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Frederik Buyckx October 30, 2014

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Brazil.
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Favela La Mineira, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 2014

Frederik Buyckx (b.1984, Belgium) received his master’s degree in advertising design at St-Lucas Antwerp and studied photography at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent. In 2010 he became a freelance photographer and has worked on assignments for National Geographic Magazine, The New York Times and the Belgian Newspaper De Standaard. Besides his freelance assignments he also works on independent photo-essays. His latest work Jesus, Make-up and Football about the favelas in Rio de Janeiro won several prizes such as : Honorable Mention in World Press Photo, Belgian Young Promising Photographer Award, Prize Paule Pia from the Photo Museum in Antwerp and the ANI Pix Palace Award.

About the Photograph:

“This photo became one of my signature images for the series I made about the favelas in Rio de Janeiro. I met this guy when I was walking in one of the streets in favela La Mineira and was immediately attracted by the wings he had tattooed on his back. For me it was a combination of two themes that are very present in this community: religion and body culture. The wings of the angels with the words about God obviously show his devotion. On the other hand, it is a magnificent example of how all Brazilians are proud of their bodies, loving to show their muscles and skin and decorating them with tattoos. It’s up to the viewer to decide whether this guy is a real angel or not.”

Taylor Weidman September 25, 2014

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Brazil.
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Confrontation at Belo Monte Dam. Altamira, Brazil 2013

Taylor Weidman (b. 1983, USA) graduated with a degree in Photojournalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University. His work has been published by TIME, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg Businessweek, BBC, The Guardian, GEO, Der Spiegel, and others. After working as a contract photographer for the C.S. Monitor, he was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to photograph the Loba people of Upper Mustang, leading to the publication of Mustang: Lives and Landscapes of the Lost Tibetan Kingdom, with a foreword written by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Taylor has produced long-term projects in Mongolia and the Brazilian Amazon and currently lives in Chiang Mai working shooting news and feature assignments throughout Asia. Taylor is a co-founder of the Vanishing Cultures Project, an initiative which partners with indigenous groups worldwide to safeguard cultural values and practices.”

About the Photograph:

“Last year, I spent a few months in Altamira, a small outpost town in the middle of the Brazilian Amazon. Altamira is the site of the Belo Monte Dam, Brazil’s largest ever construction project and the world’s third largest dam. Belo Monte is the first of a series of dams planned throughout the Amazon and is facing fierce resistance from local fishermen, indigenous groups, and international environmentalists. During my stay, a group of indigenous Munduruku traveled from the Tapajos River where several dams are being planned, to protest construction of the Belo Monte. They occupied the construction site and halted all work at the main turbine site, demanding an audience with the Brazilian government to voice their complaints. As I photographed the occupation, a group of heavily-armed military and federal police were dispatched to confront the Munduruku men. The Munduruku refused to leave and eventually were granted a meeting with the government in Brasilia.”

Maria Plotnikova July 10, 2014

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Christmas in Sao Paulo, Brazil 2013

Maria Plotnikova (b. 1984, Russia) studied Philology at the Moscow State Pedagogical University. In 2006 until 2010 she worked as a sports photographer in Moscow for Izvestia, Novaya Gazeta and TASS. In 2010 she moved to Buenos Aires and later to Sao Paulo. In Latin America, she became interested in street photography. Since 2012 she has been a member of the international collective Street Photographers. Maria’s work has been exhibited in Argentina (Festival of Light, 2012), United States (The Fence Festival, 2013), Georgia (Tbilisi Photo Festival, 2013), Lithuania (Vilnius Photo Circle Festival, 2013) and Russia (Photovisa Festival, 2013-14).

About the Photograph:

“I love the Christmas season. Beings from Russia, for me winter is as integral a part as the ocean and the heat are for Brazilians. The last few years my husband and I have lived in South America and the one thing to which I can´t get accustomed to is the opposite order of the seasons. Christmas and New Year’s are linked with snow and cold for me. When Christmas holidays are approaching in South America, I’m waiting with nostalgia. I like how people prepare for Christmas in Brazil. Despite the fact that snow doesn’t exist here, every shopping mall is decorated with Santa Claus and all the trappings of a winter holiday: boots, hats, reindeers and Christmas trees. Once in Sao Paulo I passed a shopping mall and a huge Santa Claus drew my attention. People were dressed in summer clothes and Santa, this solitary guest from the defunct Brazilian winter looked very absurd. I think this situation alludes to an eternal contradiction of human existence, expressed in a proverb that the glass is always greener on the other side of the fence.”

