Rio de Janiro, Brazil
A ‘fevela’ is the generally accepted term for a shanty town in Brazil. Its approximated that almost 1.3 million people live in the approximately 750 favelas in Rio de Janeiro.
The favelas are ultimately run and ruled by the barons of Brazil, and each establish a strict regime within their grounds. No one may rob or kill anyone else within the favela without facing severe punishment. Degenerative drugs like crack and heroin typically aren’t allowed in though cocaine and marijuana is readily available. Most of the warfare in the favelas takes place against the military police who are always making surprise raids. The people in the favelas let off fireworks when the military police are making a raid and you soon learn to distinguish the sound of fire crackers from the gun shots that often follow soon afterwards.
But all this being said, the inhabitants of the favelas are hard working people who have chosen to be part of a city that does not offer opportunities for everyone. What makes the favelas so unique for Rio is their location on the steep hillsides. Here the extremely poor live on the hillside with the scenic views while the rich live along the bottom where conditions are less than favorable. Not only is the direct opposite of city development around the world, but it creates a dramatic contrast between the rich and the poor by putting the two directly next to one another. This is one of the advantages to living in this type of favela.
The rich provide many of the jobs, in way of services, that help sustain the the livelihood of the faveladors. Many of the rich rely on the cheap labor and service jobs that the faveladors supply, but this does not quell the criticism and negative image that they evoke.
Camera: Canon G9