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August 27, 2008 Permalink

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)
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85 comments so far...

nice pictures

Posted by Gary August 27, 08 12:05 PM

Great pictures!!
And just a small correction, Arpoador is not a beach, but a peninsula between Ipanema and Copacabana. And based on the angle, the beach we see on the penultimate picture is Ipanema.

Posted by Rafael August 27, 08 12:18 PM

great city

Posted by Cesar August 27, 08 12:33 PM

Always a pleasure.

Posted by Dan August 27, 08 12:33 PM

The women's faces are scary. It's very disturbing. I wonder what the artist hopes for the outcome.

Posted by Lesley August 27, 08 12:41 PM

fotos de rio

Posted by guille August 27, 08 12:44 PM

Very good!

Posted by Luiz Paulo August 27, 08 01:10 PM

you are still the site for the "big pictures"

it's a pleasure to link you

Posted by Jesse August 27, 08 01:10 PM

I like this picture!
Brasilia is a good place!


Posted by Alex August 27, 08 01:25 PM

How much does the left eye slum room go for?
These pictures suck!
Posting favela pictures is so lame and it's been done for years.

Celebrate the Beauty of Brazil!
The Girls! The Animals! The Landscape! The Music! The People! The Food!
Every country has shithole slums!

One day, on the right beach, and you'll become BRAZILLIAN!
The only people that take favela pix have little peeepees!
Any moron with Photoshop can do this!

Posted by taxiboysdrummer August 27, 08 01:38 PM

Realmente o Rio de Janeiro é uma bela cidade, mas infelismente é ligada sempre a imagens da pobreza das favelas. Isso acaba fazendo com que o mundo pense que a cidade toda seja assim.

Ninguem imagina quanta riqueza e luxo existe lá.

Só quem visita conhece!

Adoro esse site e suas belissimas fotos!

Djalma Ribeiro
Cuiabá - Brasil

Posted by Djalma Ribeiro August 27, 08 01:56 PM

While I feel a little silly responding to such an inflammatory (and obviously not serious) comment, taxiboysdrummer, I feel I must speak up.

I am an American—I have family in Brasil and have spent time there. While Brasil's amazing culture (which you mention) is indeed worthy of notice, it is the stark contrast between Brasil's beauty and its favelas which is so unsettling.

I remember trying to understand at a young age why people living in shacks had satellite dishes on their roofs for TV reception.

Every country may have "shithole slums," as you say, but there are so many people who have never seen one in their lives. Poverty is often swept under the carpet.

There is something to be said for awareness.

Posted by Laura August 27, 08 02:30 PM

I was in Rio 3 years ago; so I was able to appreciate a lot of what I saw in the pictures. However, the pictures with the police were a little disturbing.

I had a wonderful time in Brazil (11 days and several side trips) I would recommend visiting to anyone and I would go back given the opportunity.

Posted by Marguerita August 27, 08 02:39 PM

So much for "What Happens in Rio, Stays in Rio". Nice pictures.

Posted by August 27, 08 02:48 PM

loved all them!
thank you!

Posted by Ulises August 27, 08 03:28 PM

Congrats! Your work is amazing!!!

Forget about the idiot that wrote that slums shoudn´t be showed in pics. That's one of the biggest problem of brazilians. They don´t accept the favelas as a part of the city. They want to forget about it . Shame on you. We need to show Rio as it is ..the nature,music , its people and the favelas that you can find everywhere you go in Rio.

Anyhow, do you know that the music you are so proud of comes from the favelas?

Great work! Very creative!!

Posted by Priscila August 27, 08 04:49 PM

Awesome pictures!
Great job!

Posted by Wilff August 27, 08 05:29 PM

Every week I see your amazing photos, and I feel sorrow for few pictures covering the Olympics , but that's OK you were on vacation.
I'm very pleased with these photos of my country , but there are many cities to be shown not only the well known Rio de Janeiro. I would like to suggest São Paulo , Curitiba and our capital Brasilia.
Nice pictures , good job !

Posted by William August 27, 08 05:30 PM

Take a look here to see website of photographer JR :
And enjoy...

Posted by Dguinehut August 27, 08 05:40 PM

Great photos. The photos of the buildings with photos on them is very meta.