Andrej Balco November 5, 2012

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From the Project about Domésticas in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2007

Andrej Balco (b.1973, Slovakia) received his  Master’s degree in photography at the Institute of Creative Photography in the Czech Republic. His work has been exhibited at the Prague House of Photography, The Leica Gallery, Prague, The Festival of Photography in Lodz, Poland as well as in England, Australia, Holland, Finland, Brazil and Japan. Andrej  is a winner of the PhotoDocument.sk: grant and Changing Faces of the international program of IPRN. He is a co-founder and member of Sputnik Photos collective. His work is distributed worldwide by the Anzenberger Agency.

About the Photograph:

“This photo is part of the series Domésticas that I made through the residential Changing Faces/ IPRN program. The idea  behind the project was to show the coexistence of two different social classes connected by work and explore how they interact and complement each other. The phenomenon of domestic labor is a natural part of Brazilian society that has persisted since colonial times. I portrayed the masters and their servants in the opulent villas, but also in the simple flats whose area does not exceed 30 square meters. The selected image is of my meeting with Anita Prisco and  her lifelong servant Matilde in Anita’s house. Matilda’s service started when she was twenty and over the years  has become a respected member of the host family.”

Andy Richter August 13, 2012

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The Oro Win. Amazonas, Brazil 2010

Andy Richter (b. 1977, USA) is a photographer based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His clients include Time, National Geographic Traveler, UNICEF, Outside, AARP and The Times of India, among others. His work is represented by Aurora Photos. Created in the Amazon Basin, his photographs with the Oro Win tribe, led to a solo exhibition organized by the Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña in San Juan, Puerto Rico, as well as a feature in Ode Magazine. At home, he spent countless hours with his grandmother, who recently passed away at the age of 93. This time together resulted in a personal project called “Louise and I” about their wonderful friendship in the last years of her life. Andy looked at the topics of health, self-worth, personal transformation, and body image in his project about Childhood Obesity that went on to be published in Time Magazine.

About the Photograph:

“Living deep in the Amazon Basin of Brazil, the Oro Win are an indigenous tribe on the cusp of change. Six native speakers of their traditional language remain while the next generation speaks only Portuguese. As the words of their ancestors fade away, so does much of the culture and knowledge embodied in them. The tribe consists of 16 or so households, perhaps 70 people, spread around São Luís Indian Post on the bank of the Pacaas Novos River. Josh Birchall, a linguist and Fulbright scholar who studies the Oro Win language hopes to record and document as much as possible before it’s too late.” (more…)

Adriana Zehbrauskas November 7, 2011

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Day Of Iemanjá. Salvador, Bahia, Brazil

Adriana Zehbrauskas (b. 1968, Brazil) received a degree in Journalism and moved to Paris where she studied Linguistics and Phonetics at the Sorbonne Nouvelle. She worked as a staff photographer for Folha de Sao Paulo (Brazil’s largest Newspaper) and contributes regularly to The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Sunday Times, The Guardian, Paris Match, Le Figaro, The World Health Organization among others. Her photos have also been featured in the books ’24 ‘In Search of Hope – The Global Diaries of Mariane Pearl’, PowerHouse Books and the ‘Nike Human Race’.  She was a nominee for the New York Photo Awards in 2009 and 2010 and is an instructor with the Foundry Photojournalism Workshops. Adriana is based in Mexico City and is represented by Polaris Images.

