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Ana Aranha

Ana Aranha

Ana Aranha is an award-winning journalist based in São Paulo, Brazil. She has written for the Brazilian Rolling Stone and Marie Claire in addition to other national news magazines. Through Panos, her work has been published in The Guardian, Gazeta in Poland, El Mundo in Spain and Svenksa Dagbladet in Sweden.

Ana has won ten national prizes for her investigative work, including the Ayrton Senna Grand Prix of Journalism, the most prestigious award for educational reporting in the country, which she received twice.

Her work focuses on human rights and public policy. She is currently a freelance journalist after seven years reporting on national politics and education for news magazine Epoca, which has the second-largest circulation in the country.

Journalism by Ana Aranha

Escaping São Paulo’s drug gangs


Marcos at the soccer field of the São Paulo neighborhood - Lilo Clareto | Panos London

Marcos Lopes tells his story of reform, from being the leader of a street gang to leaving that life and reaching out to help others like him.

“I was filled with hope and ideas for new possibilities”


Ana Aranha speaks with other journalists from the Linking Southern Journalists project when visiting Panos London - David Dahmen | Panos London

“One could say it was a reaction typical from a journalist, but it took me a long time to believe the trip was true. I thought that being invited to meet editors from European newspapers – with all expenses paid – was just too good to be true.”

Killings in the Amazon: “I am alone in this war”


Threatened Actvist - Nilcilene Miguel de Lima, a small farmer threatened to death. She is a local forest-activist in Lábrea, south of the State of Amazonas, Brazil - Lilo Clareto | Panos London

The Brazilian government claims destruction of the Amazon has fallen to its lowest level in 23 years. But environmental activists continue to be threatened and killed by loggers. Ana Aranha met one woman forced into hiding by assassins.

Haitian immigrants struggle for a better life in Brazil


Panos London - 2011/04/07 - Manaus, Brazil - Haitians - Many Haitians are moving to Brazil to escape the destruction caused by the earthquake in their country.They come looking for work opportunities and want to establish residence. They are coming in groups, arriving in Manaus, state of Amazonas, Brazil, after months of travel, facing the difficulties of the resumption in a new country.

This month the Brazilian government announced it would provide aid to two northwest states where over 4,000 Haitians have moved after the devastating earthquake in 2010. Ana Aranha met the people hoping to rebuild their lives.

Video: a reformed drug dealer speaks


Casa do Zezinho provides children in one of São Paulo's favelas with a safe place to learn and play

Brazilian journalist, Ana Aranha, has produced a video blog in which Tia Dag, director of the Brazilian NGO and school, Casa do Zezinho, interviews one of her ex students, known as Nene.

Brazil: women builders construct new lives


Sandra Ferreira de Souza sieves piles of earth which she will use for making bricks

A group of women in Brazil have learned the basics of the building trade, thanks to Lua Nova, a non-profit organisation that helps pregnant women facing high-risk situations such as homelessness, drug addiction and domestic violence.

Killings ignored by media


I am growing worried about the rise of murders in our neighbourhood. This entire past month we keep hearing stories of the multiple murders of six or seven men each weekend.

“He drank himself to death”


A view of a hillside favela in Brazil

This was a sad week for us. The father of two of our zezinhos [students] drank himself to death. Officially pronounced dead of cirrhosis, the disease had grown worse on account of the lack of medical care in public hospitals.

Prejudice against America blinded me


Tia Dag addresses students at the University of San Francisco

In the first week of May I was invited by the University of San Francisco to give a lecture on how we run Casa do Zezinho. I was supposed to give a long talk to undergraduate students majoring in Latin American Studies, but I ended up subverting the planned class structure.

Massage used as tool to break cycle of violence


Imagine working an eight-hour shift, spending four hours a day on crowded buses and coming home to a cramped, enclosed space where the air does not flow properly and where ten people share a space that under the best of conditions should house five.

Children’s drawings reveal violence at home


There is an unspoken law of silence in the slums that makes people keep these matters to themselves. This jarring contrast has made me think about how the root of violence is intricately related to a lack of sincere communication.

Students set the punishment for gang of bullies


“It is clear to me that the best way to help our youth rise out of this marginal existence and to stay out of gangs is to listen to what they have to say and to show trust in their ever independent development.”

Discussion diffuses favela gang violence


Although we work with a lot of children at the Casa do Zezinho who hail from violent backgrounds, we had never encountered serious hostility among the zezinhos [students] until this year. Unfortunately, we recently witnessed the first ever emergence of a gang-like group.

Plans show vision for new favela pre-school


Plans for the Casinha, or “Little House”, reveal the new favela pre-school to be built at Casa do Zezinho. Six hundred children between three and six years old will attend classes in the three-storey building.

Favela pre-school gives children a place to dream


My new project to expand Casa do Zezinho is building the Casinha (“Little House”). We are planning a three-storey building near the school where 600 children aged between three and six can spend the day.

Ana Aranha