‘Since we don’t have wings we fly kites’ – aerial combat above Rio’s favelas
‘When we fly a kite up high we feel free.’
Kites are hugely popular in Rio de Janeiro’s favelas, where they are made using cheap materials and easily flown in the breezy, coastal skies. But instead of leisurely trying to keep their home-made creations afloat, flyers engage in competitive ‘kite fights’ with the aim of cutting their opponent’s line with their own. While the sport pits rooftop against rooftop and neighbourhood against neighbourhood, its overall effect is to bring people in the favela together around a tradition that’s about fun and freedom above all else.