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Feb 21, 2013
via Photographers' Blog

Carnival, from film to Paneikon

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Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

By Sergio Moraes

I remember it as if it were yesterday. I was a staff photographer at the Isto É news magazine when I was assigned for the first time to cover the Carnival parade of samba schools. The year was 1986, and I was 24.

GALLERY: BRAZIL’S CARNIVAL

From then to now coverage of the event changed a lot, I changed a lot, and even Carnival changed a lot. By coincidence that was the first year that the parade was organized by LIESA, Rio’s Independent League of Samba Schools, which still organizes it today.

May 5, 2011
via Photographers' Blog

Favela fighter

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When I reached the Chapeu Mangueira favela in Leme, a slum that borders on Copacabana, I was expecting to do a story on a martial arts school for poor kids. But there I met “Nativo” (Native), expert in what is today called MMA/NHB, or Mixed Martial Arts/No Holds Barred fighting. Nativo is the nickname of Fabio da Conceicao Ventura, 25, a lifelong resident of the same slum. Nativo told me how he was born in Chapeu Mangueira, and when he was just five he watched his mother set fire to herself to escape her miserable life. Two years later his father kicked him out of the house and he found himself on the streets.

In the streets Nativo learned to steal before joining up with drug traffickers. He told me how he first liked to rob tourists on Copacabana Beach, but then how it was really being part of a drug gang that made him feel most protected. He made it obvious to me that the gang came to be his family. With them he would spend hours consuming drugs and taking care of business inside the slum.

    • About Sergio

      "Son, brother and uncle of photographers, Sergio began his career freelancing for the Brazilian Exame and Veja magazines in 1980. After expanding his client base to include O Globo and Folha de Sao Paulo, he made it to Reuters in 1995, based in the capital Brasilia. He left Reuters in 1997 for a stint as editor in Brazil's biggest sports daily, Lance, until returning to take over Reuters' coverage in Rio since 2001. Sergio is a passionate sports shooter and veteran of several World Cups and Olympics."
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