Introduction to GUP #40 - Eyes on Brazil




As we slowly pull ourselves out of the darkness of another European winter, one country is already dominating the first half of 2014: all eyes are on Brazil, for obvious reasons…but let's look beyond the pitch, towards another view on the country.

Despite social improvement in the last few years, the facts can't be ignored: the violence and organised crime of the favelas are not easy to eradicate. Yet, daily life there can be presented with more subtlety, photographically. And so we are happy to have found at least two foreign photographers (Vincent Rosenblatt and Frederik Buyckx) that have each independently decided to live among the residents of the favelas for a significant amount of time, offering them the chance to contort the clichés.

To show Brazil from another perspective is also something that José Medeiros once attempted, when he reported on the culture of the Afro-Brazilian communities in the Northern states during the 1950s. In collaboration with the Instituto Moreira Salles (IMS), the organisation that manages Medeiros's archives, we include a selection of his work and explain his rather groundbreaking approach towards photography, something that a few decades later found another outlet with the idiosyncratic aesthetics of Mario Cravo Neto.

Besides all that, GUP# 40 (!) also showcases the breadth and depth of Brazilian photography. Finally, we have reviews of some classics in the canon of international photography books on Brazil and of course we cannot ignore Genesis, the latest epic publication from the grandmaster of Brazilian photography, Sebastião Salgado. When seen all together, there's clear proof of Brazil being so much more beyond the spectacle of Carnival and football.

All eyes on Brazil!

Erik Vroons, Chief Editor