Posted by Eric Stoller August 27, 08 05:40 PM

Rio 2016! The Olympics should finally go to a country in South America. It's down to Chicago, Tokyo, Madrid, and Rio. The US, Japan, and Spain have hosted before, so it is even better to give the summer games to Rio!

Posted by Dale August 27, 08 09:10 PM

Beautiful. One of the most beautiful places in the world
French Class

Posted by French Class August 27, 08 09:40 PM

JR strikes again! Brilliant.

Posted by weminedeeper August 27, 08 11:00 PM

I remember when I was in Rio in 2004, a gun battle broke out between police and drug dealers in the favela (slum) behind my hotel. At that time there was an agreement between the police and drug dealers that if the dealers left the tourists alone the police would leave them alone in the favelas.

Two weeks after that incident I heard, the police used a helicopter gunship to kill the head of the drug cartel that controlled most of the dealers in the Rio favelas. Im sorry to see that's still going on four years later.

When I was in Brazil in June this year, a member of the military told me he was scared to be in Rio most of the time because it has become so violent.

Posted by Eric August 27, 08 11:25 PM

super and stunning to see all of these photos

Posted by jijis August 27, 08 11:51 PM

The variety of images show the beauty and contrast of Brazil. I'm not sure about the large photos on the slums, its definitely eye catching and noteworthy, but I'm not sure it even further minimizes those poor people who are living in the slums. Now they are living in/on billboards.

Great images as always. As a photographer I am a BIG fan of this site!


Posted by Heather August 27, 08 11:58 PM

More JR in Rio here...

The Big Picture is really amazing!



Posted by Claudio Versiani August 28, 08 03:53 AM

Really good pictures, as always. The story is very moving, too.

Greetings Chan from TheJunction

p.s.: a week without your Big Pictures...boooring ;)

Posted by Chan TheJunction August 28, 08 09:24 AM

Great pictures! We, 5 American girls went to Rio early summer and we had such a good time! - don't listen to any ignorant ill-faced comments. Ethnocentric people like "taxiboysdrummer" are obviously fair-weathered folks who haven't a clue what poverty is! ..."left eye slum goes for ...."....dude, perhaps a caiparinia!" that what you want to hear?
I had the honor of actually going into the favelas and visiting a home for young children with multiple educational programs to steer them away from the 'favela life' - - it was a rich insight to see that there is hope, there are good people to WANT to help, and moreover there are young children who WANT to be helped!
The beaches, yup great!...the food...we porcao-ed out!..partied downtown... it was a trip as we got to see what a developing country looks like... I wonder what "taxiboysdrummer" would have to say if he went to a third world country like India - "...oooh, atleast we're not as poor as these Indians..."....
LOST SOUL...that's all I have to say!
Great PICS !

Posted by citizenOfTheWorld August 28, 08 12:10 PM
Posted by Beau August 28, 08 12:10 PM

Grat work and nice photos.
The photos shows Rio de Janeiro as it is today. Its not just about beauty and music. Poverty and violence, unfortunately, are part of the city
We also must remember that the polemic photos make us to understand what's going on there - its imporant and necessary... we have to discuss it.

Posted by Thiago de Assis - Belo Horizonte - Brasil August 28, 08 12:32 PM

brilliant juxtaposition of the fashion show and police raid. what a place.

Posted by Kristy August 28, 08 01:36 PM

As fotos estão maravilhosas, concordo que o povo de fora terá uma péssima imagem do Rio de Janeiro e o Brasil em geral por sempre dar ênfase a favela. Dessas 15 imagens do post 5 mostram a pobreza, me impressionei com isso.

Posted by Diego August 28, 08 01:53 PM

I was, perhaps, hoping for more beach pictures . . .but very nicely done none the less...

Posted by ...tom... August 28, 08 06:54 PM

I was at that game cheering for Fluminense! Amazing game!

Posted by Fivo August 28, 08 10:34 PM

Beautiful images! I absolutely love the photography campaign of the womens faces on the slums. It's such an interesting way to bring public attention to something that needs it so bad. Thank you for showing these!

Posted by Kip August 28, 08 11:28 PM


Posted by Le Cagot August 29, 08 01:23 AM

Nice pictures. Please, You must visit Slovakia!

