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" Giga Favela " is a creative visual collaboration between photographer Tim Franco and a digital artist Abram Hodgens. It is a story single extraordinary image that explores beyond a single individual’s narrative.
As Brazil’s economy marches full steam ahead, focusing towards major events that will attract a global audience, the largest cities are working hard to secure their most sensitive districts. As the spotlight shines on Rio for the 2014 world cup, the famous and violent favelas are being “pacified”. Rochina, the most well-known, is the largest in South America with over 70,000 inhabitants. It holds interest to many, as it is located on the steep hillsides just outside of the posh Leblon district – the most affluent neighborhood in Rio De Janeiro. This favela represents a unique insight to the current social changes happening within Brazil.
The decision for Tim and Abram to photograph this location was obvious, not only from a social documentation standpoint, but also aesthetic one. Upon arrival at the base of the favela, the view is absolutely breathtaking. Surrounded by high hills covered completely in shanty homes, dotted with bits of color, an entire ecosystem envelops the senses. Finding the perfect vantage point was not easy, as it required a very long and arduous hike through intimate spaces and upwards through an unknown labyrinth.
As we reached the vantage point, detail poured into our eyes in the mid- morning light. The choice to photograph this scene in the gigapixel format showcased the desire to bring the favela to vivid life for a much larger audience. At such high resolution, the extreme size and detail of the image can be explored in many different ways. The large scale of the image, combined with the ability to view fine details, enables the viewer to feel the human situation of those living in such an environment. The vantage point that is presented is the exact view is that of one of the poorest residents living at the top of the favela. This new image format enables a new way of documenting and contrasting the residents and their environment.