The singing of birds, the coming and going of cattle and horses amid the lush landscape of rivers and fields, anteaters, alligators, fishs and raccoons; never seen so much natural diversity in one place. Just leaving the Barra Mansa Farm now, going to the Ararauna Ecological Refuge. I am amazed with so much natural richness, and also with the local culture; another brazilian real paradise to shine in front of my eyes!
When a man, for whatever reason, have the opportunity to lead an extraordinary life, he has no right to keep it to yourself. (Jacques Costeau)
Treading on Amazon´s ground for the first time, I began the adventure in the state of Pará. I visited the capital Belém, Marajó Island, and today I arrived in the town of Abaetetuba, where I finish my passage over here. The expedition is coming to an end, the book it´s taking shape, and my joy in performing this work, can not be defined in words - thanks to that accompanied this adventure from the beginning. In a few days I arrive in Amazon State, and soon I'll send more news from the heart of the world!
For some time that passed very fast, as everything has to pass, today I feel like that to go was necessary to come back, more alive of lived life, divided to there and forth! (Gilberto Gil)
The voice is a little hoarse, rather thin, but the heart is tuned, as the northeastern soul. People of Alagoas and Sergipe, today the water bless you, even on the banks of the Old Chico, where almost never rains, just drizzle. From Muquém to Xingó, quilombos and ponds, from Caninde to Glory, the harvest of cattail. I say see you soon, in tears, now following to the Bay of All Saints!
" - You Know who is the oldest resident of the the city? - Well, look blessed guy, he's already dead, you see?"
"Far away from home, I follow the itinerary, one more station." (Luís Gonzaga)
From recife to Olinda/From Olinda to Recife/ And the smell of the sea scenting the damp and hot surface/ Here I found a corner, good friends and good rest/ In color houses, and everywhere/ Delivery now to “sertão”, joy in the heart/ Know Pernambuco, and my big brothers!
"It's better to write wrong the right thing, than to write right the wrong thing" (Patativa do Assaré)
Lets leave the brazilian Athens, till the joy that lives right in the bitter street, from there to the quilombos of noisy lightning, and black skin. Now, into more and more inner peace, below the roofs braided with buriti leaves, resting after days and days of sun from so many deserts. Your grace now is also mine, Maranhão!
Yes, there is a paradise, and it is in Tocantins, in the Jalapão region, the heart of Brazil! Fervedouros turquoise, crystal clear waterfalls, trees with surreal formations, giant dunes surrounded by buritis (kind of a palm tree), lakes and mountains, as well the cultural richness of the Cerrado people. I stayed a few days in the region, but I want to return to know every corner of this magical place. I'm now in Pirenópolis, Goiás, to portray the Cavalhadas, representing the medieval wars between Moors and Christians. The stadium of the city is crowded to see the battle in the field, while outside, young masked and painted body, make a great revelry on top of their horses decorated. Now I’m leaving to Maranhão, start phase Northeast Expedition Brazil; next week I bring news and more pictures there for you !
"It has more ground in my eyes than fatigue in my legs, more hope in my footsteps than sadness on my shoulders, more road in my heart than fear in my head." (Cora Coralina)
Last pass of our journey through southeastern Brazil, the Espírito Santo State it was a beautiful harbor to reflect on all that we spent the last four months. People of peace, nice cities, wonderful beaches and mountains and a lot of cultural diversity. Thanks to everyone who helped us to this stage of the expedition was a success! In a few days we will come to the Midwest to continue portraying the beauty of our people and our land!
Last Sunday I had contact with punks and indigenous who together fight for humanitarian causes in an occupation on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. There, circus artists use the space to train juggling, write protest lyrics against the system, and help the Indians to maintain the occupation and strengthen their struggle for survival in the urban space. In Vidigal, a visit to a filmmaker’home who creates scrits linked to community life; an opportunity to get to know the new face of the pacified favelas, and see the city from an incredible angle. The life of the homeless in Cinelandia, ravaged by the crack, is a contrasting and cruel portrait of the historic center. A place that welcomes the world with open arms and will be portrayed in the book Expedition Brazil, a Rio de Janeiro beyond the wonderful city !
The coffee aroma exhaling in the air, while the grains are drying on a small plateau with panoramic view of Caparaó mountains. Here, in the farm of Ninho da Águia, the coffee it´s produced organically, and with love for the land. Clayton, was a surfer, and now he´s dedicated to produce the best of all brazilian coffees, awarded in Brazil, and enjoyed all around the world - the more affection you have for the land, more love it will give to the fruits growing on it! Far away from the coffee valey, in the city of Lima Duarte, we visited the Park of Ibitipoca; the view from the Peak of Pião displays all the grandeur and richness of the region, with many valleys and great mountains. On the way back, caves and waterfalls with surreal forms, beautiful lookouts and pure air. After the long walk, already in the small village of Conceição de Ibitipoca, a prose with the natives, and a few cups of coffee we brought from Caparaó!
And like I walk vaguely a road of Minas Gerais, pebbly, and in the afternoon closing a hoarse bell mixing the sound of my shoes that was paused and dry… (Carlos Drummond de Andrade)
Part of Minas Gerais’ wealth is slowly turning into remnants; the neglect and abandonment of the architectural treasures of Ouro Preto, destroying day after day our most rooted history. Some citizens do not recognize the value of the sweat and blood of slaves who flogged by the colonizers They built one of the most beautiful urban landscapes in Brazil. In Mariana, the ecological disaster and the ruins of Bento Rodrigues district , tell part of a very recent history of a country that grows inordinately, where workers lose their homes to the greed of large corporations, and see their lives and their dreams turn into mud, debris and tears. This essay is a tribute to the victims of Mariana!
