Chapada Diamantina, Brazil 2017
Chapada and its people are welcoming us with open arms, their usual warmth and joy.
The time we share is precious, magical and unique. I return to the same families I have been photographing for years, I see how their life has changed. The two men of the house, the two husbands have risen to the sky. I had the opportunity to see for the last time both Emanuel and Orlando last year. Alicia and Carmona, their wives, seem to accept the inevitability of death and continue to provide confort and strength to the myriad younger members of their families especially the many grandchildren that fill both homes with beautiful energy.
I realise that in photographing the passing of life particularly of these young people I document their growth and how they will slowly turn into adults year after year. By returning, workshop after workshop, I will try to probe these microcosms of the human existence that destiny has wanted for me to photograph in all these years.
A wonderful group of students are with me: Tammy, one of the winners of one of the two 2016 scholarships, Romain who returns with me again to continue working on his beautiful project on his own nostalgia and the saudade of Brazilians of each shade and color, Geralyn, Juan Pablo and Tamar with their good spirit, and Frank with his affable way of being in search of new images that express quintessence of sentiments, that reaffirm life.
But the greatest gift of life in this workshop is to have had my life companion Sissy with me. As we move forward in life, we need each other more and more. To have been able to show to the person who move my motivation for life, what moves instead my passion in photography, has been a great gift!
The religious celebrations that Carmona and her family shared with us will always stay with me. As I like to say, the pictures become irrelevant compared with the experience we lived!
I look forward to returning in September again for this new and unique workshop in Bahia where the three key locations of my Bahia work: Salvador, Reconcavo Bahiano and Chapada Diamantina will all be part of it for the first time.