It was with mixed feelings that Brazil received the start of the World Cup, in Sao Paulo anyway. No later than 10am Police were out in force at Carrao station in zona l’este east zone, clashes followed first between a small group of protesters by the Choque division, firing stun grenades. During the skirmish, a female team from CNN were hit, one of whom suffered a broken arm and was carried off on a stretcher.
Clashes between Police and protesters got severe quickly, Police firing tear gas whilst protesters threw rocks and bits of street furniture, and set flaming barricades in the street. The crowd of protesters were dispersed fairly quickly into fragmented groups. Some then passed onto the main highway that leads to Itauquera stadium. They almost blocked the road, so Police fired teargas into the oncoming traffic leaving the public to have to drive through it. One woman was seen having severe breathing difficulties after riding through it on a scooter. Protests also happened in many other Brazilian cities, some with violent clashes.
Do Moinho favela in Sao Paulo is the last one left in the central part of the city, rather than the periphery. A strong community, it has held up resistance on more than one occasion and survived a tragic fire in 2011.
On the eve of the World Cup, local residents held a football game and hip hop session in the main square, good friendly vibes down here, though the lyrics certainly had a political edge, as is known with Sao Paulo Hip-Hop.
I’m very happy to announce that the feature I shot with writer Adrian Geiges back in April, is out now in this month’s ‘Brazil special’ of the excellent Lufthansa magazine, published by G+J, Hamburg.
The story, in association with Greenpeace Brazil, documents how ‘UN Forest Hero’ and generally all round inspirational character; Paulo Adario and his team, use a small plane to survey deforestation and environmental crime from the air, predominantly in the Amazonian state of Pará, Brazil. It was one of the most interesting assignments and closest to my personal work that I’ve ever done , so thanks to Michael and Penelope from G+J for putting me on it.
During the flight we flew over the Belo Monte dam site (below), a project I’ve been documenting since it commenced in 2011, so to see it from the air 3 years into construction had a great deal of impact on me, as I’m sure it will on the readers of the article.
Protests and social unrest continues in Brazil, with official statistics stating at least half the population are angry and upset with the Government spending for the World Cup rather than excited about the football. Whether this will continue and escalate during the Cup is open to speculation. On Saturday 31st May around 2000 protestors took to the streets of Sao Paulo to protest against the Cup, chanting the slogan ‘Nao Vai ter Copa’ (there will be no Cup), holding a memorial for the workers who died building the stadiums and burning the Brazilian flag outside the Sao Paulo institute of football. The majority of the protest was peaceful, with some minor damage and scuffles when protesters entered Barrafunda transport terminal and then boarded a subway train.
Over the coming weeks there are more protests planned, so what’s left to see is whether it will disrupt the sporting event.
The Buenos Aires feature I shot in Feb is out in print now in this month’s National Geographic Traveller – text by Vicky Baker, online version here: http://natgeotraveller.co.uk/where/argentina/333420/
A selection of the Havana set I shot last year for the UK edition of National Geographic Traveller, is now available for purchase on the 4 Corners Images website, you can see the series here
I recently got back to Rio from Buenos Aires where I was shooting an assignment for the UK edition of National Geographic Traveller. It’s for the ‘Live like a local’ section, showing readers some ideas for doing just that, living like a local.
The piece runs in the May edition of the print magazine, but for now here’s a preview of one of the images, Tango at El Cathedral, a classic BA Milonga!
Happy New Year 2014!
2013 was a busy and exciting year, which started in Cuba shooting a story about Santeria religion (now available for syndication, contact me for info). Whilst in Havana I did a piece for BBC travel, and a city guide for National Geographic Traveller. Next was Jamaica for a personal reggae journey, which included photographing an orthodox Rastafarian community, the story is to be distributed by PYMCA.
Returning to London in March, I threw myself into a project about Free Party Rave culture, a subject close to my heart and my major project for MA Photojournalism at the University of Westminster, graduating with Distinction. Some of the work was published in Dazed and the Telegraph online. In November 2014, it’s 20 years since the Criminal Justice Bill made raves illegal, ‘Free to Party’ is due to be published in book form, showing how this important subculture has continued, regardless of being outlawed for so long. Available for syndication as a feature, contact me for further details (+44 7748 800276)
Other notable moments in 2013 included; photographing the West Indies Cricket Team for sponsor Confident Group; updated website and licensable online archive; new representation by Mike Kemp’s In Pictures and music culture archive PYMCA. I’ve also added lots to my collections managed by Robert Harding and 4 Corners, did an assignment in Prague for BBC travel, got Lewes bonfires into GEO Saison, spoke on a panel at One World Media festival about Retomada (which they funded in 2012) and saw Retomada shortlisted for the Amnesty Media Awards.
2014 I’m based in Brazil, available for assignment throughout Latin America
First stop is Salvador de Bahia to shoot Afro-Brazilian Candomble for the religion project. Then Buenos Aires for National Geographic Traveller; the Street Child World Cup in Rio; after that further plans TBC.
The final, and possibly most significant piece of news is that as Gaia Media; Jonathan Perugia, myself and Toby Richards are about to start a two year contract for the United Nation’s – WSSCC / Global Sanitation Fund (GSF). The project will be documenting the implementation and auditing of WASH initiatives in 10 focus countries throughout 2014 and 2015.
It recently came to my attention there was a technical issue with my email hosting, so if you sent a message to firstname.lastname@example.org and didn’t receive a response – it’s because I didn’t receive it. My sincerest apologies, it has now been rectified.
Just a week today I’ll be throwing open the doors of my little studio in Stoke Newington for a festive open studio print sale. Plenty of different work available, both old and new, plus orders available on the night, and special offers. So if you’re in the area, come down for some mulled wine and photography. This is also to mark the launch of my online print shop which I’m currently building in Photoshelter.
Very pleased to announce my first serious publication in Germany and joining of the GEO family – a double page spread from Lewes bonfires in the very prestigious travel magazine GEO Saison in the Fernweh (itchy feet in English!) section. Here’s a link to a preview of the issue, and the image is below. Thanks Karin Rogers for running it.
Last Saturday I has my first proper experience of public speaking – I was a panelist at the One World Media festival. One World funded me last year to produce the project Retomada in Brazil, looking at how the Guarani indigenous community are being affected by large scale monoculture agribusiness.
The talk and screening went well and there was a good attendance, there was also some other great events in including a talk about ‘the rising voice of the global south,’ and an interesting discussion about the rise of majority World practitioners gaining recognition in ‘putting the foreign back in foreign correspondent’ also a lighthearted end to the event with a comedy show by Jane Bussman, titled Bono and Geldof are C**ts.
Here’s a link to some photos, clipping and info about the event, and below is the piece that I produced with the grant and that was screened at the event.