Heat week, beach haze, asphalt and the boiler mouth! The steel stuck on the skin and the lens refers to glitter carnival that just passed. The course of life of all places, the beach to town, city to the road, and then into the woods. From up here we see a trace of that we live there, with the city lights in the distance. It's time to leave, think, clean the soot from Volta Redonda steel, refresh toast heads for the sun of Rio de Janeiro, here in the mystical Visconde de Maúa’mountains. (Renan Rosa)
The north of Minas Gerais was a very special passage for the expedition, and happily we´ll return to photograph the south of Minas in march. This weekend we went through the country side of São Paulo, and we had beautiful surprises returning to the Valley of Paraíba, now for the carnival! Typical songs, peace and blue sky during the revelry of traditional groups from the fervent Carnival of São Luiz do Paraitinga. From there, we came to Rio de Janeiro! I sat down to write some minutes ago, and for a moment, I forgot where I was; the life and thoughts follow through all the way when you're on the road, but anyway, it's always nice to come back to Rio!
Light among the rolling hills of the Jequitinhonha Valley illuminates the dark and glowing skin; dark as its stones, bright as its diamonds. The storm nourishes the cracked and dry ground. The land which tells the story of an enslaved past , today is released in the voices of their washerwomen, the mastery of his cooks and skilled embroiderers . Minas Gerais did not surrender to time, preserves its past and culture of his people , maintaining its identity and history always alive.
After completing part of our travel itinerary in Sao Paulo, we arrived in Minas Gerais State. A long time ago we expect this time of travel , both for cultural and historical wealth, as the grandeur and beauty that this State keeps! We are only at the beginning of our passage here, but already we find ourselves speaking with a slight accent “mineirês” and with some weights more in the balance. Every house we entered, some delicious local cuisine is offered. We follow the way to Jequitinhonha Valley in the coming days , hoping to review all here next week!
The sea breeze of Paraty climbs the mountain blowing on its summit taken by the fog . The fog will dissipate along the Royal Route , giving way to the sun that, between the clouds, illuminates the beautiful Vale do Paraíba . Valley with lavender and rosemary aroma, the crystalline water that comes down from its immense waterfalls, and the people of the land , soft-spoken and quiet life.
Brazil , its nature calling for life , cries rain upon the earth . While the man and his victories, destroy the land by those who weep , the embryo where you live, will bring in a photo book yours memories.
A week of visceral transitions, the metropolis to the countryside, the loud noise of the great avenues to the birds singing in the hills. The urban music echoing in the cars, to traditional music sung by the great queen of São Paulo samba. State of so many riches, railways and tunnels endless, mazes that guide us among clouds of smoke and skies of intense blue; Sao Paulo mutant, land of all!
Frenzied voices echoes between his huge ears. The day was born, the sun between the clouds burns his skin, and the sweat drips rain over the city. Scars into the concrete, joy and pain, iron bones, bridges crossing heavens, large veins, blood of all lands. Say to Brazil and the whole world: São Paulo, the giant, woke up!
The warm receptivity of caiçara people, the search for the vine in Atlântica forest and the tradition preserved in the midst of modernity built by immigrants. So much diversity, richness and beauty of these people that our teary eyes do not get tired of irrigating the lands of the places where we spend day after day. Leaving the feeling take shape, light and shadow create lines , where the story of every Brazilian will write our own history!
Be in Paraná, a state we knew so little, it was a great surprise. The greatness of the fields , the force of the falls, the magnificence of the capital and the sweetness of the indigenous and riverside people, they conquered us. We still have a long way by the state until we reach the end of the expedition from the south of Brazil, but the mark left in our memories so far , we are sure , will be forever ! We said goodbye this week with a sentence of Curitiba poet, Paulo Leminski, which expresses the experience of Pedro last week, and that gives us a lot of strength to follow our walk by Brazil: “A man with a pain is much more elegant , walk so aside , as if arriving late , came later.
This week we had to stop travelling and photographing for a few days! Pedro, my friend and traveling companion fell from an abandoned bridge in my home town, Tangará. It was a very sharp drop from a height of almost fifteen meters. It was a miracle did not happen anything serious with him. Life is fragile but the strength that accompanies us on this adventure proved to be unshakable and guided us between valleys, mountains, horse farms, mines and villages. How beautiful and grandiose is the south of our country!
We are reaching the end of our expedition to the Rio Grande do Sul and the desire to stay increases every day. This week we know part of industrial and architectural history of Rio Grande do Sul. We visited former slaughterhouses, abandoned factories and mansions of the colonial era on the route between Rio Grande and Bagé. Visceral twilights between dense and vibrant clouds, colored the Pampas in our way until Missões. Just in our first day here, we have been in the Guarani village, in São Miguel. What a beautiful people! Keep following us! Our photographic expedition in Brazil is just beginning!
There are so many feelings and learning that we can not imagine how we’ll look atour country at the end of this long journey. Besides the sensitive photo surface, we’ll continue looking at the Brazilians’lives with purity and affection, which is the same way this expectidion was created. We are now reaching the extreme south of Brazil and soon we’ll send frontier news. Big hug and keep following our journey. It is just beginning!
In just two days on the road, I can already feel how transformative this experience is and the impact that the immensity and diversity of Brazil will have in my life. This transformation will become deeper every day. It is my fate and I am committed to it. My photographic soul will not rest until I find the essence of our land, and our people.