Posted by Mike August 29, 08 04:47 AM


Posted by PATRICK August 29, 08 09:10 AM

I'm answering the post of Priscila:
"That's one of the biggest problem of brazilians. They don´t accept the favelas as a part of the city. They want to forget about it . Shame on you."

Shut the f*ck up girl. What you THINK you know about my country or about my people? I don't know where you come from, but brazilians don't want to forget about our problems. We look to our problems and we solve our problems. I think you are american or british. If you are american, shame on YOU! Look at your ape president. You people loves war and everything. Americans is the most supid people on earth and are you trying to say something about brazilians? are you talking about OUR problems? If you're british, I don't have a thing to say about you, but your police who shot a brazilian guy 5 times in the head on your subway.

Brazilian people is a party people? yes, but we SOLVE our problems. You? you just open your mouth to say sh*t about the others. shame on YOU!

Posted by Cesar August 29, 08 02:19 PM

great pix!
really great, i come from Brazil and i'm sorry you for the racist, or ethnicist (as you wish to call) behaviour from a brazilian.
as part of this people i feel ashamed when someone says something like that and places itself as a brazilian. i hope you all know not all of us are like that or think like that...
unfortunately there is good and bad people everywhere; not only in the US, Great Britain or Brazil.
what should be discussed here is the work of a great photografer, this pix in my opinion reflected well what Rio de Janeiro really is.
keep up with the good job and i hope to see more pix taken in my country =)

Posted by Gustavo August 29, 08 04:56 PM

Fala Felipe, beleza as fotos e o seu site também ta doido! o Tagmarks então nem comento, parabéns pelo premio! Um detalhe: faltou nessas fotos do Rio uma foto do carnaval!

Posted by Felipe Barone August 30, 08 01:49 AM

I was in Brazil three yrs ago. These picture are amazing! great Work!

Posted by Tony Mateo August 30, 08 10:15 AM

wonderfull pictures. really amazing. Gratz!

Posted by Thales August 30, 08 11:41 AM

Nice job!!! Forget about that comment about arpoador beach, you can say arpoador beach ,why not? Congratulations!

Posted by Marcus. September 1, 08 08:42 PM

About pic #5, don't forget to say Boca Juniors outplayed Fluminense until fifteen final minutes of the game! Boca died with boots on!
To Cesar (comment #40): totally agree with you, man. Don't let them forget american policies contributed to create poverty and chaos in Latin America.

Posted by Martín September 2, 08 01:05 PM

Where's Giselle?

Posted by Tom B September 2, 08 04:12 PM

great pics,It lets us know how lucky we are living in America

Posted by paulettefahrer September 4, 08 11:31 AM

Ahhhh que saudade!!! :-(
Thank you for sharing those images of beauty and poverty ... this is Rio!

Posted by Diana Calvario September 4, 08 03:49 PM

O-o So good pictures

Posted by Leonardo Castro September 5, 08 09:14 AM

will be able to process and treat 180,000 barrels of oil and 6,000,000 cubic meters of gas"

Per year? Per hour? In its lifecycle?

Posted by Pete September 8, 08 11:21 AM

I lived in Rio for two years as a Mormon missionary. I saw many sides of the city and really love it and the people. The people are amazing and have to deal with a lot. I lived just outside of a favela and often "went up the hill" to the Favelas. I saw kids with automatic weapons waiting for the police to enter. I woke up hearing automatic gunfire. I've had to run from firefights between the cops and the bandidos. I've seen buses burned in the streets. The favelas are a serious problem, but for all that there is an incredible and beautiful side to the city and its people.

Posted by B September 9, 08 01:24 PM

Ciudad maravillosa en la que tuve la suerte de vivir 4 años. Dios mio.!!! como lo echo de menos....Es de las mejores cosas que me han sucedido en la vida.

Posted by María September 10, 08 04:40 PM

India is not a 3rd world country... It never was one.. now Its competing with all countries and at all level... Please understand that There is no third world country on its own.. its the result of what we (the ppl) have created and still creating... I dont want to hurt the sentiments about Ones' country... If you think backing their country is a virtue of a true Patriot, then I am one... My Apologies if this Comment is Harsh...

This is the reply from me for the comment given by the Citizenoftheworld (Comment No 29)

Posted by IamLegend September 11, 08 09:06 AM

To Ceasar,
Brazilian people is a party people? yes, but we SOLVE our problems.
Name one problem your people have solved.
You treat your poor lick dogs.
They live in filth while your people party.
You people are a bunch of lying thieves.
The WORLD laughs at you.
Btw: Your English sucks.

