This chapter explores three sets of photographs made in different periods of Brazilian history: portraits of urban slaves made by the photographer Christiano Júnior in the mid-nineteenth century during the Second Empire; photographs of political propaganda commissioned by the Estado Novo in the early 1940s; and contemporary images of Rio de Janeiro favela dwellers taken by the inhabitants of the favelas themselves as part of the communitarian projects of 'visual inclusion'. The chapter believes that through the interplay of appearances and disappearances that envelops these photographs; it is possible to observe some of the deadlocks and contradictions of the projects and dreams of modernity in Brazil. In Brazil the carte de visite enjoyed considerable popularity in the 1860s, and its use, especially by photographers outside the nation's capital, continued unabated well into the first decade of the twentieth century. The chapter emphasized how photography can be an expression of a collectivity, society, and it analyzed the limits of these representations.