“It was like a David Lynch movie through the prism of Satan’s asshole. The anti-Galápagos. Darwin in reverse.”
"Place is fucked. No one is allowed there for a reason. Don’t ever go."
"Place is fucked. No one is allowed there for a reason. Don’t ever go."
We went to Snake Island, which is exactly what it sounds like: An island off the coast of Brazil that’s full of deadly snakes who can “liquefy your insides” with one bite.
Are you one of those people who tweets us every weekend asking why we don’t post our HBO show online for free? If you are, you do realize that HBO is the best television network in the world, right? And, as such, can demand a premium for a lineup that may be the only reason to still have a subscription to cable, correct?
Well, either way, you’ve worn us down with your largely unreasonable demands, and HBO is streaming the season 2 premiere of VICE on YouTube for FREE. You can watch it on YouTube, before or after you finish binge-watching the entirety of season 1 for free right here on VICE.com.
How fucking awesome is that? It’s awesome, and you’re welcome, but all of this is only happening for a limited time so you better get cracking before we have to take them off the internet. Which reminds us, just subscribe to HBO already. It’s worth it, we swear.
The Brazilian Slum Children Who Are Literally Swimming in Garbage
The Brazilian city of Recife is known for its majestic bridges, but in November a newspaper photo highlighted one of the metropolis’s uglier aspects. Published in the Jornal do Commercio, the picture showed a nine-year-old kid named Paulo Henrique submerged in a garbage-filled canal beneath one of those famous bridges, picking cans out of the filthy water so he could sell them.
According to government estimates, some 6,500 children live in the slums in the Arruda and Campina Barreto neighborhoods on Recife’s north side. Many of them wade through garbage to eke out a living just as Paulo does, but it was only after his image appeared in the press that the local government and international authorities took notice of their plight. In response to the photo and the accompanying article, the government promised to place Paulo, his mother, and his five siblings on welfare.
Rio’s Anarchists Rioted in Support of Teachers
The idea of anarchists rioting their angry hearts out on behalf of schoolteachers is a pretty weird one, but that’s exactly what happened in Rio on Monday. Educators working in the city’s municipal school system have been on strike since August 8, demanding improved career options and salaries. In response, Mayor Eduardo Paes formed a commission to discuss how to deal with the demands of the teachers, who said they’d remain on strike until the government announced their plans on October 1.
The city’s proposal was, of course, crap, and would only have benefited around seven percent of the city’s teachers. So, the day the bill was up for a vote, the teachers met at city hall—where the ballot was taking place behind closed doors—and tried to smash their way into the building.
Things got out of hand. In footage that made its way onto the internet afterward, riot police were seen attacking old ladies. Other cops were caught planting incriminating evidence. One member of Rio’s notoriously volatile law enforcement squad took to Facebook to post a picture of a broken police stick, with the caption “foi mal, fessor” (or “too bad, teach”).
The media, sympathizers on social networks, and the anarchist black blocs have not forgiven the mistakes the cops made that day, so a pro-teacher rally was called for this Monday. Setting off from Rio Branco Avenue in downtown Rio, an estimated 50,000 people made their way back to city hall. Again, protesters tried to break their way into the building and again the whole thing ended up in a huge violent confrontation with Rio police. Protesters used sticks, stones, and Molotov cocktails. Police used tear gas and rubber bullets. Though the march had started peacefully, by the time the dust had settled one officer was seriously injured, tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage was done, and 18 protesters were arrested.
And some buses were on fire. In Brazil, the buses always get it bad.
Weirdly, the city hall—which, along with local banks and consulates, bore the brunt of the damage—was undefended at the time the protest march reached it. This has sparked conspiratorial rumors that the city wanted the protesters to do as much damage as possible in order to get public opinion back on their side.
For now, the teachers remain on strike and it’s likely they’ll be back on to the streets sometime soon.
VICE Loves Magnum: David Alan Harvey
David Alan Harvey discovered his love for photography at an early age and was talented enough to turn that love into a career. He first received recognition for his 1967 black-and-white self-published book, Tell It Like It Is, which documented the life of a poor family in Norfolk, Virginia, and he followed that up by traveling the world for years, shooting forNational Geographic and picking up the Magazine Photographer of the Year award from the National Press Photographer’s Association in 1978. He became a full-time member of the Magnum family relatively late in his career, in 1997.
