In Brazil’s Favelas, Caught Between Police and Gangsters

In his book “46750,” João Pina enters into conversation that reveals, but doesn’t sensationalize, life in the favelas of one of Brazil’s largest cities.

There is a cold, grim precision to the title of João Pina’s book “46750.” The figure refers to neither a postal code nor money saved. It represents murders in Rio de Janeiro in the decade from 2007 to 2016.

João Pina – 46750

João Pina 46750 In 2007, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil started the process of an enormous transformation process to host both the 2014 FIFA world cup, and the 2016 summer Olympic games.  The economy was f…

46750 is a visual account of the last decade of the city. A grim portrait of the so-called “wonder city”, with all its contrasts and complexities. 46750 is also the number of homicides that occurred in the metropolitan area of Rio de Janeiro, an average of 13 homicides per day for the decade 2007-2016.

Grasping Rio's Beauty and Tragedy

João Pina’s photographs of Rio de Janeiro show how life remained a struggle for many residents during Brazil’s boom years. His book’s title? “46570,” a reference to the number of murders in the city in the decade leading up to the 2016 Olympic Games.

Rio de Janeiro, a city spectacularly forged between jungle and sea, can be many things to many people: a palm-fringed mecca for scantily clad pleasure seekers, the nerve center of Brazil’s oil industry, the cradle of musical genres ranging from samba to bossa nova and choro. With his striking photographs, João Pina reminds us that Rio is also a theater of war.

João Pina in Brazil

This week, João Pina has been photographing the expansive protests in São Paulo, where tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets in demonstrations set off by an increase in public-transportation fares. In cities across Brazil, the protests have escalated into a wider expression of discontent over alleged corruption, outsized government spending, and a lack of public services.

The gangs of Rio

Corrupt cops, brutal drug lords and a charismatic pastor ... photographer João Pina documents the battle to control Rio's slums

Corrupt cops, brutal drug lords and a charismatic pastor ... photographer João Pina documents the battle to control Rio's slums