University: Spéos International Photography School - Paris & London
Artist Statement: Divided is a photographic essay on Cyprus, where the aesthetics of its landscapes brings to the discussion the current reality of a physically divided country although the visual language reminds us how the island still whole on its own nature.
Where did you attend university and what year did you graduate? I graduated from Centro Universitario Senac in 2005 as a bachelor in Photography. In 2012, I finished my specialisation course in Photojournalism at Spèos International Photography School.
What are some standout moments from your time at university? The exchange of feedback, the possibilities of sharing and thinking in an open way about creativity and production of an essay (not only your own work, but somebody else’s too). If you are open to find out how others see your work, at least for me, that is the part where you can find room to improve your work the most.
What themes do you find yourself exploring? Social, even when the work is more about aesthetics, I like to think about social issues that it might bring up in discussion
How did this series come to the surface? What initially inspired you? This series started without me planning it. I had just moved and I couldn't see or understand the island as two parts. As a foreigner coming from a country that has in its own nationality, a mix of people from all over the world, I couldn't understand why people were labeled as Greek or Turkish even though they were all born and raised in the same country. I know the issue is more complicated than it sounds, but if, even for me, it's a very uncomfortable feeling to cross the buffer zone, I could only guess how it feels to be a refugee in your own country. This is how this project started, and it's a very personal way to see (as a photographer) the similarities and try to bring up some thoughts in this matter.
What do you enjoy most about photography? Photography has always matched with all my passions, all my choices and curiosities. It has always been my best excuse - excuse to be there, to go, to tell, to listen, to come back, to know more or to be just a memory. It has made me think, look, remember, pause.
What encouraged you to study in London and Paris? Although I already had my bachelor and I was working in Brazil, I was searching for improvement of my skills, so I moved to Paris and the course gave me the opportunity to not only live abroad but to understand this universe in a deeper level.
Why did you make Divided in Cyprus? What initially drew you to this place? I never planned to go to Cyprus, it was in fact the opposite. Personal reasons took me there and while I was there, I got emotionally attached to the island and this is my way to give it a bit back to it.
Who visually inspired you when making this work? Not only for this project, but for all of my work, I’m always looking for visual references, older and even more recent practitioners. I’m always inspired by Evandro Teixeira, Miguel Rio Branco and Lynsey Addario.
Is this series complete? What are you hoping to create in the future? I’ve been working for 3 years on this project and now it’s compete. Although I’m still trying to publish it as a photobook. For the future, I’m already planning a new essay about the female universe.
Tell us more about your written work. I wrote about photography one year for a Brazilian magazine, but nowadays, time to time, I still do it on my own blog. As a photographer I believe it's very important to stimulate people to think about the visual language in general, it is a very rich and, yet, complex language that we don't dedicate enough effort to understand it fully.