The daily life of the outskirts in photos of the DiCampana Photo Collective
By Everyday Brasil Photos by DiCampana Photo Collective
DiCampana is a state: state of attention of those who observe and is ready to step in, in this case, with the shots of the camera.
DiCampana Photo Collective, which was initially formed by five members, now has three photographers in activity (José Cícero da Silva, Léu Britto and Gsé Silva), all of them living on the outskirts of São Paulo. The Collective was born in 2016, adding to the movement of photographic collectives that emerged from 2013, with the wave of protests across the country.
The idea was born of a common desire among them, that is, documenting the daily life of the peripheries, which is also theirs, but is little shown by the traditional press and happens organically within the daily lives of those who live there. "We do not leave with a ruling in mind, everything is already on our way," José explains.
The periphery area is commonly related to the issue of violence, mainly in terms of what is reported by the media, resulting in a unilateral view of an environment where life happens beyond the negative points.
The intention of the three photographers is not to omit the ills of the peripheries or pretend that they do not exist, but to highlight the life that pulses there, the daily life within the normality of children playing in the street, residents at their leisure, workers and workers fulfilling their routines. Photography, in this case, is used as a powerful tool to construct another imaginary on the periphery.
With the intention of documenting the largest number of favelas in the city of São Paulo (up to now they have been in about 50), working on thematic presentations, such as those of children, workers, animals circulating among alleys and alleys, among others, the Collective is developing a database of images that will be available on a website and eventually for the commercialization of these images. "Initially, our intention was never to sell a photo or think of it as a product, we are thinking about DiCampana's ways as the demands arise." says José.
On these demands, the photographers talked about the first great project in which they acted as Collective. In partnership with Seja Digital, an NGO responsible for the transition of the analogue signal from TV to digital, they produced images about the relation of people to television and the importance it has in their lives. The work, which was called "Digital Transition", "The Relationship of the outlying rough areas, with TV in São Paulo", was presented at an exhibition at DOC Gallery in 2017, with a Mano Brown show and the presence of the photographers on launch day, which were taken in vans to the gallery. The exhibition ran for a year in some cities of the interior and should be taken, soon, to the peripheries.
"Usually, people come to DiCampana because they visualize in us a social function here with community. When they think of works that approach the periphery, our name is usually remembered", concludes Leu.
About how people see the work they have been doing in the communities where they live, consider it a process that is still being built. They believe that photography is still a very distant and elitist language, for many people, it does not have an artistic or informative value. "It is a process of formation for them and for us," says José.
On the other hand, they didn’t imagine that there would be so many people interested in photography there. At the beginning of the Collective, many people contacted the Facebook page, interested in publishing their own photos, being part of DiCampana or inviting photographers to photograph similar areas.
The question of the look of one who photographs an environment familiar to him of another, who only frequents once in awhile, is much discussed. For DiCampana, believing that someone who is used to a place has more property than who comes from outside is a mistaken thinking that limits the photographer's work too much. In their opinion, this depends solely on the sensitivity of each photographer and the willingness to connect, to the maximum, with the environment to be photographed, whatever it may be. They admit that the intimacy they have with the place they live counts in their favor, but this is not a determining factor when photographing.
Photographers, who already knew each other before forming DiCampana, work individually as photographic professionals and also as educators in photo and video workshops for young people. With the Collective, the pretension is to photograph also the outlying guettos of other cities, which they already do, eventually, when they travel to other places. As for adding other photographers, in other cities or even in São Paulo, believe that is not the time, and understand that photography only has to win if you have more and more people producing and creating their own.
When we asked Léu about his learning during this period, whoever is photographing for DiCampana, he quotes Sabotage and says that: favela is a good place, especially because of people who live there. "I was awakened by this, that the everyday life of the periphery is very rich. What Rap exalts, and also denounces, for me was clear, the periphery has it’s living, good and real side, which is far from the police pages", he says.
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