OPEN CALL FOR THE NONPROFIT WORLD 2022: SELECTED NGOSebastian Gil Miranda for Na Ponta dos Pés
Ballet Against Bullets

Brazil is going through a very complex time because of a great crisis at the institutional, political, social and economic levels. This context has increased violence, drug trafficking, and battles between narco groups to take power. This is the case of the Morro do Adeus, a favela located in Complexo do Alemão, in which the Comando Vermelho (VC) is at war against the Third Commando Pure (TCP).

On a hilltop overlooking the favela, a group of girls fill an old basketball court where they practice ballet because there is no other place for them to go. A social project called Na Ponta dos Pés (On Tiptoes) was born here. It is coordinated by a local brilliant woman named Tuany Nascimento, a ballet dancer who started a dance company for young girls in the middle of one of Rio De Janeiro’s most dangerous favelas. Despite the lack of resources, she keeps supporting these girls providing for a safe space away from the violent world around them and gives girls hope for a better future. In fact, these girls have to fight against the stigma of being black, women and poor, in a racist, sexist and classist society where gender violence is very common. Brazil has the fifth highest rate of femicides in the world. Afro-descendants represent more than half of the population. Mortality rate is persistently higher among them; income is the lowest and they are the most affected by the plague of unemployment.

Morro do Adeus has changed command 6 times in the last 5 years. With each change the new faction expels from the community all families who have a relative linked to the enemy. At least a hundred families have been evicted in Morro do Adeus over the last ten years.

Thanks to the continuous work of Tuany and her students, crowdfunding campaigns that were carried out, and media coverage, the project has grown: now the girls can dance in a new headquarters that was built using bulletproof material. It includes a professional ballet area as well as an open space for the entire community which can be used for social activities and to respond to the many needs of the inhabitants of this neighbourhood, while also raising awareness on environmental care.

Without even realizing it, Tuany is shaping the future of these dancers, one girl at a time.

Photo copyright: © Sebastian Gil Miranda for Na Ponta dos Pés.

Na Ponta dos Pés (On Tiptoe) is a nonprofit organization located in Morro do Adeus, one of the 13 favelas that make up the Complexo do Alemão, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, a territory known for its numerous armed conflicts. The organization aims at empowering girls, offering opportunities for development, learning and social transformation through ballet and other educational activities focused on art, culture and sports with the objective to help girls to obtain a professional qualification in the future.


Sebastian Gil Miranda is a documentary photographer, filmmaker and visual artist whose stories focus on issues of humanitarian, social and environmental character.

He was born in Paris, France, and grew up in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He graduated in psychology at the University of Buenos Aires. He worked as a university professor in research, communication and human rights at the University of Buenos Aires and the University of Palermo.

Sebastian has received numerous prizes and recognitions among which: 1° place at the Sony World Photography Award 2015 with his series “Shoot Ball, Not Gun”; 1° place at the “People’s Choice Prize” at Photoville 2014 in New York, with his series “Children Playing on the Street of Cuba”; “Performance Award” in the Humanity Photo Award 2015 and “Nomination Award” in the Humanity Photo Award 2017, organized by the China Folklore Photographic Association and the UNESCO; Honorable Mention at the POY Latam 2019 in the video section with his work “Ballet against Bullet”, FotoEvidence Book Award – World Press Photo 2021 winner with the collective Covid Latam. “Open Call for Nonprofit World” winner of the Festival of Ethical Photography, Italy, 2021; Finalist and selected among the 10 projects exhibited at the Barcelona Human Rights and Social Justice Festival 2021; Shortlist in the Luis Valtueña Humanitarian Photography Award, organized by Doctors of the World Spain. 2021, among others.

His works have been published on international newspapers among which BBC, The Guardian, CNN, National Geographic, New York Times, The Atlantic, Vice News, Le Nouvel Observateur, Geo, British Journal of Photography, Huffington Post, Photo, Media Part, Marie Claire, O Globo and ​Gramma.


Lodi, Museo Paolo Gorini – Via A. Bassi, 3