Preview of Alex Hijmans new book of reportage from Brazil 3 June 2013 – Posted in: Uncategorised

One hundred photographs. One hundred short essays. A faraway country in wordsand pictures, unknown … but in the right at the heart of the world market.

All eyes are on Brazil at the moment and will be for the near future: 2014 – the World Cup in Brazil, 2016 – the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Economically and politically Brazil is now more important than ever before on the international stage as the giant of South America.

Here’s your invitation to get to know Brazil – to really get to know it, to avoid the clichés. In this book Alex Hijmans, a foreign correspondent in the country since 2007, shows you insights into Brazil that aren’t found on the postcards.

Here are some extracts from the book to be published later in 2013 – with totally exclusive English translations of the previewed extracts.* The texts accompanying the photographs in the publication are longer than those presented here, of course.

THIS IS NOT A POSTCARD

This picture is a cliché. As is the story it tells. And yet it needs to be here.

Children playing soccer – an image of Brazil? Hackneyed! Not to mention the beaches. And the mountain in the background Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf Mountain) is one of the most famous tourist sights in the world – along with Buckingham Palace, Niagra Falls or the Taj Mahal. And here they all are – the children, the beach and Sugarloaf Mountian all in one photograph.

Yes, it’s a postcard, alright. The only one in this book. That’s why it’s at the start. The best way to show that the rest of the book isn’t a collection of postcards is to show one at the beginning.

But in another way, this isn’t a postcard – it’s doesn’t tell any lies. The young football players aren’t employes by some Brazilian Bord Fáilte; they’re real people, playing a real game – even if they only have half a team…

 

FIGHTING STANCE

Jamopoty (on the right) and her husband Taquari donned their traditional costume moments before I took this photograph. They don’t allow anyone take their photo when they’re wearing their ordinary clothes – jeans and T-shirt.

Politics.

There is nothing at all in Olivença, a surfer’s paradise in the south of the State of Bahia that would give the visitor to believe that a nasty struggle was under way. There are no bullet holes in the windows, no incendiary graffiti on the walls. But ask anyone about the Brazilian government’s plan to create a sanctuary for the local tribe native to the area and the anger bubbles straight to the surface …

CONTRAST

I’m not someone who often speaks to himself out loud. But when I walked down towards the river Anil, down the hill on which the old city of São Luís is built I simply couldn’t stop the following words slipping out of my mouth: ‘Ô meu Brasil …’


‘Ochón, a Bhrasaíl mo chroí’ or ‘O my poor Brazil’ is a rough translation…

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