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A photo-book portraying the favela residents in Rio being displaced as the city prepares to host World Cup and Olympic Games.
A photo-book portraying the favela residents in Rio being displaced as the city prepares to host World Cup and Olympic Games.
244 backers pledged $20,045 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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OLYMPIC FAVELA project

Eomar, Favela do Metro, Rio de Janeiro
Eomar, Favela do Metro, Rio de Janeiro

Ahead of the World Cup (2014) and the 2016 Olympic Games, the city government of Rio de Janeiro is transforming the city's urban landscape to host the two mega-sporting-events. As a result, thousands of residents of the 1.4 million people living in Rio's shantytowns, or favelas, have been faced with forced evictions from their homes.

Between 2012 and 2013 I created two series of photographs in Rio's favelas to capture the human impact which the sweeping policies of removal created, and give a voice to the plight of the people affected.

Fernanda, Favela Santa Marta, 2012
Fernanda, Favela Santa Marta, 2012
Jesiel, Santa Marta, 2012
Jesiel, Santa Marta, 2012
Vitor - Santa Marta, 2012
Vitor - Santa Marta, 2012

The people I met face extraordinary challenges: city officials who use ever-changing tactics to sow fear and insecurity to actively erode the sense of community; and lengthy, complicated legal disputes they must wage to avoid eviction and assert their rights to remain in the homes where they have grown up. Their firsthand accounts of their uphill battle, of the perseverance and ingenuity they employed to build their homes, and of the history of their communities—many residents we spoke with are third-generation residents of their neighborhoods—revealed the full breadth of their fears and underlined the need for their voices to be heard.

We often had extensive conversations with the people I wanted to photograph, to dispel their insecurity and doubts about my intentions. And despite the hardships they all face, once I began photographing them, they all revealed a beautiful sense of optimism that is part of the human story I captured.

To call attention to the specific circumstances at play in Rio de Janeiro, I have created two parallel bodies of work, brought together in OLYMPIC FAVELA:

One group of images consists of portraits of the people who live in the favelas, the people who make them the vibrant neighborhoods they are. Many of the residents are photographed in front of their homes, which have been designated for removal by the city-agency SMH with spray-painted code numbers. The second group features directed images of residents posing with flaming emergency torches in their communities. Referencing iconic imagery, such as Delacroix's Liberty leading the people, these photographs invoke ideas of liberation, independence, resistance, protest and crisis. 

Together with the portraits, these images juxtapose the dynamics of celebration and togetherness with those of struggle which the mega-events are bringing to Rio de Janeiro and its citizens.

Vo Zeze, Colonia Moreira, Rio de Janeiro
Vo Zeze, Colonia Moreira, Rio de Janeiro
Miguel, Morro da Providencia, Rio de Janeiro
Miguel, Morro da Providencia, Rio de Janeiro

The Book

With infrastructure-projects in Rio pressing forward, we want to assure that the works in OLYMPIC FAVELA can be seen by a large audience quickly.

The objective is for OLYMPIC FAVELA to create a lasting discussion of the consequences these types of event have on the citizens in Rio de Janeiro, and on host cities of mega-events in general. 

Late last year, I received an offer from art-book distributor DAP Artbook and publishing house DAMIANI to publish OLYMPIC FAVELA as a book. With nearly worldwide distribution they guarantee that this important human right issue, directly tied to events of global reach, can been widely available.

We want to publish OLYMPIC FAVELA at the beginning of the World Cup in the summer of 2014.

Book cover; "Seu Barrao com Tiago, Lagoa Japarepagua, 2013"
Book cover; "Seu Barrao com Tiago, Lagoa Japarepagua, 2013"

Book Details

Mock-up of book
Mock-up of book

Texts by Luis Perez-Oramas, Itamar Silva, Marc Ohrem-Leclef.

Curator: Mazie Harris, Curatorial Fellow, Davis Museum, Wellesley College

Approx. 65 Color-Photographs, Size: approx. 9.5 x 12 inches / 24x30cm

Publication date: June 2014

What is done

  • Editing for the book has been completed, in a wonderful collaboration with curator Mazie Harris
  • Layouts have been implemented by designer Fabian Bernal
  • Scanning of film and retouching of the files has been completed.
  • Texts have been edited and translated from Spanish and Portugese

What needs to be done

Production of the book moves forward - the costs associated with editing, translation of texts, printing, shipping and public relations work now need to be covered.

