LOCATION • Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
Babilonia, is a small favela situated in the south of Rio de Janeiro. When we think of the word favela the first thing that probably comes to our mind is drug trafficking, violence, and poverty. Although these are still important issues to tackle, the media insists on just showcasing these aspects from it. This has caused many prejudices and inequalities to favela inhabitants.
Janice Perlam, author of “Favela: Four Decades of Living on the Edge in Rio de Janeiro” discovered after conduction several interviews over decades, that the highest discrimination faced in Rio de Janeiro, was living in a favela. The score was even higher than race discrimination.
My experience living in a favela was totally different. I could perceive the real meaning of a community. People would gather together to fix or arrange things in la favela and after, eat something together. This action has a specific name “ mutirao”. Neighbours were respectful and showed solidarity with each other. Each weekend, you could join to dance and listen to Rodas de Samba performed in the main square of the favela.
The favelas should not be thought about as something pitiable or exotic. Favela residents are fighting everyday to transform their realities with strength and energy. More and more favela’s inhabitants' voices are growing louder. Activism is becoming a strong tool to make great changes in favelas all over the world.
Documented and photographed the day by day life of the favela Babilonia, to help to display the more humanised and peaceful side that is not portrayed so much in the media. This project was selected in the CLIC 2019 contest for young photojournalists carried out by the government of Catalonia, Spain.