state of Rio, and of the country until 1960, the territory is still the centre of political and social life. It is a less known picture of the metropolis, yet able to show many of the facets of the Carioca identity and, probably, of the complex universe of Brazil.

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  • Rio de Janeiro (Brasil) – During Christmas time, a local church puts up a nativity scene in Gloria, a Rio de Janeiro's neighborhood. In 2017, the setting was within a political context. It was destroyed just few days before the end of Christmas commemoration period. Doubts about the causes still exist, perhaps the strong wind or perhaps a malicious act.

  • Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) – Supporters of the Brazilian national soccer team after the match Serbia – Brazil.

  • Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) – A group of supporters of Operation Car Wash (Lavo Jato in Portuguese), the biggest corruption investigation in Latin America, conducted by the judge Sergio Moro. Operation Car Wash is a criminal investigation on bribes and money laundry which involves Brazilian politicians and entrepreneurs. It is a controversial case. For many, it raises suspicions about the seriousness and sobriety of the police procedures, because of the leak of information and sentences based on no credible evidence, above all.

  • Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) - During a protest against the president Michel Temer, protesters are asking for new election. The conclusion of the trial of impeachment that deposed Dilma Rousseff brought Temer to the presidency, although he had never been elected by the population.

  • Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) - Protest against the newspaper O Dia, following the front-page fake news about pools for children placed by drug traffickers in a street in the favela New Holland, Complexo da Maré. The fake news alleged that the goal was to hinder the road and prevent the passage of the police, and to please residents in order to gain power in the community. The protesters placed two pools in front of the entrance to the newspaper, in Lapa, Rio de Janeiro.

  • Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) – Professor and researcher crying in front of the burnt palace of the National Museum de Rio de Janeiro, their working place, the day after the big fire that destroyed the building and a large part of the collection of Brazilian and world history.

  • Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) – End of a political rally during the 2018 election.

  • Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) - City counselor Reimont and some policemen watching the rally outside the town hall of supporters and opponents of the impeachment against the mayor of Rio, Marcelo Crivella. The impeachment allegations were based on reportage by the major Brazilian newspaper O Globo about a secret meeting between Crivella and pastors, to ensure preferential treatment both on tax exemption for evangelic churches and on cataract surgeries for believers.

  • Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) - Street carnival organized by International Evangelical Community of the South Zone (Comunidade Evangélica Internacional da Zona Sul), one of the many evangelical churches in Rio de Janeiro, gathered around a thousand people singing carnival marches that speak of God.

  • Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) – Supporters of the Brazilian national soccer team celebrating the victory in the match Serbia – Brazil, during the World Cup 2018.

  • Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) - Two women wearing the typical clothes of African root religions are waiting for the visit of Ojaja II, king of Ifé and leader of Iorubá in Nigeria, at the Valongo Wharf.

  • Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) – Military patrol in Mauá Square (Praça Mauá), downtown Rio de Janeiro, as part of the military occupation of the city, which restarted in February 2018.

  • Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) – Mannequin in a street of Catete, a neighbourhood of Rio de Janeiro

  • Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) - The Jongo de Pinheiral group attending the visit of Ojaja II, king of Ifé and leader of Iorubá in Nigeria, at the Valongo Wharf. The Jongo, a mixture of drum percussion, dance and song, preserves and keeps alive the African origin of the enslaved blacks. The Jongo was practiced as a form of leisure and resistance to colonial dominion.

  • Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) - Police in riot gear in front of the building of the Legislative Assembly of the state of Rio de Janeiro (ALERJ), during a protest by civil servants for the payment of back wages.

  • Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) – Supporters of Lula - the former president of Brazil, today in prison following a controversial sentence by Car Wash Operation (Operação Lava Jato) - taking part in the celebration of the First of May at XV Square (Praça XV). His supporters denounce the sentence as political persecution and ask for the liberation of Lula.

  • Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) – Graduation souvenir picture in front of the Sugar Loaf.

  • Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) - Police in riot gear in the park of the National Museum, burnt the day before in a big fire that destroyed the building and a large part of the collection of Brazilian and world history, before a clash with the students who wanted to enter the park.

  • Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) – Participants to the Wonder Women running race taking pictures in front of the the Monument to the Dead of World War II