Cuba – A Visual Guide to the Island Of Cuba

Witty, bizarre and obfuscating at the best of times, Cuba is quite possibly the most unique country I have visited. Here is a showcase of some of my photos from Cuba, along with a short video reel.

Havana

Trinidad

Varadero

Viñales

A guide to some of the most astonishing places on earth

Original article written for momondo, available here.

From dreamy, pink-coloured lakes to kaleidoscopic geysers, it may well seem as if some of these most astonishing places in the world are on a different planet altogether

Rumbling volcanoes that spew rivers of red-hot lava into the ocean, giant glaciers at the end of the world and gaping holes in the sea floor — the list of nature’s wonders could go on. Here are some of the most astonishing places in the world that continue to astound and mystify explorers and scientists alike to this day.

Coyote Buttes (“The Wave”) – Arizona, USA

You'd be forgiven for thinking that the rich, surreal contours of The Wave aren't of this world
You’d be forgiven for thinking that the rich, surreal contours of The Wave aren’t of this world. Photo by Christopher Ruel on Unsplash

If Catalan surrealist Salvador Dalí did nature, then this would be one of his seminal works. Ochre and amber shades, layered on top of one another from the Jurassic age form an undulating backdrop that has become something of a dream for photographers and hikers alike.

You will, however, require a permit to visit this protected monument and this is not the easiest thing to get a hold of, due to the lottery system employed by the Bureau of Land Management, so start your application early. If your permit application fails, fear not. Arizona is a land endowed with many other astonishing wonders such as Antelope Canyon and The Upper Grand Canyon.

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Derweze ‒ Karakum Desert, Turkmenistan

Visit the "Door to Hell" by night for prime time views of the raging inferno
Visit the “Door to Hell” by night for prime time views of the raging inferno. Photo by Ybrayym Esenov on Unsplash

The small village of Derweze, Turkmenistan, was put on the map 40 odd years ago by the work of Soviet geologists who burrowed into a cavern filled with natural gas. To stop the discharge of poisonous gas,  a fire was lit to empty the cavern of its content which the geologists thought would burn for a few days.

Fast forward 40 years and the inferno rages on — a 70-metre wide spectacle in the middle of the desert that has been dubbed the ‘Door to Hell’ by locals.

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Mendenhall Glacier – Tongass National Forest, Alaska, USA

The end of the trail - the turquoise-coloured caves in the belly of the Mendenhall Glacier
The end of the trail – the turquoise-coloured caves in the belly of the Mendenhall Glacier. Photo by Joyce McCown on Unsplash

Glaciers have been likened to human beings for their ever-changing qualities. As the Mendenhall glacier’s ice composition changes due to global warming, so too do its ice caves, formed as a result of meltwater flowing beneath the ice layers and eroding them. The thinner the ice of the roof cave gets, the lighter its blue colour — the sole source of illumination in these cavernous parts.

These chambers do require an effort to see them though —you’ll have to hike or kayak to the glacier first, then scramble over it wearing crampons, before tiptoeing your way into its subterranean depths.

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Salar de Uyuni ‒ The Andes, Bolivia

The reflective surface of Salar de Uyuni is a great place to put things into perspective
The reflective surface of Salar de Uyuni is a great place to put things into perspective. Photo by KAL VISUALS on Unsplash

It doesn’t rain here often, but when it does this giant salt flat turns into an ethereal mirror that seems to run on into oblivion, stretching over an area that is slightly smaller than Jamaica. Salar de Uyuni is also one of the flattest places on the planet, a trait that has often been exploited in optical illusion (forced perspective) photography. You will find the salt flat near the crest of The Andes mountains, 3,656 meters above sea level (which means that it can get cold and the air here is thin, so come prepared.)

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Grand Prismatic Spring – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA

Brush up on your rainbow colour arrangements at Grand Prismatic Spring
Brush up on your rainbow colour arrangements at Grand Prismatic Spring. Photo by Chris Leipelt on Unsplash

The vibrant colours of this geothermic hot spring are the same as the mini rainbow you see when light passes through an optical prism; hence the name. The red, orange, yellow, green, and blue colours are caused by different types of bacteria living in the mineral-rich hot water, whose peak temperature reaches 85C. Spanning a diameter of 370 feet, the hot spring is the third largest of its kind in the world.

