These Poignant Photographs Document Real Life In Rio De Janeiro

Documentary photographer André Vieira depicts the intimate, human reality behind political struggle in the Brazilian state.

André Vieira is a freelance photographer based in Rio de Janeiro, who travels across Brazil to document important moments in the country's history — with a focus on the day-to-day lives of its citizens. In the following previously unpublished photographs, Vieira meets the citizens of Rio as the seaside city prepares to host the 2016 Olympic Games. From the vibrancy of local dance parties to the turmoil caused by police clampdowns in favelas, Vieira captures a brief yet broad portrait of the real lives that will form the backdrop to this year's ceremonies. See them below, with captions written by Vieira.

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These Poignant Photographs Document Real Life In Rio De Janeiro Black Ahead, a bar in Vidigal, a favela in Rio de Janeiro.   André Vieira
These Poignant Photographs Document Real Life In Rio De Janeiro Early this year, Eurelio Rodriguez lost his job in Comperj, a giant pretrochemical complex built by Petrobrás. Now, the business is the focus of a major corruption investigation, and Rodriguez has been unemployed since then. The family has been living from the income brought home by his wife, Dalva Alves, working one day a week as a cleaner in a family home located 70 kilometers away, in Copacabana. When construction of Comperj started, then Brazilian President Luis Inácio Lula da Silva promised that [Rio de Janeiro city] Itaboraí would become a new Dubai.   André Vieira
These Poignant Photographs Document Real Life In Rio De Janeiro Itaboraí, the city where Brazilian oil company Petrobrás started construction of Comperj, a giant pretrochemical complex now the focus of the investigations of a team of federal prosecutors who are uncovering a major corruption scheme that made the oil company loose billions of dollars.   André Vieira
These Poignant Photographs Document Real Life In Rio De Janeiro Police officer from the pacification police unit of Complexo do Alemão [neighborhood of favelas in Rio] goes on foot patrol. Despite the police presence in the community, heavily armed drug dealers still have control of the place and officers are often ambushed while on patrol.   André Vieira
These Poignant Photographs Document Real Life In Rio De Janeiro Boxing class at Raff Giglio's gym, where kids from [Rio favela] Vidigal train for free. Raff, as he's better known, discovered and trained the Brazilian silver medalist in the 2012 Olympic Games, Esquiva Falcão.   André Vieira
These Poignant Photographs Document Real Life In Rio De Janeiro Residents of Complexo do Alemão protest against the death of 10-year-old Eduardo Jesus Ferreira, killed by a police officer while playing with his phone on the doorsteps of his home. Complexo do Alemão is the biggest favela complex in Rio de Janeiro, spanning over 11 communities. In 2012 it received 4 pacifying police units, an attempt by Rio's government to reclaim control of the community from heavily armed local drug gangs, in preparation for the World Cup and Olympics. But since then violence in the communities has only increased.   André Vieira
These Poignant Photographs Document Real Life In Rio De Janeiro Residents of Complexo do Alemão protest against the death of 10-year-old Eduardo Jesus Ferreira, killed by a police officer while playing with his phone on the doorsteps of his home.   André Vieira
These Poignant Photographs Document Real Life In Rio De Janeiro A Complexo do Alemão resident is contanined by demonstrators as he angrily charges towards the police during a protest againt the death of 10-year-old Eduardo Jesus Ferreira.   André Vieira
These Poignant Photographs Document Real Life In Rio De Janeiro A protester leads residents of Vila Autódromo and activists that supoort their cause on a demonstration outside the construction site of Rio de Janeiro's Olympic park. Most residents of Vila Autódromo were forcibly removed from the area for the construction.   André Vieira
These Poignant Photographs Document Real Life In Rio De Janeiro Guanabara Bay, where the sailing competitions for the 2016 Olympic Games will take place, seen from the campus of Rio de Janeiro's Federal University, one of Brazil's most prestigious universities.   André Vieira
These Poignant Photographs Document Real Life In Rio De Janeiro Favela Dona Marta in Rio de Janeiro, where unemployement is rising fast and social gains of recent years are being reversed.   André Vieira
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These Poignant Photographs Document Real Life In Rio De Janeiro An engineer on the construction site of Rio de Janeiro's Olympic Park.   André Vieira
These Poignant Photographs Document Real Life In Rio De Janeiro Charm party under an overpass in Madureira, the heart of Rio's black culture. Charm is a mellower form of Rio's funk.   André Vieira
These Poignant Photographs Document Real Life In Rio De Janeiro Candomblé [religion practiced mainly in Brazil] ritual in Vidigal, a favela in Rio de Janeiro.   André Vieira
These Poignant Photographs Document Real Life In Rio De Janeiro Detail of the new kitchen Carlos Alberto Machado is making as a present for his wife in their small home in Vidigal.   André Vieira
These Poignant Photographs Document Real Life In Rio De Janeiro Construction of a new commercial and residential building in Vidigal, an investment from a local enterpreneur.   André Vieira
These Poignant Photographs Document Real Life In Rio De Janeiro Complexo do Alemão seen from the cable car that links its main communities. Complexo do Alemão is the biggest favela complex in Rio de Janeiro, extending over 11 communities.   André Vieira
These Poignant Photographs Document Real Life In Rio De Janeiro Mother and daughter walk by police officers covering their faces to protect against the smell of tear gas, after a demonstration against police violence in Complexo do Alemão ended in conflict between the police and demonstrators.   André Vieira
These Poignant Photographs Document Real Life In Rio De Janeiro A TV reporter films police removing the burnt remains of a container they used as a base in one of the main streets of Favela da Grota, part of Complexo do Alemão favela complex, in Rio de Janeiro. The police container was burned by local drug dealers in retaliation for the killing of one of their soldiers by the police.   André Vieira
These Poignant Photographs Document Real Life In Rio De Janeiro A man and his grandaughter wait for a break in the intense traffic to cross the main street of Vidigal, while motorcycle taxis wait for traffic going up to move.   André Vieira
These Poignant Photographs Document Real Life In Rio De Janeiro Dancers take a break at a charm party under an overpass in Madureira.   André Vieira
These Poignant Photographs Document Real Life In Rio De Janeiro Idacy de Souza, leader of the Nelson Mandela camp, on the margins of Macaé, where Brazil's largest oil reserves are. Since the beginning of the investigation into a corruption scheme in Brazilian oil company Petrobrás, cities like Macaé have been facing a major economic crisis. Numbers at the camp almost doubled recently.   André Vieira
These Poignant Photographs Document Real Life In Rio De Janeiro Cristina Alves at her shack on Nelson Mandela camp.   André Vieira
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These Poignant Photographs Document Real Life In Rio De Janeiro Parque de Madureira, a recently created city park in Madureira, one of Rio's most traditional suburbs.   André Vieira

From The Collection:

Brazil Week
These Poignant Photographs Document Real Life In Rio De Janeiro