Helena da Costa Durães
"One day when I was leaving for work a man knocked on my door and said: you're moving today."
Now living in
I lived in Restinga, on Avenida das Americas, for 12 years. It was a tiny little house, but it was very cosy and comfortable. When I went to live there, people were already saying that it would be removed, that this had been the talk for 30 years.
Camila Duraes Grativol, 23, housewife
We had to leave; one day I was getting ready for work, and someone knocked on the door to say you’re moving today. We knew we were going to have to go, we just didn’t know when. They didn’t give us any warning, they just turned up and said: it’s today. So we had to get used to it, to do the move in a rush, put everything into the truck. But it was like that, without any warning. It was desperate. The first thing I thought about was my cats. I had five at the time. Some of them ran away, and we didn’t have space for them. We went to the vets to get a carrier for them. Afterwards, my cousin’s husband arrived, with a friend, and helped us bit by bit. Afterwards, we managed to move everything in here. The next day, we went back to get a cat which had run away, and everything was broken to bits.
Helena da Costa Duraes
I was heartbroken. It was frightening, because when I went to work, I had a house, when I came back, I didn’t have one anymore.
Camila: they offered us a house, or a quantity of money, which was unfair. It was different for everyone, it depended on what kind of house you had, but it was very little. So we didn’t really have a choice. It was 13,000 – there were some people who got offered 5,000 for their house. There were people like us who ended up with no choice, who had to accept a house. There are very few leisure areas here. Apart from what we have here in the condominium, the way is very dangerous. I don’t know if you noticed that, if you have been here yet at night. A lot of people go past, taking shortcuts, who rob you, there is no security there, we don’t have it. Passing by there, we don’t feel safe, not like it was there. We felt safe there, we would go out with our doors open, and when we came back, nothing had happened. You can’t do that here. Different people come all the time, and enter the building or the garden.
Helena: There are only two buses, and that’s during the week.
Camila: It takes a long time. Some things still haven’t arrived here, like activities for the children. It’s difficult. The school here is very bad.
Helena: We are used to it, this place has already become ours. I am a carioca, I was born in Leblon, in Pacheco Leao, that’s in Botafogo actually. Then I went to Vidigal, and I left there when I was still six, seven years old. Then I went to live in Barra, and then I came to live in Restinga, then I came to live here.
Reporter: Mariana Simões, Natalia Viana
Photographer: Mariana Simões