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Deadvlei – Namib-Naukluft Park, Namibia

The deceased trees at Deadvlei have stood the test of time-consigned to a skeletal existence in this parched underworld
The deceased trees at Deadvlei have stood the test of time-consigned to a skeletal existence in this parched underworld. Photo by Marcelo Novais on Unsplash

Deadvlei is a portmanteau of the English word dead and the Afrikaans word, vlei, which translates as ‘a marsh or a valley in between dunes.’ The acacia trees that are strewn across the decadent landscape here have stood lifeless for over 600 years, torched skeletons who mother nature has not granted the luxury of decomposition in one of the driest spots on earth. This parched corner of the globe is also close to some of the tallest sand dunes in the world, which tower up to 383 metres above the desert floor.

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Perito Moreno Glacier – Los Glaciares National Park, Santa Cruz, Argentina

One of the beacons of the region of Patagonia, Perito Moreno is a great spot to contemplate the mysteries of life
One of the beacons of the region of Patagonia, Perito Moreno is a great spot to contemplate the mysteries of life. Photo by Miriam Duran on Unsplash

At 28 km long and 4.8 km wide, Perito Moreno is one of very few glaciers in the world that are growing. During the summer, it is not uncommon to see massive chunks of ice fall into the waters of Lake Argentino, while in the winter, its imposing, behemoth-like structure casts a haughty shadow over the chilled landscape. An eerily-quiet, mystifying place of wonder in the sparsely populated region of Patagonia, Perito Moreno is a towering example of nature’s sacred awe.

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Kilauea – Big Island, Hawaii

Big Island, Hawaii is a land of fire and water, quite literally
Big Island, Hawaii is a land of fire and water, quite literallyPhoto by Marc Szeglat on Unsplash

The indomitable Kilauea volcano has been erupting intermittently since 1983, pouring rivers of molten lava into the Pacific, which meet the water in one of nature’s most dramatic marriages. This vehement clash is visible from afar, compliments of several tours that provide expert guides to chaperone you across the charred pastures and as close as possible to it. It is not advisable to wander into the area on your own, due to the ever-changing nature of the volcanic eruption.

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The Great Blue Hole – Belize

The best way to explore Belize´s Great Blue Hole? Guillame Nery shows us how it´s done.

Belize’s giant submarine sinkhole was formed during the ice age – carved to near-circular perfection by the force of nature. In addition to being a treat for the eyes when viewed from above, The Great Blue Hole is also a great diving spot, drawing scuba divers from far and wide with its rich concentrations of marine life.

You’ll have to have logged more than 24 dives to attempt it though, due to the dexterity needed to navigate the dark, stalactite-strewn cave of water. Alternatively, grow gills and draw inspiration from freediving guru, Guillaume Néry, who has descended and re-surfaced from these depths on numerous occasions.

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Pamukkale – Denizli, Turkey

Blue waters and fluffy, white pools. Pammukale is a cloud-like wonderland
Blue waters and fluffy, white pools. Pammukale is a cloud-like wonderland. Photo by Arns Civray on Unsplash

Pamukkale, which poetically translates to ‘Cotton Castle’ is one of Turkey’s great natural spectacles. Hot springs and gargantuan white calcium terraces that etch themselves into the hillside make for a sight that looks like a page out of a great dream. Tread warily though (barefoot) — the calcium terraces here are easily eroded by footwear and bring your swimsuit along for a dip in the limpid waters of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. While you’re in Pamukkale, you may also want to pay a visit to the nearby well-preserved Roman ruins and museum in Hierapolis, a site that was once an ancient holy city in close proximity to the natural baths.

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Zhangjiajie National Forest Park – Hunan, China

China's Hunan province is home to these towering rock pillars
China’s Hunan province is home to these towering rock pillars. Photo by Robynne Hu on Unsplash

You would be forgiven for thinking that the tall stone pillar formations in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park are in a galaxy far away from our own. The 2009 box office sci-fi, Avatar, featured scenes that were inspired by rock pillars such as those in the Hunan province, a depiction that resulted in the renaming of the 1,080-metre Southern Sky Column.

