With Legs Yemanja
Salvador de Bahia, Brazil 2017
The more I return to Bahia the more I realize that is not just because I’m teaching a workshop there. It’s not a mere coincidence: it’s meant to be like each other workshop that I’ve been teaching for the last seventeen years!
I’m not sure how to explain this with words, but it’s becoming clearer to me that each gathering with my students is becoming much more than simply teaching how to take better pictures: they are turning into a sort of spiritual gathering among good souls, of good friends see one another again.
For the first time, I truly felt that Yemanja/The Virgin was making sure to let me know that my work on her celebrations must go on along with the personal documentation of the Sao Joaquin market, the essence of Afro-Brazilian culture, which is disappearing with the “beautification” of the market that began before the 2014 Soccer World Cup, and the probing of the roofless movement in Bahia that I’ve bee following for the last thirteen years.
And this is exactly what I did with my five students Gary, Joan, Milton, Monica and Tamar in the days we spent in Salvador. Good local food and caipirinhas were keeping us happy along with the single good images that started to come up.
Moving our focus of attention in Cachoeira was equally special. The good energy of the group gave us also good editing sessions of Giorgio and Juan’s work and mine. The students were particularly keen in wanting to help me with my upcoming book Before You Grow Up. I received useful feedback with the same love and devotion that my students are always able to convey.
In the final editing session each photographer was able to create a very personal set of images, in which pictures ‘with legs’ were proudly standing out. I was as tough as possible to help each one of them get rid of repeating images on the same subject.
We had a final wonderful dinner that was the perfect way of concluding this very unique workshop with legs!