A fellow and a partner that I am working with and living with in Brazil shared these thoughts with me, he has allowed me to share….
Barely able to see the filth collected on the lenses of my eyeglasses. I manage to snap the perfect shot of favelas under highway overpasses.Perfectly capturing the severe destitution and poverty that exists in Brazil and most notably here in Salvador de Bahia. All the while, our cab driver speeds hurridly through the chaotic and seemingly ungoverned streets with a zen-like calm about him.
To avoid being caught in the riots and protests against the blatently corrupt government of Brazil, our driver took us through one of the poorest areas of Salvador and in a sweet irony we passes by graffiti that spoke greater volumes than any photo of riots could ever capture.
(the graffiti wrote..)
“Brasil capital corrupcao terorismo subvercao propina”
(Brazil the capital of corruption and terrorism via subversive propganda).
“Corrupcao fora legislativo, Judicario, Execitivo”
(Corruption comes out of the legislative, judicial, and executive).
No more than an hour before this, a boy who appeared to be early teens in age begged a group of friends and I for the scraps from our lunch. While scams run rampant in the streets here, the reality of children starving and literally dying in the streets from inadequate nutrition and lack of basic medical care while government officials and legislators recently raised their own salaries to R 17000 per month and the worlds most expensive soccer stadium recently finished construction. Even further, the profits from games belong to FIFA and not the tax payers who funded constructing the stadium to the tune of R 35,000,000.
Since our arrival four days ago, protests and full on riots have spread through every major city in Brazil. While the government has wholly ignored demands for pay to equal costs for living and the media paints epic images of villians destroying the great democracy that Brazil has become. The reality is these people are homeless, starving, and have no means for upward mobility. As a foreigner, this is not my fight though for the sake of human right, it is and my weapon is the written word.
Thank you dearly, my friend, Mateo Hajek.