Now known as “Avatar Hallelujah Mountain,” this towering beauty is one of many formations that hug the skyline here.  Stand in awe of it all atop the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Bridge — the longest and highest pedestrian glass bridge in the world, which as you may expect, will put your fear of heights to the ultimate test.Find a flight to Changsha

Reynisfjara – Vik, Iceland

Beaches come in all shapes and sizes. Try out the black sand beach, Reynisfjara, when in Iceland
Beaches come in all shapes and sizes. Try out the black sand beach, Reynisfjara, when in Iceland. Photo by Denys Nevozhai on Unsplash

In addition to making for a beautiful natural spectacle, the black sand beach by the village of Vik, Iceland is also home to rich birdlife in the form of puffins, fulmars and guillemots, all of whom have made it their humble abode. And with good reason  — the beach radiates an otherworldly quality with its unique black colour, flanked columns of pale-toned basalt that cling to the cliff face.

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Abandoned places around the world – a guide

Original article written for momondo, available here.

We speak to Morten Kirckhoff and Jan Elhøj, two explorers with a love for picturesque decay, about their adventures travelling the world in search of abandoned places

Abandoned buildings exist in the grey zone between life and death – dim shadows of their former selves now reduced to dust-strewn relics that echo with a ghostly aura and a bewildering sensibility.

Dig beneath the dereliction, however, and there’s an inextricable beauty that surfaces for the eyes of those who dare to let their curiosity run wild.

We caught up with Jan Elhøj and Morten Kirkhoff, two avid travellers who have made discovering abandoned buildings across the globe their ardent pastime.

Their adventures have been published as a series of three glossy books (with a fourth on the way soon), exhibitions, a TV series as well as countless photos of their exploits. Here is what these two keen explorers had to share about their travels across the globe in the quest for abandoned places.

A former dental clinic in the US

When did you start exploring abandoned places?

We grew up together, as teens. We first ran into each other during the happy 80s. Exploring abandoned places quickly became one of our pastimes and to this day, empty, abandoned places are something that we associate with great childhood memories.

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What goes through your mind when you walk into an abandoned building?

An optician's house, Belgium

There are many layers in this process. For one thing, we are in places where we’re not necessarily supposed to be, so we always think about the dangers. We also think about what sort of history a place has. Who lived or worked here? Decoding this is the most interesting part of it all for us. But there is also another layer – capturing the essence of the place we’re in.

We need to process what sort of lines and forms are present when it comes to taking a good picture. Back in the day, it was all about shooting as many pictures as possible and going home. These days, we put a lot of thought into finding where the story fits. We were once approached by a priest who told us that what we do touches everyone so profoundly because our work explores some of the biggest taboos in the West – loneliness, ageing and, the ultimate taboo of them all, death.

We never saw things this way up until we came across this priest so it was an eye-opener and something that we very much agree with.

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What inspires you when you travel?

A junkyard, Sweden

As with many other forms of travel – the adventure in itself. For some, our exploits may seem a bit extreme, but they are actually a form of modern archaeology in which we find places that are trapped in a time capsule. The thrill of finding extraordinary, untouched places inspires us a great deal. But It’s not just about the thrill of finding abandoned places – it’s the hunt for them and the build up to it, all of which are impossible to plan from home.

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How do you plan your travels?

An abandoned stadium, Mallorca, Spain

In essence, we have a loose overall plan, but when other possibilities arise over the course of our travels, we take them. We seize the opportunities as they come. The experiences from doing so are monumental. We are very mobile when we travel in the sense that we have everything that we need with us – from cooking pots to tents. We set up camp exactly where we want to sleep, and sometimes this leads to some unreal experiences.

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What sorts of challenges arise when you travel in this way?

An aviation graveyard, Arizona

There can be guards hired to watch over some abandoned places and all sorts factors that we can’t predict. We are also confronted with a lot of prejudices about the places we visit. I always think about the many times we tell people that we’ll be visiting a particular area. We are often approached with totally unfounded responses. For me, every place has its everyday life and of course, when there is something out of the ordinary, people read this on the news and it taints their perspective. It is very easy for people to sit at home in their comfort zones, browse the tabloids and believe everything that they read.

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Of the many abandoned places you visit, are there any that stand out more than others?

Dank's house, Denmark

Places with an element of familiarity stand out. Abandoned homes, for example, particularly those that we come across in Denmark contain things we can easily relate to. There are always pieces of furniture or artefacts in them that we can recognise – perhaps because our grandparents also owned something similar once.