The total amount owed by me for making the book OLYMPIC FAVELA stands at $32.500,00

My 'asking' amount of $18,000.00 covers the minimum needed towards the total amount owed. 

Any surplus in funds exceeding the goal of $18,000.00 will be used towards delivery of photographs and the book to all my subjects who are featured in the book.

On Location in Favela Vila Autodromo
On Location in Favela Vila Autodromo

Up to this point,

I have financed the entire OLYMPIC FAVELA project with personal funds - including:

  • Research (weeks spent researching the situation in Rio, and to find partners to enable me to get 'insider' access to the communities)
  • Purchase of film, back-up equipment rentals, etc.
  • Travel & Accommodation (flights, sublets while in Rio etc.)
  • Production costs while on location (my guide, transportation, phones, meals, cost of emergency flares, etc.)
  • Processing and scanning of film (in NYC)

Rewards

For your kind support I offer a range of rewards:

Autographed Books - before any public book-signing events!

Mock-up of OLYMPIC FAVELA
Mock-up of OLYMPIC FAVELA

 RACHEL ROY special edition unisex tote bag with a design inspired by OLYMPIC FAVELA, approx. 14x16in., 36x40cm

Rachel Roy Tote Bag, Grafik Designer Tatsiana Shynkevich
Rachel Roy Tote Bag, Grafik Designer Tatsiana Shynkevich

Your PORTRAIT taken by Marc Ohrem-Leclef - also a great gift!

A portrait by Marc
A portrait by Marc
A portrait by Marc
A portrait by Marc

Your family event photographed beautifully by Marc Ohrem-Leclef

Family-Event Photography by Marc
Family-Event Photography by Marc
Family-Event Photography by Marc
Family-Event Photography by Marc

Limited-Edition Photographs:

$50 Level - 8x10"- Edition of 100 each - Signed and numbered, ca. 20x25cm

Rocinha, View from Laboriaux, 2013
Rocinha, View from Laboriaux, 2013

OR

Richard empinando uma pipa, Pavão Pavãozinho, 2013
Richard empinando uma pipa, Pavão Pavãozinho, 2013

$375 Level - 11x14" - Edition of 20, Signed and numbered, ca. 28x36cm

Tiago - Lagoa Japarepagua, 2013
Tiago - Lagoa Japarepagua, 2013

$750 Level - 16x20" - Edition of 15 each, Signed and numbered, ca. 41x50cm

Vista do Laboriaux, Laboriaux, 2012
Vista do Laboriaux, Laboriaux, 2012

 OR

Fernando com Fernanda e cão, Santa Marta, 2012
Fernando com Fernanda e cão, Santa Marta, 2012

$1,900 Level - 20x24" - Edition of 5 each, only 3 available on Kickstarter, Signed and numbered, ca. 50x60cm

Seu Barrao com Tiago, Lagoa Japarepagua, 2013
Seu Barrao com Tiago, Lagoa Japarepagua, 2013
OR

Escaladores de árvores - Trabajaras, 2013
Escaladores de árvores - Trabajaras, 2013

Contributors and Collaborators

Aside from actively photographing in Rio de Janeiro--both exhausting and beautiful, hard and rewarding--the most amazing part of this experience has been to feel the support of highly respected collaborators and wonderful supporters.

They include author Luis Pérez-Oramas, Curator for Latin American Art at the Museum of Modern Art, NYC, who contributed a poetic and in-depth investigation of the recent political awakening of the Brazilians.

Itamar Silva wrote a powerful text about  his experience of seeing his community under threat of removals; Itamar is a Director at the Society for Education and Social Promotion, Ibase, Rio de Janeiro, and a resident of Favela Santa Marta. 

Mazie Harris, Curatorial Fellow in Photography at Davis Museum, Wellesley College, Boston, was instrumental in editing the works for the book.

Theresa Williamson of NGO CATALYTIC COMMUNITIES helped me in making contact with community leaders in many of the favelas I photographed in. The positive connection she helped me establish with the people I photographed was crucial for the entire project.

Based on their intimate knowledge of Rio's favelas, CATALYTIC COMMUNITIES is my partner for the reward that provides for a visit in affected communities in Rio, surely an unforgettable experience.

Fashion designer Rachel Roy was inspired by the works in OLYMPIC FAVELA and has generously created a unique design to contribute support for this Kickstarter campaign.

