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August 27, 2008

Scenes from Rio de Janeiro

A recent large-scale project by the photographer named JR has focused attention on women - relatives of victims of violence - by displaying their large portraits in one of Rio de Janeiro's hardest hit neighborhoods. Though Rio is blessed with natural beauty and climate, it still struggles with large disparities between rich and poor, and many of the six million residents reside in hillside slums called favelas. Here are some views of Rio de Janeiro over the past few months. (15 photos total)

View of the facade of some houses at the "Morro da Providencia" favela, one of the most violent of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, taken on August 20, 2008. The French photographer identified as JR is launching a project called "Women Are Heroes", through which the photographs of women, relatives of the victims of clashes between the police and drug traffickers, were placed in the facades of the houses. This project already took place in Sudan, Sierra Leone, Kenya and Liberia, and will be taken to India, Cambodia, Laos and Morocco after Brazil. (VANDERLEI ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images)

An aerial view shows the famous Sugar Loaf mountain in Rio de Janeiro, August 18, 2008. The cable car leads to one of Rio's most visited sites, with 800,000 tourists per year. (REUTERS/Bruno Domingos) #

Giant photographs of women cover the walls of homes in Providencia slum in Rio de Janeiro, Friday, Aug. 15, 2008. A French photographer who identifies himself as JR is exhibiting portraits of women whose loved ones were killed by police as part of his project entitled "Women are Heroes." (AP Photo/Ricardo Moraes) #

General view of the "Morro da Providencia" favela, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, taken on August 20, 2008. (VANDERLEI ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images) #

Boca Juniors goalkeeper Alejandro Migliore (L) reacts as Fluminense footballers celebrate their third goal on June 04, 2008 during the second semifinal of the Libertadores Cup against Fluminense in the Rio de Janeiro Maracana stadium. (ANTONIO SCORZA/AFP/Getty Images) #

Brazil's Fluminense's fans cheer prior to a Copa Libertadores soccer game against Argentina's Boca Juniors in Rio de Janeiro, Wednesday, June 4, 2008. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo) #

The P-51 oil rig of Brazilian oil giant Petrobras at Angra dos reis in Rio de Janeiro August 21, 2008. The platform, the first semi-submersible (floating production unit) to be built entirely in Brazil with a total investment of $850 million, will be able to process and treat 180,000 barrels of oil and 6,000,000 cubic meters of gas. (REUTERS/Bruno Domingos) #

A person wearing a bull horn disguise participates in the Jongo Festival in a former slave community in Valenca near Rio de Janeiro, Saturday, May 17, 2008. The Jongo ritual is a legacy of African slaves who worked in the coffee plantations in the 19th century. Slaves were freed in Brazil in 1888. (AP Photo/Ricardo Moraes) #

Models present creations by designer Coven during the Rio Fashion Week Spring-Summer 2008-09 collection, at the Marina da Gloria on June 11, 2008 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (VANDERLEI ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images) #

A model wears a creation by Nana Carana during the Fashion Rio Spring Summer 2009 in Rio de Janeiro, Friday, June 13 , 2008. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo) #

A police helicopter flies over the Rocinha slum during a police operation in Rio de Janeiro, Monday, June 2, 2008. Thousands of killings by Brazilian police are going largely unpunished because of public approval for a perceived crackdown on crime, according to U.N. envoy Philip Alston. Clashes with police killed a record 1,260 civilians in Rio de Janeiro state last year, according to Brazil's Institute of Public Safety. (AP Photo/Ricardo Moraes) #

A cameraman covers a police operation as residents stand in the streets of Rocinha slum in Rio de Janeiro, Monday, June 2, 2008. Two Brazilian journalists investigating paramilitaries in Rio's slums say they were kidnapped and tortured by armed men who identified themselves as police, according to their newspaper O Dia. (AP Photo/Ricardo Moraes) #

A cable car travels to and from Sugar Loaf mountain in Rio de Janeiro, August 18, 2008. The cable car leads to one of Rio's most visited sites, with 800,000 tourist per year. (REUTERS/Bruno Domingos) #

People are seen in Arpoador beach in Rio de Janeiro, Tuesday, July 29, 2008. The weak dollar and a steadily strengthening Brazilian real have seen Rio climb from the 135th most expensive city in the world just a few years ago, to the 31st most expensive today, tied with Barcelona and Stockholm. (AP Photo/Ricardo Moraes) #

The world famous "Christ The Redeemer" statue, right, and the Sugar Loaf hill, right back, are seen in Rio de Janeiro, Tuesday, July 29, 2008. (AP Photo/Ricardo Moraes) #