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EDGARAS MATAKAS: The Same Dream
Kaunas
By Berta Tilmantaite
14 Sep 2016

Edgaras’ disability class is reserved for those whose visual impairment is the most severe, i.e., the blind. In competition with other athletes in this category, the 17 year old Lithuanian reached three A level standards. He competed in the 50, 100, and 400 meter freestyle races this fall in the Rio de Janeiro Paralympics. He is the only swimmer who represented the Lithuanian team in the 2016 Paralympics.

This video complements four other videos featuring Lithuanian Paralympians, alongside eight long-form articles with accompanying still photos. The full multi-media story can be found here at http://nanook.lt/en/will-to-win-hidden Password: nanookwilltowin.

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AUGUSTAS NAVICKAS: 5 minutes of torture
Lithuania
By Berta Tilmantaite
01 Sep 2016

Augustas Navickas is the first and only Lithuanian Paralympian rower. He grew up with the sport and had been training a lot before the spine trauma. His dedication to sport and the support of the people closest to him helped Augustas overcome the hardships that life threw at him. This year, at the end of May, he got a wild card to Rio de Janeiro Paralympics. This video complements four other videos featuring Lithuanian Paralympians, alongside eight long-form articles with accompanying still photos. The full multi-media story can be found here at http://nanook.lt/en/will-to-win-hidden Password: nanookwilltowin.

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LITHUANIAN GOALBALL TEAM: To hear the...
Lithuania
By Berta Tilmantaite
01 Sep 2016

The goalball is the sports game that is gaining popularity with the blind and partially sighted people. In 24 minutes, two teams of three players each, wearing special eyewear that blocks all sight, have to throw the ball into their opponents’ goal. In order to win, athletes have to use senses rarely used in other sports to such extent. There are bells inside the ball, so they have to hear it, and the court borders and team zones are marked by a raised strip, so they have to feel it by touch.

Although the game is largely unknown in Lithuania, it is this Paralympic event that Lithuania is most famous for. Year after year, Lithuanian goalball players have been winning various awards, getting into the top spots of international ratings, and their names have been cited by their rival coaches when ironing out strategies. In the international goalball tournament in July, where a lot of strong teams participated, Lithuania became champions. To be precise, champions and runners-up, for Lithuania was represented by two teams, “Lithuania 1” and “Lithuania 2”.

This video complements four other videos featuring Lithuanian Paralympians, alongside eight long-form articles with accompanying still photos. The full multi-media story can be found here at http://nanook.lt/en/will-to-win-hidden Password: nanookwilltowin.

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TRACK AND FIELD ATHLETES: The Everlas...
Lithuania
By Berta Tilmantaite
01 Sep 2016

Four different stories of four different people. Paralympians Ramunė Adomaitienė, Mindaugas Bilius, Jonas Spudis and Kęstutis Skučas have more in common than only Lithuanian names and participant accreditations for the Rio 2016 games.
All of these athletes had to overcome a big trauma and begin a new different life in a new different body. Now they all compete successfully in the international arena, have many medals and records. However, usually their competition does not end at the stadium.

Life, as well as individual sport, requires an individual battle. After winning against stereotypes, fears and their own bodies, Ramunė, Mindaugas, Jonas and Kęstutis could probably calm down and enjoy their triumph. However, they are figthers and they do know that victory can be saved in the one possible way – if your work today is harder than it was yesterday.

This video complements four other videos featuring Lithuanian Paralympians, alongside eight long-form articles with accompanying still photos. The full multi-media story can be found here at http://nanook.lt/en/will-to-win-hidden Password: nanookwilltowin.

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OSVALDAS BARIKIS: Fighting shadows
Lithuania
By Berta Tilmantaite
01 Sep 2016

In 2013, Osvaldas Bareikis became the champion in the World Junior Judo Championship for Visually Impaired and participated in the International Blind Sports Association (IBSA) World Games in Seoul; he is also the winner of the Lithuanian Judo Championship for Blind and Partially Sighted. And he is the only representative of Lithuania in judo in his first, the 2016 Paralympics. This video complements four other videos featuring Lithuanian Paralympians, alongside eight long-form articles with accompanying still photos. The full multi-media story can be found here at http://nanook.lt/en/will-to-win-hidden Password: nanookwilltowin.

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Paralympian Kestutis Skucas
Kaunas
By Berta Tilmantaite
29 Jul 2016

Paralympian Kestutis Skucas is preparing for the Paralympic Games in Rio 2016.

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Paralympian Kestutis Skucas
Kaunas
By Berta Tilmantaite
29 Jul 2016

Paralympian Kestutis Skucas is preparing for the Paralympic Games in Rio 2016.

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Paralympian Kestutis Skucas
Kaunas
By Berta Tilmantaite
29 Jul 2016

Paralympian Kestutis Skucas is preparing for the Paralympic Games in Rio 2016.

