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"Brazil's eruption of tent cities" assignment for The Washington Post
rafael vilela
Jun 29, 2021
Location: SAO PAULO
Two-day assignment published today on The Washington Post front cover.

Terrence Mccoy and I tell the story of Zuleide Félix, a 67-year-old illiterate maid who, upon being fired at the beginning of the pandemic by her employer, could no longer afford to pay rent and had to venture out to set up a tent at a garbage dump in Guarulhos, São Paulo. “My husband and I had a bedroom,” she reminisced. “We had had a living room. We had a television. A kitchen. It was everything that we needed.” She looked at the ground. “Now we’re here.” Zuleide is like so many maids violated by a colonial society during Jair Bolsonaro's health and economic crisis; her story reminds us of Rosana Aparecida Urbano, the first victim of COVID-19 in Brazil, a maid who had as her greatest dream to finish paying off her apartment.

Read the full story
Thanks to Chloe Coleman for the opportunity and image editing.

Rafael Vilela

Rafael Vilela is an independent Brazilian photographer currently reporting on social injustice and the environmental crisis in his country. He was one of the founders of Midia NINJA, an initiative that today has more than 8 million followers.
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