Posted by Pablo September 11, 08 02:18 PM

Well I am not Brazilian but lived in Rio/Sao Paulo for years.

taxiboysdrummer: nao fala besteira, voce sabe, e eu sei, qual e a situacao no Rio. E uma vergonha! Voce sabe muito bem que todo mundo la esta apavorado, e deprimido, por causa da situacao/seguranca no Rio.
Parece que voce mora fora do Brasil. Vc sabe muito bem que a mais insegura cidade no exterior e 20x mais segura do que Rio! Vc so quer mostrar (para os gringos) as coisas "para ingles ver".
Tao tipico.

Translation: this guy (taxiboysdrummer) would like to hide favelas from foreigners' eyes. It's a typical Brazilian attitude, trying "not to see" what is happening in Brazil/Rio.

Dale: I am not sure that Rio can organize the olympic games. I shudder just when thinking about it. The situation there is pretty hopeless - high crime rates, totally corrupt and incompetent police.

That said - I still adore Rio. It's strange, but Rio is such a city.


Posted by GringoNoRio September 13, 08 04:51 PM


Posted by NELLY September 18, 08 06:55 AM

Great pictures!!! Congratulations!!!

There was always an Arpoador Beach when I lived in Rio back in the 60's!!! ... and I am very sure there still is!!!

I want to see more of your pictures! Keep up the great work!

Posted by Jackie September 18, 08 08:19 PM

Each photo tell a wonderful story. It is like a mirror to the human mind and soul.

I look forward to many more photos.

Posted by Pat September 19, 08 02:46 PM


Posted by IDIE September 20, 08 01:18 PM


Posted by Mª LOURDES NAVARRETE September 21, 08 05:46 PM

Two words:

Public Education.

Posted by Jay October 4, 08 01:39 PM

this is grate

Posted by Anonymous October 7, 08 09:38 AM

Great work! Loved the walls work JR made. Really impressing.
Cheers from São Paulo - Brazil

Posted by poison October 21, 08 12:35 PM

wow brazil is one beautiful country i've gots to vacation there 1 day.

Posted by eric polk October 21, 08 02:48 PM

Very interesting project : in Rio the favelas - slums - are directly in the heart of the city, just next block where you live you find an "entry" to the favala... Just like in NYC during the early 1980 : Nobody was crossing Broadway at 125th street : on the west side, Columbia University Housing and others middle class. Go West you were in Harlem (125th Street) with no whites - except some turists with a social and exotic curiosity. The intrication of the extreme rich and luxury (Fashion Mail) and the poorest (Rocinha) make Zona Sul so different. And above that, the women from the favelas work in the rich houses while the men work as securities. agents and eat the remains of the rich...

Posted by Alain Giami November 11, 08 04:13 AM

I have family and friends in Rio, travel there 3 or 4 times a year, and will live there permanently in a few years... Your pictures show a certain truth that can't be denied. There are the most beautiful places there, and also some of the worst.. Is Rio de Janeiro a "Tale of Many Cities"? Certainly diverse, rich and poor, virtually side by side...

My favorite picture is the one from behind Cristo Redentor ...

Muito obrigado...

Posted by JoeCarioca November 13, 08 07:43 PM

Rio de Janeiro is the most beautiful place in the world.I love it and for sure next year i will move there.I came back from Rio 2 weeks ago and I miss it so much is amazing what I feel for this city.RIO DE JANEIRO I ADORE YOU ...................................................................................Kinga a hungarian girl who lives in Prague in present but hopefully she will get a job in Rio de Janeiro Cidade Maravilhosa...........................beijos

Posted by Nagy Kinga December 18, 08 05:05 PM

I love the pictures the people and the country, Brazil its beautifull country.
Every country on the word have their bad side, nothing its perfect today.
Brazilian, people have the most beautiful life to live in this crazy world today.
Because they are realy people with a lot of feelings and they always stick together dont matter what. Lots of love to you all

Posted by Prescilla Marino January 19, 09 12:35 AM

Yeah yeah... I just can't stay silent without agreeing with those who said Rio is kinda magical.