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Paralympian Kestutis Skucas
Kaunas
By Berta Tilmantaite
29 Jul 2016

Paralympian Kestutis Skucas is preparing for the Paralympic Games in Rio 2016.

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Paralympian Kestutis Skucas
Kaunas
By Berta Tilmantaite
29 Jul 2016

Paralympian Kestutis Skucas is preparing for the Paralympic Games in Rio 2016.

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Paralympian Kestutis Skucas
Kaunas
By Berta Tilmantaite
29 Jul 2016

Paralympian Kestutis Skucas is preparing for the Paralympic Games in Rio 2016.

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Paralympian Kestutis Skucas
Kaunas
By Berta Tilmantaite
29 Jul 2016

Paralympian Kestutis Skucas is preparing for the Paralympic Games in Rio 2016.

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Paralympian Kestutis Skucas
Kaunas
By Berta Tilmantaite
29 Jul 2016

Paralympian Kestutis Skucas is preparing for the Paralympic Games in Rio 2016.

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Paralympian Kestutis Skucas
Kaunas
By Berta Tilmantaite
29 Jul 2016

Paralympian Kestutis Skucas is preparing for the Paralympic Games in Rio 2016.

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Paralympian Kestutis Skucas
Kaunas
By Berta Tilmantaite
29 Jul 2016

Paralympian Kestutis Skucas is preparing for the Paralympic Games in Rio 2016.

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Paralympian Kestutis Skucas
Kaunas
By Berta Tilmantaite
29 Jul 2016

Paralympian Kestutis Skucas is preparing for the Paralympic Games in Rio 2016.

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Paralympian Kestutis Skucas
Kaunas
By Berta Tilmantaite
29 Jul 2016

Paralympian Kestutis Skucas is preparing for the Paralympic Games in Rio 2016.

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Paralympian Kestutis Skucas
Kaunas
By Berta Tilmantaite
29 Jul 2016

Paralympian Kestutis Skucas is preparing for the Paralympic Games in Rio 2016.

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Paralympian Kestutis Skucas
Kaunas
By Berta Tilmantaite
25 Jul 2016

Paralympian Kestutis Skucas is preparing for the Paralympic Games in Rio 2016.

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Paralympian Kestutis Skucas
Kaunas
By Berta Tilmantaite
25 Jul 2016

Paralympian Kestutis Skucas is preparing for the Paralympic Games in Rio 2016.

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Paralympian Kestutis Skucas
Kaunas
By Berta Tilmantaite
25 Jul 2016

Paralympian Kestutis Skucas is preparing for the Paralympic Games in Rio 2016.

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Paralympian Kestutis Skucas
Kaunas
By Berta Tilmantaite
25 Jul 2016

Paralympian Kestutis Skucas is preparing for the Paralympic Games in Rio 2016.

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Paralympian Kestutis Skucas
Kaunas
By Berta Tilmantaite
25 Jul 2016

Paralympian Kestutis Skucas is preparing for the Paralympic Games in Rio 2016.

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Paralympian Kestutis Skucas
Kaunas
By Berta Tilmantaite
25 Jul 2016

Paralympian Kestutis Skucas is preparing for the Paralympic Games in Rio 2016.

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Paralympian Kestutis Skucas
Kaunas
By Berta Tilmantaite
24 Jul 2016

Paralympian Kestutis Skucas is preparing for the Paralympic Games in Rio 2016.

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Paralympian Kestutis Skucas
Kaunas
By Berta Tilmantaite
24 Jul 2016

Paralympian Kestutis Skucas is preparing for the Paralympic Games in Rio 2016.

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Paralympian Kestutis Skucas
Kaunas
By Berta Tilmantaite
24 Jul 2016

Paralympian Kestutis Skucas is preparing for the Paralympic Games in Rio 2016.

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Paralympian Kestutis Skucas
Kaunas
By Berta Tilmantaite
24 Jul 2016

Paralympian Kestutis Skucas is preparing for the Paralympic Games in Rio 2016.

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On Deaf Ears 6
Rua Alcindo Guanabara, 78-122 - Centro, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 20031-130,Brazil
By Antonio Franco
02 Apr 2015

Heriika S., 25, apologizes to her boyfriend. He helped her flee a rival favela after drug gangs made threats on her life. The women were joking about a rumor that there are rich Japanese businessmen wanting to marry for money.

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On Deaf Ears 8
Rua Alcindo Guanabara, 78-122 - Centro, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 20031-130,Brazil
By Antonio Franco
02 Apr 2015

Lenice, 53, speaking about her life. She's a nursing technician and used to make a decent wage but had troubles with depression after both her parents died in her care. She can't get a job because she doesn't have a fixed address and is behind on her union dues.

