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Rio 2014 : Favela children capture unique view of football in AFP photo project


AFP has given the children of the rio favela Cidade de Deus (“City of God”) a unique opportunity to show their passion for football through the camera lens.


This project, launched in partnership with Nikon and Rio’s Lente dos Sonhos school of photography, has given these children the chance to show their love of football and also to give the world a glimpse into their daily lives in the favela.


The project was the initiative of Christophe Simon, AFP’s chief photographer in Brazil, who when covering the ‘pacification’ of the favelas was struck by how interested the young people were in the work of a photo journalist.


Last year Christophe went to the City of God with Brazilian photographer Tony Barros, who helped him to find children aged 10 to 15 willing to take part in the project. They spent more than five months with these young people, teaching them photography.


Supplied with a dozen cameras loaned by Nikon, the youngsters spent day after day capturing their lives in the favela, with football as the theme. The project enabled them to discover places and experience situations they had never known.


The result has been a series of striking images. Christophe said: “I was amazed that these children were able to produce such good photographs. If I had been working on this theme I would only have been able to use my professional technique and my trained eye. But these children were able to show where they lived and where their passion for football came from. The result is more than honest.”


The project allowed the children to take a fresh look at their environment. Armed with their cameras, they were freed temporarily from the code of the favelas that often obliges them to turn the other way. They were able to rediscover their surroundings – and football – from a new angle.


AFP is to continue the project by running a photo workshop for children from the favelas up to the 2016 Olympic Games. It will be financed mainly from sales of the photos, which are available for download on the AFP platform ImageForum, and organised in partnership with Casa Geração, an ONG specialising in fashion, whose mission is to help children from the favelas find careers.


This project has been featured in many publications worldwide and the story is told in a ‘making of’ video which was shown at the Cinefoot festival in Rio on May 25.


A media kit and Christophe Simon’s account of the project can be accessed on AFP’s website.

About AFP

AFP is a global news agency delivering fast, accurate, in-depth coverage of the events shaping our world from conflicts to politics, sports, entertainment and the latest breakthroughs in health, science and technology. With 2,260 staff spread across almost every country, AFP covers the world 24 hours a day in six languages. AFP delivers the news in video, text, photos, multimedia and graphics to a wide range of customers including newspapers and magazines, radio and TV channels, web sites and portals, mobile operators, corporate clients as well as public institutions.

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