Since then, he has continued to photograph all over the place as well as highlight the work of others via his web magazine and publishing house, burn. His new book, (based on a true story), is a beguiling visual story that acts as a sort of Rubik’s cube with pictures that can be placed in different orders. I caught up with him to chat about his secrets on life and photography.
From the book Divided Soul
VICE: I’ve read that you started shooting at a really early age.
David Alan Harvey: Yes. Lightning kind of struck when I was a kid. I mean, I was 11 or 12 and light bulbs just went off. So yeah, that was a lucky break—not just for photography, but for life in general, right? I had something to focus on early, so it kind of kept me out of trouble. Although, not completely [laughs].
Do you remember what originally attracted you to photography?
Well, I had polio when I was a child, so I was in an isolation ward in a hospital at the age of six. I was seriously in, like, solitary confinement because polio was a greatly feared disease at that time. The only thing I had going for me was that my grandmother and my mother would send me books to read and magazines with pictures, so that was my escape—books, magazines, a combination of literature and pictures. Pictures were in my life in a very real way early on. At some point, I got a camera—probably like every other kid did—but I also got a darkroom and I realized that I could do anything with a camera.
Rio de Janeiro, from the book (based on a true story)
Were there specific photographers whose work you enjoyed at the time?
I actually started looking at the work of European artists. I wasn’t too interested in 99 percent of American photographers, but I really enjoyed European art—the French Impressionists, for example, and the Italian and Dutch painters. All of these people really influenced me early on, just in the way that I looked at stuff.
The people I liked were those who were able to do something with nothing—painters, writers, and photographers. I looked into photography and I saw that there were sports photographers who needed an Olympian, fashion photographers who needed a model, and war photographers who needed a war. [Henri] Cartier-Bresson and Robert Frank, and [Marc] Riboud and those guys—they didn’t need anything. They would just look out the window or go to the garden.
In other words, the everyday life situation became a gold mine for these artists, and I gravitated towards the fact that you could take something right next to you and turn it into art or communication. I liked the integrity of journalism but I was always interested in photographs. Photographs didn’t have to communicate a great concept, they could just be.
Brazilian Soldiers and Native Tribespeople Are Clashing in the Amazon
Although the Brazilian economy has hit a few speed bumps recently, the wheels of growth have been in motion for some time, and the country is desperate for renewable energy sources to keep its industrial and economic growth buoyant. This is why, for the past year, the Brazilian government has been constructing the new Belo Monte dam in the Amazon’s Xingu River. Unfortunately, the Xingu is one of the last remaining natural, uncorrupted rivers in the entire Amazon rainforest. This is both incredibly depressing—given that the Amazon covers almost half a continent—and the reason why the Brazilian government’s plans have faced such a large amount of international outrage.
Leading the charge against President Dilma Rousseff and her army of private contractors are a number of Amazonian tribes who live along the river, having done so for countless generations. As the collective group—who are just some of the 20,000 people at risk of being displaced by the dam—said in a statement, “We are the people who live in the rivers where you want to build dams. We are the fishermen and peoples who live in riverine communities. We are Amazonian people and we want the forest to stand. We are Brazilians. The river and the forest are our supermarket. Our ancestors are older than Jesus Christ.”
More Chaos in Rio de Janeiro: Rubber Bullets Fly Outside the Confederations Cup Final
On Sunday, Brazil’s national men’s soccer team dismantled defending World Cup champions Spain 3–0 in the final of the Confederations Cup in Rio de Janeiro. In a soccer-crazed country like Brazil, you’d expect the buildup to such an event would be massive. And it was—but not for the love of the game. Thousands took to the streets adjacent to the soccer stadium where the match was played to continue to voice popular disdain for what protesters believe are the misplaced priorities of the national government: choosing to fund massive international sporting events like the World Cup and the Olympics instead of investing in health care and human development.
Starting at noon on Sunday, the neighborhood of Tijuca was a fortified by around 6,000 police officers, members of the Federal Highway Police, National Force, Army, and Home Guard. A so-called FIFA perimeter was established, surrounding a two-mile radius around the stadium, only those who had tickets could pass, and locals could only enter after presenting proof of residence. The numbers were less significant than in the previous week’s demonstrations, and little more than 5,000 people were in the area until game time.