Alan Augusto Pereira
"When I look over there, it is still the same thing. I can still see all those houses. My childhood, my friends"
Now living in
Alan Augusto Pereira, my name. Profession, dance teacher. I’ve lived here for 19 years, I’m 22 years old. I miss all the houses, my friends, we used to joke around every day, I would come home from school, there was football, there was… we had a lot of fun, you know? To sum up, my whole life was there in Vila Autodromo. Joking around, races, horse races, the little theatre school… we played from that side to this side, we were on the neutral side. We were just there for support. We cut everybody off, and then grabbed the kites, we stayed out playing there.
That’s why he said that we made history here. And I keep on making history. Unfortunately, he had to go. My mother and father live here, and my oldest brother. We have always lived together. It’s difficult, you know? Because, like, you get used to that house with a lot of people in it. Parties every weekend, barbecues, celebrating, playing around. And on it goes. My birthday celebrations this year were no good, because everyone who used to come wasn’t there.
My cousins came, we had a party, played around, ilatted drank, we did it and it happened… now we don’t do anything. Ever since I was little, people from the family would say that the pressure of evictions was happening in the community. But we were to carry on and there wouldn’t be evictions.
So we kept on, and on, and on… and we’re still here today. And there’s no pressure in the world that would make me leave my house. This house here, we built it from nothing. It’s still here only by a miracle. And not just by a miracle, through the efforts of my mother and father, and a little bit of effort on my part too. This was just a hut before.
When they demolished Dona Penha’s house, that’s what finished me off. I got sick, I cried a lot. I sat here just looking, they were destroying her house. It was dreadful.
Because my whole childhood was there. Apart from having my own house, I spent most of my childhood there. We used to put plays on, the performances would be at her house. We did our homework at her house. Everything, you could say, was at her house. Everything, everything, everything… My whole childhood was in her house, our football championship was near her house, and I used to take my videogames there to play with her nephews.
So her house ended up turning into my house. When I told my mother I was going to my second house, she knew what I meant. After five in the afternoon [one day], they came with a piece of paper saying they were going to demolish the house, but it was going to happen on another day.
And another they, they came and demolished her house, but instead of just that house, they demolished all of them. There was another house there they weren’t supposed to demolish. But they took that one down too.
We’re only leaving our old house when the new one has been built. It’s going to be here, on the other side of the street. So they came and said they were going to make this settlement, that there is paperwork, a contract, everything. And if Eduardo Paes doesn’t deliver this in the three month deadline, he is going to have to pay a fine, of a very high value.
Everything was just the lake, and then people came bit by bit taking their piece of land. And so it became that Velodromo. That’s what it is today. Because for me, looking over there, it is still the same thing. I can still see all those houses. My childhood, my friends. Every day, before I leave to go to work, I climb up here and sit looking.
Reporter: Natalia Viana
Photographer: AF Rodrigues