The video I made with Daniel Oxenhandler / Network Affect, is now live on AJ+, it’s about a music school in a favela who have been doing their own Olympic marathon…
With the Olympics now in full swing, most of the city is either concentrating on having a good time, watching the sport, or trying to get on with their daily lives in the midst of it all.. Meanwhile, wedged in between the lively and popular ‘Austria House’ and Rio Sul shopping centre, the OcupaMinc collective have created a new space, a follow on from the Ministry of Culture, which was occupied for 70 days in protest of the cutting of this cultural institution, and making the statement Fora Temer – for interim President Michel Temer to step down, in the light of the impeachment of Dilma Roussef.
The new space is the Canecao – a famous music venue that hosted hundreds of national and international artists for their shows in Rio, a beloved place to many, it has been left empty for years, and now the aim is to breathe new life into the space, and use it as a place for independent cultural activities, discussion, protest. I’m currently working with John Surico and Angela Almeida on an article about the movement and the new wave of young activists in a politically instable Brazil, in addition to a collaborative film (more about that soon) Watch this space… Here a few shots from the opening night on Thursday:
A shot from the Olympic protests on Friday, Vice didn’t run it, but I think it’s one of the most powerful – a group of young, masked protesters burn a Brazilian flag.
Rocinha, largest favela in South America, place of extremes, but also the day to day life of hundreds of thousands, getting on with their lives like anyone else. Seen here one of the key water systems of the community, poor quality, tiny outdated pipes run hundreds of liters a day to nearby houses.
Multibloco playing at a Festa Junina (June Fayre) in the famous bohemian district of Lapa, Rio de Janiero. In some ways like a second Carnival, the Festa Juninas see Brazilians dressing up like countryside ‘hicks,’ eating traditional food, and dancing, mostly to Forró.
Meanwhile, in Mato Grosso do Sul, the ongoing land conflict between the Guarani and farmers continues. What is being referred to as the Caarapó Massacre by local campaigning groups, on June 14th, one death of Clodiode Aquileu Rodrigues de Souza, and several serious injuries occurred to Guarani villagers, including a 12 year old boy who took a bullet, hitting vital organs (thankfully he is making a good recovery). Allegedly this happened at the hands of land owners involved in a long, ongoing dispute about land in the region. On assignment for the Guardian with Bruce Douglas, we investigated the situation, aiming to get to the bottom of what is happening, why, and what the chances are of a resolution between the two sides.
Here’s a couple of the out-takes, the full article will be published next week.
1st June 2016 in Rio de Janeiro – Thousands of women, joined by some men, marched in central Rio de Janeiro alongside other cities in Brazil, to demand more respect for women and recognition throughout, what is in some ways a macho country. The march was also in reaction to a brutal gang rape last week in Santa Cruz, Rio de Janeiro, where the suspects posted a video of the assault on social media, the events have shocked the country.
What can be done to prevent disasters in the future? How can communities be safeguarded in advance rather than waiting for them to happen? Using the Bento Rodrigues disaster in Minas Gerais as a case study, commissioned by Ethan films, myself and Ruy Sposati investigated some of these questions for the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction: ( http://www.unisdr.org ) The final piece will be a 3 minute film, coming soon.
Latest Nat Geo traveller article – written by Nigel Richardson and with my pictures (in this month’s edition), shows the amazing Salar Uyuni salt flats and the surrounding Eduardo Avaroa National Park, the most geologically amazing landscape I’ve ever been to, multi-coloured lagoons, geysers, desert and the largest salt flat in the World that stretches for miles.
It’s always nice to see how photos can be used or different contexts, sometimes ones you wouldn’t expect – here I found out that a shot from the Santeria series I did in Cuba, was used in Conde Nast Traveller (Espana), to speak about the Santeria association in Havana: Mercado de Asociaion Yoruba Cubana. Nice that they’re mentioning this important Cuban cultural institution, educating about the islands African heritage, and happy that they used my pic!
A proud moment to have some work in the excellent, and highly regarded Smithsonian magazine. The article is about the worrying water quality in Rio, the same water that the sailing teams will be competing in. Efforts are being made to clean up the bay, many say too little too late, where others claim they have being sailing in the water for years with no adverse affects. This is an important issue, and something I will be looking at in more detail over the coming weeks / months, from some different angles besides the obvious. Here’s the article (it’s from last year, but still very much current):
Sunday morning April 17th, tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro to protest the impeachment proceedings of the President Dilma Rousseff, claiming that it is a coup. Apafunk, Furacao 2000 and Rhythm of the Favela put the show together, that felt undeniably a bit like Carnival, but with a serious overtone.
Alas it was not enough, at 22h, after hours of political circus, hypocritical corrupt politicians (most of whom are being investigated themselves), the votes were cast to go ahead with the impeachment. This is a worrying day for democracy in Brazil.
I’m not by any means saying Dilma or PT are perfect, but this may now set a precedent for whenever those in the senate, or indeed the public, are unhappy with the President, then impeachment proceedings start. What will happen here over the coming months here, is anyone’s guess.
David Cameron, are you watching what’s going on here? hmm….
Hi everyone, in case you didn’t know, I’m back in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I’m available for editorial of commercial assignments, now shooting video in addition to photos. I am happy to travel anywhere in the country, or indeed other countries in South America if you so require. Get in touch if you have anything you’re looking to cover! My Brazilian number is +55 21 997 092 248
I’ve got this city guide formula down now! A set that I shot back in December is in this month’s National Geographic Traveller, this time Cologne, it’s in the shops now, and you can preview the spreads below. Next up, Sao Paulo…