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AQ Feature

Venting/Desabafo: A Poem on Violence in the Favela

Twenty-year-old Sabrina "MC" Martina decries the war residents must survive daily in Rio de Janeiro's Alemão favelas.
martina
Katiana Tortorelli

This article was adapted from AQ's print issue on reducing homicide in Latin America

Sabrina “MC” Martina, 20-year-old poet, rapper and cultural producer, was born and raised in the Alemão favelas on Rio de Janeiro’s north side. Profiled in AQ’s Youth issue in 2017, she is one of the founders of Slam Laje, a monthly event at Alemão, and of the group Favela Poets, which stages “poetry attacks” in public spaces and public transportation. In this poem she wrote for AQ, she decries the war residents must survive daily.

Venting

I don’t want to talk about war but that’s what surrounds me; I almost didn’t go to school yesterday because it was impossible to walk through the favela. 

Eight years ago, they said what they were doing was for peace, and today it strikes me, reading a post by a sweet boy, filled with fear, apprehension and anguish, 

Crying in his mother’s lap, saying “please, save me from this cowardice.” 

Frustrated locals, shuttered stores and empty squares, houses pocked with bullets as if they were target practice; seriously, how can I go out and say good morning? 

The favela is silent but the soundtrack is still gunshots, if I ask for peace you send bullets, so I ask for compassion. 

Compassion for the boy who ran out to buy bread, for the woman who’s going out to work because she’s a single mother, and for the neighborhood kids who can’t wait to go back to school on Monday. 

If that weren’t enough, more and more, bit by bit, people are dying, so what will become of our descendants?

I don’t want to be one more survivor to die in this careless war, which mostly kills innocent people and treats favela residents like they don’t matter.

The damage is done; a sense of insecurity has already taken root in our minds.

Desabafo

Não quero falar de guerra mas é isso que me cerca, quase não fui estudar ontem porque não dava pra andar pela favela.

Foi dito que era pela paz a oito anos atrás, e hoje me pega lendo o post de um menino doce, com medo, receio e agonia.

Chorando no colo da sua mãe dizendo ‘’por favor, me salva dessa covardia.’’ 

Moradores agoniados, comércios fechados e pracinhas vazias, casas metralhadas como se fosse tiro ao alvo, é sério, como eu posso dar bom dia?

Faz silêncio na favela mas a trilha sonora ainda é de tiro, se eu pedir paz vocês mandam bala, então eu peço compaixão.

Compaixão pro moleque que foi ali rapidinho comprar o pão, pra tia que tá indo trabalhar porque é mãe solteira, e pra menorzada que tá doida pra voltar a estudar segunda-feira.

Se ainda não for suficiente, pouco a pouco vai morrendo cada vez mais gente, e ai o que será dos nossos descendentes?

Não quero ser mais um sobrevivente a morrer nessa guerra de inconsequentes, que mata em sua maioria inocentes e trata os favelados como indigente.

E agora já era: o clima de insegurança se instalou na nossa mente.

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Any opinions expressed in this piece do not necessarily reflect those of Americas Quarterly or its publishers.


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