Yes, they've got their issues in there, many problems which are hard to face and solve, but still, it's a great place with great people. Part of the world history when talking about elegance, disaster, fashion, music, peace or war.

I'm from São Paulo, nowadays living in Atlanta, GA. But I've been there in Rio and I never had any problem, though I know many other visitors has it =[ By the way, it's not just about the place, being Rio or not, but that's all about being a fact that we've got human corruption all around the world. I had my camera stolen in Buenos Aires, Argentina, but I just loved being there and that's a such nice place and I've got my wallet stolen in NYC, but, I LOVE NYC!

You see, that's just how you percept the people, the place, the country! It's so silly to blame each other for something that after all is nobodys fault =/

The pictures are lovely, I'm glad so many people in here has visited my homeland and even more happy 'coz you liked and enjoyed it. You'll always be welcome. When needing information about places and how to's in Brazil, feel free to write me: deejahcore at hotmail


Posted by Dijáz Irini January 24, 09 04:07 PM

Ok i am researching Ro de janiero and these pictures are SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO helpful now i know what this magnificent city looks like thank you

Posted by Liz February 7, 09 02:23 PM

Rio de Janeiro is situated in one of the most beautiful places on earth. Unfortunately, the people have made this once "marvelous city" a festering s*** hole. Brazilian culture is base upon two-faced lying, cheating, stealing, toadyism and illusions of grandeur. The Brazilian system of almost everything is corrupt from top to bottom. Today’s “Girl from Ipanema” is most likely an underage prostitute and today’s “samba” looks more like a public sexual act.

Rio’s police are uneducated, underpaid, corrupt, stupid and brutal. The legal system is all too often draconian and Brazilian lawyers make bank thieves look honest. The city is dirty, dangerous and all too often disgusting. Brazil itself is somewhere between a semi-organized anarchy and a cluster f***.

It's better to remember the Rio of legend, look at the pretty pictures and stay away from there.

Posted by Expat in Brazil March 31, 09 11:31 AM

Retrata pouco, mas maravilhosamente, um pouco da cultura, dos costumes e do cotidiano da cidade e do estado fluminense. Quem puder visitar o Rio venha, não irá se arrepender. Os problemas existem, mas outras cidades do mundo também sofrem problemas com a violência e nem são lindas como a cidade que é conhecida como maravilhosa.

E viva meu Fluminense Football Club!

Posted by Leandro Castro July 22, 09 12:28 PM

The unnamed civil war continues in this blood stained "terrible beauty"
Deus tem misericordia de nos!

Posted by gato September 4, 09 01:52 PM

any1 wanna run away to the slums with me?

Posted by Anonymous September 10, 09 09:42 AM

nice pictures, i always wanted to go to Brazil, and now i see a nice city to visit!! They are really good!!! and it also looks so beautiful, and a nice place to visit!!!

Posted by tasha September 18, 09 01:25 PM

Great view, favelas sucks but it is reality and can't be hidden.
Good Job with favelas faces painting.

Posted by Anonymous November 27, 09 08:30 AM

Great pictures!!

Posted by sdf December 11, 09 02:03 PM

i reckon rio is the most beautiful city in the world

Posted by amaral June 30, 10 09:41 PM

Come back to Rio,Big Picture!

Posted by k1 August 14, 10 08:55 PM

Para muinta gente o Brasil = futebol mulher e favela O q diser ?NNaguento mais que me perguntem se ja fui assaltado se ando sosinho ,.....

Posted by Anonimous September 13, 10 05:10 PM

Response to Ceaser,

You are as so unintelligent! First, you come across as a racist. Our President is not an ape but a highly intelligent man, whom is respected by millions, esp. BLACKS. PLEASEEE seek counseling ASAP! You are a sick individual who should not post.

Posted by Dr, Adams November 29, 10 06:38 AM

suprb my fav place

Posted by Anonymous January 26, 11 12:54 AM

never been to this city but hoping to visit one day...i think it's the best

Posted by Monica April 7, 11 08:11 PM

beautiful work i loved the pictures, but i must say it does get old when Rio is potrayed again and again in poverty and misery... i wish i could see work in which the favelas's good side was brought out because its not all crime and deviance up there. i do agree that the pictures potray some aspects of rio well but not others, overall though JR did do a very good job .

Posted by brazil girl April 20, 11 07:31 PM
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