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By Georgie Hay, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Thousands of users of one of Rio’s busiest metro (subway) stations, Pavuna, in Zona Norte (North Zone), have the opportunity to learn more about the social memory of the city. The NGO Viva Rio, with the support of Instituto Invepar and MetrôRio, launched the exhibition “Favela tem Memória” (Favela has Memory), presenting 228 photos detailing the transformation of the urban landscape and the way of life over a decade in Rio’s favela communities.

Brazil, Brazil news, Rio de Janeiro, Providencia
A cable car leads up to the favela community in Morro da Providência, photo by Amaury Alves/Viva Rio.

The exhibition includes a media center, allowing visitors to access a timeline in which communities, past and present, are connected through a series of images from Providência, Santo Antônio, Mineira, São Carlos, Salgueiro, Borel, Mangueira, Chapadão, Pedreira, Parque Acari, Colégio, Pavão-Pavãozinho and Rocinha.

The project “Favela tem Memória” began in mid-2005 as part of the Viva Favela, Viva Rio initiative, reflecting the world of favelas and suburban areas from a different point of view than obtained by traditional media. “In the beginning it was only in order to rescue the memory of characters of the communities and provide the images on a website,” says Lucas Almeida, one of the participating photographers.

“The idea of producing an exhibition arose in partnership with Instituto Invepar. The proposal was to work in the communities close to the subway stations and, since last year there has been six months of going into the field to photograph the sites,” continued Almeida.

In reviving memories of past life in Rio’s favelas to present to new generations, the organizers of the show appealed to the historical collection of the defunct newspaper Correio da Manha, now available in the digital newspaper archives of the National Library.

“One of the communities that we chose to show was Morro Santo Antônio, in Centro. Few people know that there existed a favela,” added Almeida. Demolished in the 1950s giving way to Avenida Chile and the buildings headquarters of large public companies, such as Petrobras and BNDES.

What: Favela tem Memória
When: Pavuna metrô station, 29th February – 8th March. General Osorio metrô station, 9th-18th March. Monday to Friday from 9AM to 6PM
Where: Pavuna, Av. Pr. Martin Luther King Júnior – Zona Norte. General Osório, Rua Visconde de Pirajá, 86 – Ipanema.
Entrance: FREE

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