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On Deaf Ears 9
Rua Alcindo Guanabara, 78-122 - Centro, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 20031-130,Brazil
By Antonio Franco
02 Apr 2015

A good samaritan only known as Felipe (not pictured, refused to be identified) learned that it was David's (center) 1st birthday and bought him a cake. In a rare moment of joy, the homeless organized a makeshift birthday party for him. David was given to his grandmother, Vera Lucia, 65, (also not pictured) after his mother had no way of supporting him. David is not related to anyone else there.

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On Deaf Ears 12
Rua Alcindo Guanabara, 78-122 - Centro, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 20031-130,Brazil
By Antonio Franco
02 Apr 2015

Gracie, 25, began smoking cigarettes at age 11 after her grandmother would ask her to light hers on the stove for her. She smokes 3 packs a day when she can afford it. She never made it past the 3rd grade in school.

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On Deaf Ears 3
Rua Alcindo Guanabara, 78-122 - Centro, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 20031-130,Brazil
By Antonio Franco
01 Apr 2015

Kaue, 2, cries for his mother. His dad, Claudio "CG", 24, used to work selling drinks at favela funk parties. He claims to have been earning well over $3,000 USD a month; he owned multiple stands. He was living a comfortable middle class until police came in and shut the parties down. Now he's struggling to pay his $130 month rent.

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On Deaf Ears 4
Rua Alcindo Guanabara, 78-122 - Centro, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 20031-130,Brazil
By Antonio Franco
30 Mar 2015

A pregnant woman gives a friend a back massage at 2:00 AM as other sleep and rotate shifts. As some sleep, others stay awake to watch for police.

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On Deaf Ears 5
Rua Alcindo Guanabara, 78-122 - Centro, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 20031-130,Brazil
By Antonio Franco
30 Mar 2015

Andressa (alias), 20, posing for a portrait. Andressa spoke about leaving her boyfriend that day after he hit her. Despite this, they were seen cuddling 20 minutes later.

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On Deaf Ears 2
Rua Alcindo Guanabara, 78-122 - Centro, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 20031-130,Brazil
By Antonio Franco
27 Mar 2015

Hiogo, 23, (center) emaciated. Food was scarce in the camp and usually consisted of stale crackers obtained from the homeless shelter or pasta made at a friends house and brought over. Hiogo is a day laborer working construction and in recent months has struggled to find work.

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On Deaf Ears 7
Rua Alcindo Guanabara, 78-122 - Centro, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 20031-130,Brazil
By Antonio Franco
27 Mar 2015

Homeless women play cards to pass the time as they sit on their signs. Residents of a favela live effectively in a dictatorship run by drug gangs. The idea of using free speech to demand their rights is new to many of them.

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On Deaf Ears 10
Rua Alcindo Guanabara, 78-122 - Centro, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 20031-130,Brazil
By Antonio Franco
27 Mar 2015

Stephany B., 24, (right) does nails as they talk about politics. Stephany said she wants a house with a yard so she can do nails and earn a living from home.

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Rio's Homeless Sidelined in the Name ...
Rua Alcindo Guanabara, 78-122 - Centro, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 20031-130,Brazil
By Antonio Franco
26 Mar 2015

On the morning of March 26th, 2015, roughly 100 families were forcibly evicted from their homes by police in an abandoned lot in downtown Rio De Janeiro.  “If you don’t leave peacefully, you’ll leave when the bullets come down”, a police officer threatened, recalled M., a young black man who requested anonymity. By all accounts police were merciless in their eviction and went as far as confiscating simple things like hammers and pliers, allegedly for safety concerns.

Again homeless, the evicted families decided to sleep on the steps of City Hall and ensure their demands for affordable housing be heard. “People think we’re trying to rob them, but in fact we’re running away from that”, Fernando M., 48, said in desperation. Like Fernando, many of the evicted people were escaping the undeclared war between police and drug gangs in the city's Favelas, or slums. While the government does offer a growing number of public housing projects for the poor, few find them desirable to live in as they are still under the control of hostile drug gangs. Instead, these people set up homes in safer areas in the center of the city. 

Other evictees were crushed by soaring rent stemming from Olympic makeovers in their communities. Fernando recalled his rent only a few years ago was R$200 ($65 USD) and now has ballooned to over R$500 ($160 USD). Others are simply unemployed due to a sagging economy. Stuck in a catch-22, many are now unemployable because they have no fixed address.

As the days passed, the echoes of their discontent landed on the deaf ears of a bureaucratic and incompetent local government. In the end, no official action was taken by the city to ameliorate their situation. They eventually left their makeshift occupation by City Hall one-by-one. On April 6th, the remaining dozen or so families that had not left earlier decided to abandon the camp. Many of them found temporary housing in shelters, a friend’s house or other clandestine encampments throughout out the city.

Despite their efforts, the evicted families improvised war of attrition with local authorities is lost and their grievances continue unanswered. 

These photos offer an intimate portraite of some of Brazil's most neglected people.