Jovem no Morro da Providencia, Providencia, 2013
Jovem no Morro da Providencia, Providencia, 2013

Spread the Word!

After pledging your support, please help to spread the word about this project by sharing this link with your friends.

Thank you for your support!

Risks and challenges

The risks and challenges when publishing a photography book include the possibility of delay.
However, DAMIANI is routinely dealing with the production and printing challenges involved in making great photography and art-books. If this campaign is successful, we would do everything possible to make sure the book is published in early summer of 2014.

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FAQ

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    A 'thank you' CARD (5x7"), featuring a photograph from OLYMPIC FAVELA.

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    SET OF 5 CARDS (5x7"), featuring 5 photographs from OLYMPIC FAVELA

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    RACHEL ROY special edition TOTE BAG, ca. 14x16";
    'thank you' CARD.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    LIMITED EDITION PHOTOGRAPHIC PRINT 8x10", "Rocinha, View from Laboriaux, 2013", OR "Richard empinando uma pipa, Pavão Pavãozinho, 2013", both in edition of 100;
    'thank you' CARD.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    OLYMPIC FAVELA BOOK, signed;
    'thank you' CARD, featuring a photograph from OLYMPIC FAVELA

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    Pledge $115 or more About $115

    OLYMPIC FAVELA BOOK, signed; RACHEL ROY special edition designed unisex TOTE BAG, ca. 14x16".

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    Pledge $140 or more About $140

    (TWO) OLYMPIC FAVELA BOOKS, signed; 'thank you' CARDS

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    Pledge $165 or more About $165

    OLYMPIC FAVELA BOOK, signed; RACHEL ROY special edition designed unisex TOTE BAG, ca. 14x16in.;
    LIMITED EDITION PHOTOGRAPHIC PRINT 8x10", "Rocinha, View from Laboriaux, 2013", OR "Richard empinando uma pipa, Pavão Pavãozinho, 2013", both in edition of 100;

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    (TWO) OLYMPIC FAVELA BOOKS, signed; RACHEL ROY special edition designed unisex TOTE BAGS, ca. 14x16in.; TWO LIMITED EDITION PHOTOGRAPHIC PRINTS 8x10", "Rocinha, View from Laboriaux, 2013", OR "Richard empinando uma pipa, Pavão Pavãozinho, 2013", both in edition of 100

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    Pledge $375 or more About $375

    LIMITED EDITION PHOTOGRAPHIC PRINT
    11x14", "Tiago - Lagoa Japarepagua, 2013", edition of 20;
    OLYMPIC FAVELA Book, signed.

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    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    LIMITED EDITION PHOTOGRAPHIC PRINT 16x24", "Fernando com Fernanda e cão - Santa Marta, Rio de Janeiro", edition of 15;
    OLYMPIC FAVELA Book, signed.

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    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    LIMITED EDITION PHOTOGRAPHIC PRINT 16x24", "Vista do Laboriaux, Laboriaux, 2012", edition of 15;
    OLYMPIC FAVELA Book, signed.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    A WEEKEND VISITING 2 OF RIO'S FAVELAS! An unforgettable up-close experience: Visit the communities, spend the day, speak with residents and absorb the atmosphere. In cooperation with my wonderful friends at Catalytic Communities. Based on you being in Rio de Janeiro at your own expense;
    OLYMPIC FAVELA Book, signed.

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    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY for 1-2, by Marc Ohrem-Leclef; Delivery of digital files;
    OLYMPIC FAVELA Book, signed. (Travel Cost to areas outside Tri-State not included)

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    Pledge $1,900 or more About $1,900

    LIMITED EDITION PHOTOGRAPHIC PRINT 20x24", "Seu Barrao com Tiago, Lagoa Japarepagua, 2013", edition of 5;
    OLYMPIC FAVELA Book, signed.

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    Pledge $1,900 or more About $1,900

    LIMITED EDITION PHOTOGRAPHIC PRINT 20x24", "Escaladores de árvores - Trabajaras, 2013", edition of 5;
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    Pledge $4,500 or more About $4,500

    EVENT-PHOTOGRPAHY! Marc will document your family event for approx. 5 hours. Delivery of optimized digital files. (Travel Cost to areas outside Tri-State not included);
    OLYMPIC FAVELA book, signed.

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Funding period

- (30 days)