About the Photograph:

“This photo was taken on the day of Iemanjá day in Bahia, Brazil. It’s part of a larger essay I am doing on faith in Brazil and Mexico. Yemanjá is the deity who represents the mother principle. She is the mother of the world, the lady of the waters and the queen of the seas in Candomblé, an Afro-Brazilian religion brought by African slaves from Nigeria during the colonial period. During her day, hundreds of people, all dressed in white, come to the shore to pray and make her offerings: baskets with flowers, perfume, jewelry and soaps thrown into the water. The Orisha (as its called in Yoruba) is also the patron saint of sailors and fishermen. We live in a world where the progress of science, globalization and the ever growing speed of the media can trivialize the symbolic meaning of religious manifestations and rituals once preserved in small groups. But despite the efficiency of science and technology in the modern world, men and women still turn to the daily practice of faith to ease their suffering and anguish.”

Stuart Freedman September 9, 2011

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Capoeiristas, Rio de Janiero 2007

Stuart Freedman (b.1967, England) has been a photographer since 1991. His work has been published in Life, Geo, Time, National Geographic,  Der Spiegel, Newsweek and Paris Match covering stories from Albania to Afghanistan and from former Yugoslavia to Haiti. Stuart’s work has been recognized through many awards from Amnesty International (twice), Pictures of the Year, The World Sports Photo Award, The Royal Photographic Society and UNICEF. In 1998 he was selected for the World Press Masterclass and the following year for the Agfa Young Photojournalist of the Year. His work has been exhibited widely. Solo shows include Visa Pour L’Image, The Scoop Festival in Anjou, The Leica Gallery in Germany, The Foire du Livre (Brussels), The Museum of Ethnography (Stockholm) and The Association and the Spitz Galleries in London. Stuart is currently based between the UK and India.

About the Photograph:

“The story was on Capoeira, the martial art/dance once the (banned) preserve of African slaves, now a national symbol of Brazil. It was shot on assignment for a car magazine – Lexus – with whom I’ve photographed and written travel pieces on and off for nearly a decade. My fixer had arranged for five models – all expert Capoeiristas, and the idea was that in addition to photographing some Capoeira classes in the city, we’d make the main images on Copacabana and Leblon beaches. I remember it rained for a couple of days so I had to shoot the beach twice before I was happy. Initially I shot with two portable strobes but that felt too ‘fashioney’ so I went back to a much simpler set-up – shooting at dusk with available light and couple of fixed lenses: a much more traditional reportage feel. I’d worked in Brazil only once before in 1999 as part of a five country reportage about the Politics of Hunger. I’d shot a piece with the Landless Peasant’s Union (the MST) on squatted land in the far north: the Capoeira story was far removed from that and some of the images have formed the basis of a lifestyle folio that sees me work on ‘lighter’ stories away from pieces in Africa and Asia that I am perhaps more known for. A good balance, I think.”

Jackie Dewe Mathews January 10, 2011

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Capital Penitentiary for Women. Sao Paulo, Brazil 2010

Jackie Dewe Mathews (b.1978, England) worked in the film industry as a freelance camera assistant on feature films and commercials. Her continued interest in cinematography has informed her photography practice which she was able to develop during an MA in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at the London College of Communication in 2007. Her work has been published in the Saturday Telegraph, the Sunday Times, the Guardian, Stern and other European Magazines. In 2008 she was awarded the Joan Wakelin bursary for a social documentary project from the Guardian newspaper and the Royal Photographic Society. In 2009 she was selected by the Magenta Foundation for emerging photographers. In 2010 she was a runner up in the Ojodepez and Julia Margret Cameron awards.

About the Photograph:

“This picture is from a series of portraits of foreign women imprisoned for drug trafficking at Sao Paulo’s Capital Penitentiary for Women, where foreigners make up over half the prison population. Their numbers have seen a huge increase in recent years, as Sao Paulo Guarulhos International airport has become the main exit point for drug mules carrying cocaine from South America to the rest of the world. Many of the drug mules, have never committed a crime before. If caught, they face long sentences of three to fifteen years in a foreign jail with the right to just two phone calls a year. This Portuguese girl, of Cape Verde descent, was tricked by a friend into taking her place as a drug mule on a trip to Brazil. Her friend had asked her for help and she felt she couldn’t say no. The explanation is often as innocent as that. It was the first time she had ever seen drugs. She has been in prison for ten months and is still awaiting her sentence.”

