Thursday, December 2, 2010

O Som Das Armas

When the gunfire started up last week in Prazeres, we stood by the window and absorbed sounds that through our lives have only come at us from televisions, radios and cinemas.

My Edirol R-09 digital audio recorder is never far from reach and it captured some of the bursts of shots over the two most active mornings.  We were still drinking our coffees at about 10:30am when people started pulling triggers.  See the divshare link at the top of the post

Truthfully, I was hoping to hear those sounds before coming here.  After listening back to the recordings, I don’t care to hear them again.  Out of all those flying bits of metal, how many hit a target?  Did people just die over there?  Did kids just kill other kids?  That’s fucked up.  Of course, whatever happened over here was nothing compared to what was happening in other parts of the city, and thus it wasn’t covered by any media.  I don’t know if we would’ve learnt much if it had.

I doubt it’s everyone’s feeling, but 4 or 5 people we’ve spoken to said that what happened last week in the city was a good thing because it showed the police actually doing something. They were able to finally take over a big swath of drug dealer territory and the tanks/soldiers signified that the federal government was collaborating with the local forces to assist with the clean up.  They said it was maybe the first step they’d seen towards making Rio a suitable place for the Olympics & World Cup.  They also made it quite clear that they were  avoiding too much optimism.  

While recording the bouts of gunfire, a putrid aroma arose that Jasmine blamed on me, but I'm pretty sure it was just the eggy scent of gun smoke wafting in the window. We couldn't make the post too serious now could we? Apologies to relatives and loved ones who interpret the proximate sound of weapons discharging as something dangerous to our well being.

Photo 1:  Us bewildered at the window, recording
Photo 2:  Jasmine’s brass monkey’s opinion of the situation
Photo 3:  View of Prazeres favela from our yard
Photo 4: More professional photo of Prazeres from a great website dedicated to the favela existence