The Favelas by Alpha Whiskey Photography
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The Favelas

  • Apr 21, 2015
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  • 17 Photos
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The Favelas

As painful as it is to see people, especially young children, living in abject squalor, one realises that the favelas in Rio are a living, sprawling metropolis, albeit one of brick and tin shacks teetering dangerously on wooden stilts on the edges of Rio. Our guide took us right through them, from the top to the bottom, and gave us an insight into how the residents there, despite being off the grid, manage to eke out a life for themselves. Many of the people there are creative and enterprising, as demonstrated by the artists and musicians we encountered.But despite the police pacifications, we were warned that the favelas are still a dangerous place, with armed gangs watching our every move. We even walked past one young guy in a doorway holding a machine gun bigger than himself. Needless to say, we were warned to keep our cameras hidden and opportunities for photography were scant.One wanted to capture the endless, low hanging batches of exposed wiring, the countless stray dogs and cats, the intricate maze of winding alleys and stairs, the piles of garbage rotting underneath elevated shacks. We passed by a huge pile of rubble where 14 dwellings had perished in a landslide. No government help here.However, the people there are resilient and resourceful, and are trying to regenerate the favelas as a tourist attraction. One hopes that the friendly, smiling toddlers we saw in the day care centre will have a brighter future to look forward to.As grateful as I always am to live somewhere with access to basic services and quality of life, I am even more humbled by my short experience of the favelas. Perhaps that is one small gift they can bequeath upon the city they cradle below.

Apr 21, 2015
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The Favelas

This post has 17 photos Apr 21, 2015Comments (0)497 views
As painful as it is to see people, especially young children, living in abject squalor, one realises that the favelas in Rio are a living, sprawling metropolis, albeit one of brick and tin shacks teetering dangerously on wooden stilts on the edges of Rio. Our guide took us right through them, from the top to the bottom, and gave us an insight into how the residents there, despite being off the grid, manage to eke out a life for themselves. Many of the people there are creative and enterprising, as demonstrated by the artists and musicians we encountered.

But despite the police pacifications, we were warned that the favelas are still a dangerous place, with armed gangs watching our every move. We even walked past one young guy in a doorway holding a machine gun bigger than himself. Needless to say, we were warned to keep our cameras hidden and opportunities for photography were scant.

One wanted to capture the endless, low hanging batches of exposed wiring, the countless stray dogs and cats, the intricate maze of winding alleys and stairs, the piles of garbage rotting underneath elevated shacks. We passed by a huge pile of rubble where 14 dwellings had perished in a landslide. No government help here.

However, the people there are resilient and resourceful, and are trying to regenerate the favelas as a tourist attraction. One hopes that the friendly, smiling toddlers we saw in the day care centre will have a brighter future to look forward to.

As grateful as I always am to live somewhere with access to basic services and quality of life, I am even more humbled by my short experience of the favelas. Perhaps that is one small gift they can bequeath upon the city they cradle below.


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