Lalo de Almeida August 25, 2010

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Church Musician. Suburbs of São Paulo 1998

Lalo de Almeida (1970, Brazil) studied photography at the Instituto Europeo di Design in Milan, where he began working as a photojournalist with small agencies, covering Police work in the city. Since 1995 he works for the newspaper Folha de S. Paulo in Brazil. In addition to his work for the newspaper, he has also worked on documentary projects such as “ O Homem e a Terra (Man and Land)” concerning traditional Brazilian populations. He is the photographer of the book: “Nas Asas do Correio Aéreo (Flying with the airmail service)” published in 2002.

About the Photograph:

“I shot this picture while on assignment for the newspaper Folha de S.Paulo about the borders of São Paulo, a city of over 11 million people. My idea was to visit the extremes, from South to North, from East to West. The North border was a neighborhood called Jardim Paraná and when I visited for the first time in 1998 it has just been occupied by homeless people, mostly migrants from the Northeast of Brazil. While I walking on an unpaved street I saw this boy carrying his guitar leaving from a small Evangelical church. Ten years, later, in 2008,  I came back to the same place. The street was paved, the church was much bigger, but the boy, now a man, was still playing guitar in the same church.”

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Noah Addis June 9, 2010

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Jardim Edite Favela. São Paulo 2009

Noah Addis (b.1975, USA) worked as a staff photographer at the Star-Ledger newspaper in Newark, NJ until 2008, when he left to work on long-term personal projects. His photographs have been published in: The New York Times, Time, Newsweek, People, US News & World Report and many others. Noah was part of a team awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Reporting in 2005. Other awards include New Jersey Photographer of the Year three times, runner-up in the portfolio category of the NPPA Best of Photojournalism and  POYI . In 2010 he had an exhibition at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies and was awarded a career development fellowship by the Center for Emerging Visual Artists in Philadelphia. He is currently represented by  Corbis.

About the Photograph:

“This photograph is from ‘Future Cities’ a long-term project documenting the residents of squatter communities in the world’s major cities. The Jardim Edite favela (slum) in São Paulo was built near an affluent business district. The residents, including Arnaldo Reis and his family, were evicted in 2009 and their homes were demolished. Many of the residents moved to other favelas in the area, some of which are also slated for demolition. Many squatters are hard-working citizens who, through lack of education or poor job opportunities, are forced to work in low-paying jobs and do not earn enough to rent a legal home. The vast majority are not criminals. They are merely looking for a safe place to live. As one squatter living under high-tension power lines in a favela in São Paulo told me, my dream is to have a legal address.”

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Carlos Cazalis May 15, 2009

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São Paulo, Brazil

Carlos Cazalis (b.1969, Mexico) began his career photographing the Zapatista rebellion in 1994.  Two years later he joined AFP shooting news and documenting transvestites, children on the street and bullfighting, an going project in four different countries. In 2003 he began working for The Guardian, the UK’s Telegraph, the Mexican weekly Dia Siete, The New York Times, Stern, Walrus Magazine and the Brazilian Folha de Sao Paulo. Since 2005 he has been working primarily in Brazil on a long-term independently financed documentary project on the effects of habitat and mass urbanization entitled Meta Sao Paulo. With the support of the UN Habitat program he begins exhibiting in 2008 in Europe and Mexico. In the summer of 2007 he completed the work on his first upcoming book The Sons of Evora, on Portuguese bullfighters.

About the Photograph:

“This photo of the Minhocão overpass in central São Paulo was shot on a very stormy and rainy Sunday afternoon. The photo is part of my book project on habitat in Sao Paulo, the fifth largest city with nearly 20 million people. The Minhocão was built in the 70′s to break down the congestion of traffic cutting through the city, but it ended up being too small for the massive overpopulation and it also destroyed the real estate value of the adjoining buildings and surrounding neighborhoods. On Sundays the overpass is closed in the morning till early afternoon to allow people to walk alongside it and use as a sort of recreation area. On this occasion the man was training for the upcoming city marathon.”

