Interviews 0

“Money rules the world”

Carla e Elaine tem um trailer do lado da Vila Mimosa onde servem garotas de programa, clientes, e residentes do bairro. “Eu amo esse lugar,” diz Carla. Nenhuma trabalha como garota de programa, mas ambas se consideram aliadas das garotas.  Nesse video, Carla diz que, bem ou mal, a Vila sustenta muitas famílias. “Dizem que o quê segura o mundo é água. Não. O que segura o mundo é dinheiro.”  >>Video em português; filmado em 2012.

Carla and Elaine run a food trailer next door to Vila Mimosa, Rio’s red light district, where they serve women who work there, their clients, and residents of the surrounding neighborhood. “I wouldn’t trade Vila Mimosa for anywhere in the world,” Carla says.

Even though neither has worked as a prostitute, both consider themselves allies to the women who work in Vila Mimosa. “Everyone has her own story and her own reasons,” says Elaine. In this video, Carla talks about how, “for better or worse,” the local economy of Rio’s red light district supports a lot of people, including three employees for her food trailer: “People say water sustains the planet. No. It’s money.”


I know a lot of women who work here who have found other jobs.

But they have three or four kids. How are you going to support four kids with the marvelous minimum wage we have in Brazil? [937 reais, or uS$300, per month]

You have no idea how many jobs Vila Mimosa creates. I’ll give you the example of my food trailer: Three jobs. And one is a guy who has worked for me for seven years. When he started working for me, he had a girlfriend who was pregnant.  Today he has three children.

And for better or worse, who supports his family?

I do.

Understand? So if my trailer creates three jobs, imagine how many jobs the [over 70 brothels of] Vila Mimosa creates?

How many people depend on the money they make here to bring home to their families? To support a son, or a sick grandmother, or their own mother? To feed themselves, and buy clothes to wear?

Money is the focus of the world.

(Elaine: “Unfortunately.”)

People say water sustains the planet. No. It’s money.

Because if you don’t have money, you can’t even buy water to drink.

(Aline: “That’s true.”)

If you don’t pay your water bill, water does not enter your house.

What runs the world is money. What commands respect in the world is money. To get somewhere in life, you need money.

But inside Vila Mimosa, life is precarious. We don’t have money here. We’re not rolling in money here, like a lot of people think about prostitution. People think you must be rich if you own a house [brothel] in Vila Mimosa. If I was so rich, I would have bought a house twenty years ago. And I’m still paying rent. If I was so rich, I’d have a big bank account, and I don’t.

I live day to day, but I don’t go hungry anymore — like a lot of women here do.


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