The poetry of Rio's 'Suppressed Favelas'

Published 8:16 PM ET, Sun December 27, 2015
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Two children walk past a police checkpoint in Rio de Janeiro. While visiting the city's infamous favelas, photographer Matteo Bastianelli explored the complex relationship between some of Rio's poorest residents and the state's security forces. He's titled his project "Suppressed Favelas." Matteo Bastianelli
A man carries a package while two young women sit in front of a mural in Rio. Matteo Bastianelli
A Police Pacification Unit monitors the Cantagalo favela. Launched in 2008, the "pacification" program has been put in place in nearly 40 favelas and has received mixed reviews. It was designed to limit the reach of armed drug gangs by installing permanent police posts within the favelas where they typically operated. Matteo Bastianelli
A child tries to retrieve his kite snagged on a lamppost in the Rocinha favela. "Kites are playful; they are meant to soar in the air," Bastianelli said. "This one was tangled, much like the favela's residents continue to be in Rio's ongoing 'war on drugs' between the police and the gangs." Matteo Bastianelli
A man carries a birdcage through the streets of Cantagalo. Matteo Bastianelli
A child comes out of a tent where he lives with his family near Jardim Gramacho, a former landfill that was shut down in 2012. Matteo Bastianelli
Two young girls are seen in Jardim Gramacho. While it was in operation, it was one of the largest landfills in the world. Matteo Bastianelli
A police officer walks through Cantagalo while a little girl heads past a construction site on her way home from school. Matteo Bastianelli
A man stands on the roof of the building where he works in Rocinha, the largest favela in Brazil. Matteo Bastianelli
Men play soccer in the Cantagalo favela. Rio will host the 2016 Olympic Games. Matteo Bastianelli