I don’t have photographs – yet – although Fred is going to help with that. He took one of me washing our plates up at the NGO in Rocinha today. I suspect photographic evidence of me doing any washing up at all would be prized quite highly by some of my exes and flatmates.
Instead of images, I’m going to just describe a few slices of life and hope I can add the visual element by the end of the week.
Watching the Brazil game in my street on Monday, which is like Rio’s Old Compton Street. Just before the game started, two men, incredibly toned (which seems more the norm here than the exception), and wearing the scantest of trunks, make a solemn procession along the street. One carrying a Brazil flag, the other with a vuvuzela aloft. This must have been planned, but more impromptu was the man coming the other way with five labradors on a lead, all wearing some sort of memorabilia, from Brazil baseball caps to scarfs. They crossed in the middle.
Boy with a rifle the same size as him casually walking along in Rocinha.
Azure, azure, penetrating blue, always coming into view somewhere, the sky or the sea.
Kites being flown from the aqueduct above the tunnel leading to Rocinha.
Moving to sound, the type of funk, (called baile funk in the UK) which documents the gangs and their battles is called Prohibao, which roughly means Forbidden. You can listen to an example at this excellent website. It also explains the origination of that particular track.
These things are playing all day and night and can be a nuisance, certainly lots of the women I met complained about the constant noise and the repetition in the sound and the lyrics. At the same time, the sound is really incredible. People have known about this shit in London for years, so I will shut up now. It just slots into place now that I’ve been to the source of that sound.
Worth a read of that website as he talks about how the sound has been exoticised which I believe the favelas themselves have too.
One more image: my mum sorting out 20 pairs of unmatching socks into pairs, in just over two weeks I have been here. Had 20 odd ones before I went away.