Joao Pina

Location: Paris, France
Nationality: Portuguese
Biography: João Pina is a freelance photographer born in Portugal in 1980. He began working as a professional photographer at age eighteen, and graduated from the International Center of Photography’s Photojournalism and Documentary Photography... read on
Public Story
Copyright joao pina 2021
Date of Work 01/01/07 - 12/31/16
Updated 09/24/18
Location Rio de Janeiro
As Rio de Janeiro prepared to host the 2014 FIFA World Cup and Summer Olympic games in 2016, an enormous transformation was supposed to take place in the so-called “Marvelous City.”

But in the decade between 2007—when Rio won its FIFA bid—and 2016, when the Olympics took place, 46,750 homicides occurred in the city’s metropolitan area.

When I think about Rio during those years, these are the things that come to mind: That it is named for a river that doesn’t exist; that the city’s religious patron is a saint, George, who carries a spear, who is the icon of today’s policemen and thugs, who carry assault weapons; that the police are ordinary men who drive modest cars home with pistols tucked between their legs, and that more are killed in the line of duty than from any other police force in the world. Dozens are shot at point-blank range when they are on their way to punch the clock and the gangsters, who hate them, see their badges shining.

Fernando, who is called by the authorities “the big trafficker,” lives hidden in his stuffy brick house, surrounded by bodyguards, unable to leave his favela.

André, a firefighter, drives his motorcycle to work early in the morning and then dons a yellow uniform and roams the streets, collecting the bodies of people murdered the night before. Ana Paula continues to go into her son’s bedroom in the hope of seeing him again, and ends up remembering how beautiful he was before the police mistook him for a drug trafficker and killed him outside her door.

Leslie, a police reporter, says goodbye to his daughters and leaves home before dawn, already wearing his bulletproof vest. The policemen he accompanies on their patrols and raids kill more than a thousand poor young black men every year and say they all tried to resist arrest.

Also by Joao Pina —


Copan during quarantine

By Joao Pina / sao paulo — The Copan building the largest residential building in Brazil, with 1160 apartments and over 5000 residents..

The Cost of Gold

By Joao Pina — While the World prepared to watched the 2016 summer Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro, residents of the Vila..

Clandestine Abortion

By Joao Pina — In 2007 abortion laws were liberalized in Portugal. Ill performed abortions was in the early 2000's one..

Anonymous Phantoms

By Joao Pina / Colombia — In 2016, the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) reached an peace agreement with the Colombian..

Por teu livre pensamento

By Joao Pina / Portugal — This project to me is much more then photography, it’s about my own heritage. It is about me, even if..
Join us
for more access