Q. Sakamaki October 8, 2008

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In Rocinha favela, gang members patrol the streets. Rio, 2007

Q. Sakamaki graduated with the MA in International Affairs from Columbia University. He has photographed New York’s political and social landscape, focusing on AIDS, homelessness, and street crime. He has covered  war-stories in Afghanistan, Israel/Palestine, Algeria, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, Liberia, Sri Lanka, etc. The main objective of his work is to show how war affects ordinary civilians, particularly children. His photographs been published in Time, Newsweek, Life, Stern, and L’espresso, and have been exhibited in New York and Tokyo. Sakamaka has received numerous awards, including World Press Photo- 2007, Overseas Press Club (Olivier Rebbot – 2006), Pictures of The Year International- 2007, Days International Photojournalism Award- 2005 among others.  He has published three books, including “Palestine and just released a new one about New York’s East Village in the 1980′s. He is represented by Redux Pictures.

About the Photograph:

“This story depicts the life of favelas, or shantytowns, in Rio de Janiero, Brazil, as the communities are deteriorated by gang violence. In Rio, nearly each favela has its syndicate-with drug related activity- in more than 600 favelas in the metropolitan area. Gangs control each favela with the law of violence. They are so well armed and organized, that even the paramilitary Rio police force cannot easily step into the community. I started this project in 1998 and when I returned 10 years later, the favelas’ violent landscape had deteriorated even more. It took me so long to go back and resume this project because I was traumatized after almost being killed. Meanwhile, the Brazilian government and the international community have ignored the bloody tragedy of Rio’s  favelas and the violence continues. There are so many desperate youths in favelas. The gang members know that being in a gang can be fatal and consider themselves lucky if they live to 25.”

Marizilda Cruppe July 14, 2008

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São Francisco River, Brazil. 2008

Marizilda Cruppe is a Rio de Janeiro-based photographer whose work examines Brazilian social inequality and poverty. She has been working as a full-time photographer for O Globo newspaper, part of Brazil’s largest media company, lately photographing mostly for the newspaper’s Sunday magazine supplement. She tried to change her way of working from news photography to documentary photography and in this new way, in 2005, was introduced to five other women photographers that then created EVE Photographers.

About the Photograph:

Brazil has huge reserves of water and extensive river basins. It has the world’s largest water potential with 17% of the total volume. Despite this abundance, water distribution is unequal. This photo is part of the story “On The Water Front”, EVE’s common 2008 project and was shot on the São Francisco river border at Bahia State. “My story is still in progress and focuses on the water topic that has been mostly discussed in Brazil: the San Francisco River transposition and water distribution for the population from the semi-arid Northeast region. The project have many pros and cons: the government says that the investment of 3.5 billion USD in the first part of the transposition project will benefit 12 million people; opponents say that the transposition will benefit only big farmers and rich producers.

Anderson Schneider June 10, 2008

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Barradas Alho, 86 years old. Leper Colony, Brazil. 2005

Anderson Schneider is an independent Brazilian-based photographer represented by WpN and Grazia Neri. Working self-assigned, as well as for newspapers, magazines and international organizations, he strongly believes that a camera, a photograph, a news page can make the world a more real place to live in. Anderson is 33 years-old and was nominated twice as a finalist for the W. Eugene Smith Grant (USA, 2006 & 2007), received the Special Prize for Humanistic Photography at the IV Pleven Biennial of Photography (Bulgaria, 2005) and also two prizes at the NPPA Best of Photojournalism (USA, 2005 & 2007). He lives in Brasilia with his wife Adriana and his new-born daughter Anna.

About the Photograph:

During almost all of the 20th century, the treatment for leperosy in Brazil was understood as the total confinement of the patient in a sanitarium. These people were taken from their homes and families, many of them under gunpoint by the so-called Sanitary Police, and locked up in small isolated communities, usually forever. After 1976, due to the changes in the policy for the treatment of this disease, these colonies were partially or totally deactivated and the patients were abandoned without any policy for social reintegration. Without any place else to go, they were confined to these archaic structures until now, dying one-by-one, slow and silently. (more…)

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