Rio de Janiero, Brazil
By Pilar Olivares
On the first day I appeared as a stranger, to photograph them without knowing their history or their story. The second day I understood what was going on and was able to talk with them at length about what they were doing. The third day I sat and had coffee with them, laughed with them, and listened to them talk about their villages and how hard it is to be in the city.
The eldest of the group told me, “In the city you need money. You can’t do anything without it. In my village I just fish, live in the forest, and listen to the sounds of nature. What do I need money for?”
Marize, a member of the group who was raised in the city but has a warrior’s heart, remembers her Guaraní ancestors as she paints her face in the way that they did when they went to battle.
She can’t stop crying as we drink coffee and she recalls what happened four days earlier when a police squad was sent to evict them from the building they have been adamantly defending.