RIO DE JANEIRO – Brazilian’s are keenly aware of the negative ways that Rio is portrayed sometimes. The other night I was talking with a upper-middle class girl (they call that Class B here I believe), and mentioned The Rio Times. She was physically distressed at the prospect of sensationalized violence and sexual images further proliferated around the globe.
Another time I was watching a film here – “Public Enemy” (not very good), and every time they mentioned escaping the law and fleeing to Rio the entire theater audience cloffed (clapped and scoffed at the same time).
Perhaps the most famous international portrayal of Rio in recent times is the “City of God” film (which was amazing), and unfortunately very realistic.
Let’s face it, the images are real. I’ve seen it with my own eyes, walking along a favela street with thirty machine-gun-havaianas-wielding sixteen year-olds on patrol.
But of course, that is just a small slice of reality here, and there is so much happening in the Cidade Maravilhosa, that one can get lost amidst the variety of cultural and physical beauty.
The Rio Times tries to highlight that diversity, and is conscious of the imbalance of images produced by the global media. So it is with some trepidation that our Front Page story is about the Favela Pacification Spreads to Tijuca, but ultimately it is a positive story and for the people who live here an important step forward.
Rio is changing, for the better of it’s society.