Food shoot for an online food mag featuring a local gem in the city center.
"The venue has developed one of the city’s most extensive beer menus to accompany its creative twists on the typical foods of Brazil’s Northeast – a region multitudes of migrants left in the last century, seeking a better life the country’s more prosperous Southeast." - Taylor Barnes
Read the story here: Aconchego Carioca
Its been an incredible couple weeks watching and photographing the awakening of social protests in Brazil, especial in Rio de Janeiro. Here's a dramatic image (cropped) of ab off-duty police officer disposing his empty guns into a street fire in Centro, and a cut-out of a young woman wearing the Brazilian flag, below.
Protests in Rio de Janeiro, and other major Brazilian cities began with a 20-cent hike in public transport fares, have now moved beyond that issue to widespread frustration about a heavy tax burden, corrupt politicians and weak public education, health and transport systems, as Brazil hosted the Confederations Cup soccer tournament last week, and now prepares for the Pope's visit in July.
I photographed Getulio Fidelis who was born in Rocinha, a community of 160,000 residents in the South Zone of Rio de Janeiro. Contrary to media stereotype, a favela is not a slum nor a shantytown. It is an informal, lower class community which developed its own unique culture. Fidelis currently lives in Santa Marta, a favela that was first pacified. He and his wife live in a 500-sq-ft, remodeled 2-level, one-bedroom home, complete with air-condition, two televisions, and his various Apple electronics. Fidelis is part of this emerging middle class. Fidelis was fortunate to be awarded a full-scholarship to attend university and also works at a successul ngo. "Because he had access to education, he was able to get a good job. Because he has a good job, he can now consume, fuelling demand and making others wealthier as well."
The 2/3 series on Rio's transformation. I'm lucky to have met one of the residents in Mage while I was working a unpacified favela and to pass his story to the Lulu, the NPR reporter, which eventually became the main issue of this piece. Pacification in the city of Rio is an ambitious project that challenges communites and the state to change in ways they haven't in decades. Trust is a fragile virture.
I live in Ipanema, a neighborhood under favela Cantagalo. Weekend nights are busy. Through my window the sounds of baile funk music til 3am, fireworks, and people talking echo off the granite hillside and concrete apartment buildings. The weeknights are sometimes so quiet i often wonder what is wrong. why so quiet! When i first arrived to Rio, I took a walk up to this community high above the apartment building where i live. I took the elevator up what felt like 100 feet high above and held my breath as I quickly hurried across the walkway bridge to the community on the morro (hill). I didn't get very far when I saw these boys...inquisitively tough and sweet; a close knit of friends and family. A stark contrast to the wealthiest neighborhoods in all the city that lies below them. They are the lights that twinkle bright on the morro.
Part 1/3 of a series on the effects of pacification in Rio de Janeiro, this story focuses on the urban development within the Rio's South Zone favelas - (to note: favelas nowadays are far more developed then shantytowns or slums).
Lots of great gems in these communities! Some of the best homemade and best priced meals are in the favelas. And some communities have million dollar views of the South Zone - the wealthiest and most touristy area of Rio de Janeiro.
To view slideshow of pictures and read story:
Once Unsafe, Rio's Shantytowns See Rapid Gentrification by Lourdes Garcia-Navarro.
The sushi is pretty good and the views are worth a million bucks. The word slums often used to described the poorer surrouding areas of Rio is sort of a dated term...sadly, still used by the media. Locally, they are called communities. I've been in the homes of far worse poverty then in the favelas of Rio. The pacification process is an ambitious work in progress as we discovered during this assignment with conflicting opinions of the residents. Wandering through alleyways of the favelas looking for surprises, nice light, and the listening to the sounds of life always makes photographing interesting!
Fun lifestyle & travel shoot for Monocle Mag of two great creative dudes who make custom beach cruisers and skateboards, and all the people i met along the way, including this adorable girl who happily gave me the Brazilian thumbs-up! I also rode the around the Lagoa for the first time...a beautiful ride especially around sunset.
Caught wind of a cool community event last saturday in Rocinha, a community, otherwise known as a favela, in zona sul of rio de janeiro. Favela Kombat MMA is a mixed-martial event bringing contending semi-professional fighters from Rio's favelas into the octagon, some for the first time. The first tournament was held in Rocinha, on Saturday, March 9, 2013. The community paid in food donations, affording access for fans to watch an organized mixed-martial arts event, and for many their first time seeing a live octagon fight.
Today is the first day of Carnival in Brazil...Every year each samba school choose their song, compose the lyrics and choreograph their dance. About 2-3 weeks before Carnival, the samba schools bring their rehearsal party (bloco) to the streets in their neighrborhood. I'm rooting for Portela Samba School, because it was my first bloco to attend and photograph...click on the link to check out their song.
Brief history: The first escolas de samba formed was Mangueira, in 1928. Soon theme songs, elaborate costumes, and floats became the main attraction of Rio Carnival. Many other teams from different communities in the Rio neighborhood followed Mangueira’s footsteps and formed samba schools to take part in the Carnival. Samba parades soon became the most popular event in Rio with the organizers being forced to set a time limit for each team in 1971.
The streets of Rio remained the main stage for the Carnival until 1984, when the Sambadrome was built by world famous architect, Oscar Niemeyer. Many of the current samba schools have their roots in the original schools of the 20’s and 30’s.
I'll admit that Brazil wasn't on my top list of countries to begin new work in...in fact, I was pretty much set to return to Guatemala. I felt that there was more to do with my project on the affects of violence in the country and the past civil war. I still do believe that I need to go back to continue working. Yet, sometimes life just throws these amazing curveballs and somehow it was decided that Brazil is where I'll dedicate the next year or so of my life to working on personal projects and assignments. AND many, many thanks to my colleagues for expediting my journo visa!!! Ive left my comfortable life and friends, my guy George and our dog Reese, in Ocean Beach, San Francisco, put my things in storage and packed two suitcases, my surfboards, camera gear and a computer for a Cidade Maravilhosa, Rio de Janeiro.
Someone help me out with a title for this crazy move.
Ive travelled all of my life since I was a kid. Running to the gate with my family (we were always late) and flying stand-by (since my father worked for an airline), we had the luxury to do a lot of flying and hoteling. Its become second nature (although since 911 its not so fun anymore with obnoxious TSA restrictions). Ive spent many, many months in Mexico, Guatemala, Cambodia and Indonesia. Yet its quite strange to arrive in a foreign country for the first time with no immediate return date. But the motions are the same: find accommodation, find good places to eat, find transportation, get a sim card. I signed up for a language school, although at this point in my life, learning a new language is like learning how to do biophysics. My dear 23-year-old American roommate speaks nearly fluent and fast as if she was born with it in the four months she's been here. One day this year I hope to achieve that but at the very least soon discover when I'm suppose to say "sh" with every word that has "s".
Everyone asks me why. Why Brazil. Honestly, the main reason why is because I've never done it. I've never lived abroad. I should have done it in my 20s but didn't. And now I'm doing it and its incredibly surreal.
Meanwhile, I'll eventually get use to the fast beach breaks, this Miami beach lifestyle, the shhhes, and finding my way through Rio from all the stories that I can't wait to explore and then some. Stay tuned.