‘Faith is a human expression that transcends the body. Through Faith, individuals connect with so many other universes, inside and outside of themselves; the faith which makes the devotee walk for days and nights, sometimes without food and water, in search of a miracle’.
For six years, from the north to the south of Brazil, the photographer Leonil Junior documented some of the most diverse experiences of faith and rites woven into the fabric of Brazilian cultural expression. Set apart from the ordinary routines of everyday life, some of these rites encapsulate aspects of the enduring marriage between Christianity, Afro-religions and Spiritism.
Leonil Junior is currently working on a documentary photography, travelling from North to South around Brazil documenting cultural expressions related to faith. Leonil has been on a peregrination of Brazil for over six years, trying to capture a profusion of expressions of what moves people to believe in something beyond themselves.
Through his documentation of Brazil’s religions, sacred and profane rituals, the photographer has been taken in by local traditional communities in order to register their customs and help to safeguard their forms of prayer and celebration.
Far from being separate, the Sacred and Profane are intermingled. In manifestations of faith in Brazil, we find the sacred and profane in perfect harmony and fluidity. Religious syncretism is now a very common practice, but it all began in 1500, when the Brazilian territory became the stage for the meeting of three great cultural traditions: the Amerindian, native to the land; the European colonizers, and enslaved people mainly from West and Central Africa. Brazilian religious syncretism was born out of this encounter.
The photographer registered some of the most diverse expressions of faith: Cirio of Nazare in Belem do Para, Congados in Minas Gerais, Maracatus and its Royal Courtships in Pernambuco, Tambor de Mina in Amazonas, Sacred Jurema in the northeast region, Celebration of the Holy Spirit in São Paulo and sacred rituals of Brazilian native indigenous.
The exhibition is being directed and curated by Giselle Barboza, Creative Director in London, BA Anthropology & Media and founder of social project Eyes of the Street – www.eyesofthestreet.org. Eyes of the Street uses photography as a tool for social protagonist amongst children who are living in invisible communities. Some of the pictures taken by the Brazilian children who have participated in the project will also be part of the exhibition.
2018 Tour dates:
London – 1-15 March, at the Embassy in London in Trafalgar Square
Gent, Belgium – 7th April at Cafe Boteco
Brussels – 12th April to 04th May at the Brazilian Embassy
London – April, date tbc at Made in Brasil Boteco bar
To attend the private opening on 1st of March 2018 at the Embassy of Brazil please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For interviews with the artist please contact email@example.com
The event is sponsored by: Aspect Plus, Kriyar, Prime Tour, Lenne Moghadari, Centro de Estudos Universais – AUM (Centre of Universal Studies), Triumph Accountants, and Made in Brasil Bar.
The event is supported by: The Brazilian Government, Brazilian Embassy in London, Brazilian Embassy in Brussels, Eyes of the Street, Braziliarty, Busca Vida, Ilé Àṣẹ Ayinla Òpó e Café Boteco.