The Flàvio Story


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In June 1961, Life magazine published a photo essay by Gordon Parks (b. 1912, United States) that would cause a lot of commotion. Called Freedom’s Fearful Foe: Poverty, the piece profiled the da Silva family from a favela in Rio de Janeiro. Parks’ photographs of their incredibly pitiful situation elicited thousands of letters and countless donations as well as a rescue effort. Flávio, the twelve-year-old boy who was the main subject, was moved to a United States hospital, and even the entire favela received financial support.

While the essay was a great success in the United States thanks to Life magazine’s popularity, it was very controversial in Brazil itself. The Ryerson Image Centre looks back at a turning point in the history of photojournalism.

The exhibition will be held in the Main Gallery of the Ryerson Image Centre, 33 Gould Street, Toronto, from September 12 to December 9, 2018.


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