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The circular control room in the abandoned power station, Hungary - all the instruments here are analogue

The power station in Hungary is quite an interesting story. We travelled in search of it and set up camp nearby. There was an active power station very close to the disused one, where everything was bolted up. Shortly after setting up base, our cover was blown by a guard who was watching over the premises and we had to run away. A few days later we returned and saw that the guard was in his house but still within eyeshot of the entrance to the abandoned plant. Later that day, he hopped on his bike and disappeared so we took our chances and made our way in. We wandered around for a bit in search of an entry point before eventually crawling in through a window in the roof. Inside, we made our way to the control room, which was styled in a beautiful art deco finish as a tribute to modern technology at the time (1927).

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A disused amusement park, Japan

Another place we recall fondly was an amusement park in Japan. It was spring so everything was in bloom. We were surrounded by small red flowers that shot up through the earth and there were no graffiti tags nor broken windows. We split up because it was so big and bumped into deers and other wildlife. We missed the sound of shouting children and rollercoasters and the scent of popcorn – it felt like we were all alone in the world.

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Do you ever research the stories behind the places that you visit? 

An abandonded hotel, Bosnia

Not as much as we used to. More often than not there is a sad story behind it all, or money issues, if we’re talking about a private home. We think that it’s always an amazing experience when we step inside such places – there are pictures of children and grandchildren hanging on the walls, photo albums and cards with stories in them. We are often left wondering how there can be a whole family who doesn’t care about the place anymore. It’s not something we bother investigating, however, though we do think that there are others who perhaps ought to.

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What advice would you give to anyone interested in exploring abandoned places? 

An abandoned snake lab, Japan

Have a plan but always be prepared to change it. If you travel with an open mind and a mindset in which you don’t constantly have to get something done, there are countless experiences that come your way. One of our own dogmas is that we never give the exact location of an abandoned place away.

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What projects are you currently working on?

We have no idea where we will sleep, what we will eat, who we’ll meet and if what we hope to find even exists

We’ve got trips to Portugal, Russia, Greenland, Greece and Kazakhstan coming up. Greenland will be split into three expeditions starting on the East coast, after which we will travel inwards over the ice.  There are military installations and other hidden places waiting for us in the permafrost. We need to find the money for it first though.

You’re a savvy traveller but please approach abandoned places with caution and respect. Acquaint yourself well with the environment you’ll be exploring and be prepared for anything #staycurious!

For more work from Morten and Jan, check out their trilogy Abandoned -‘Forladte Steder’  (in Danish) and follow their adventures on Facebook.

Everyday Africa – An Interview

Original article written for momondo, available here.

We explore the vast, diverse African continent and its numerous facets through the imagery of the inspiring Instagram photography movement Everyday Africa

The African continent is rich in both tradition as well as diversity. No one is more aware of this than Everyday Africa, the Instagram photography movement transforming the way people view daily life on the continent.

The first of the Everyday photography movements, from which numerous others have since spawned, Everyday Africa showcases imagery by photographers living and working in Africa, all of whom find extremes to be far less dominating a narrative than the familiar.

Since its inception in 2012, Everyday Africa has built up an online following of 366,000 at the time of writing and, as recently as June 2017 produced their first book – Everyday Africa: 30 Photographers Re-Picturing a Continent.

It is little wonder that the work of Everyday Africa resonates with momondo’s vision of a more open world. We caught up with American photojournalist Peter Di Campo, the founder of Everyday Africa, for a chat about dismantling stereotypes and portraying the continent through depictions of everyday life and everyday people.

State of the Province: Beverly Hills, Cape Town
State of the Province: Beverly Hills, Cape Town © zubairsay

How did Everyday Africa come to life?

I first went to sub-Saharan Africa as a Peace Corps volunteer, living in Ghana for two years from 2006-2008. I constantly documented the community I lived in, albeit with images I had studied (as a photojournalist) in mind.  These images were generally a negative depiction of the continent.

It was, therefore, difficult to reconcile trying to photograph daily life in Africa while also trying to photograph what was programmed into me as far as how Africa should look in terms of finding poverty, disease and so on.

Buying eggs at the local market - Zanzibar, Tanzania © sam.vox
Buying eggs at the local market – Zanzibar, Tanzania © sam.vox

Fast forward a few years, and I returned to my work as a freelance photojournalist in 2012 with the writer Austin Merrill. We documented the aftermath of the post-election violence in the Ivory Coast – interviewing, and photographing refugees and the victims as well as the perpetrators of violence. We looked for discord on a very specific trajectory. Everyday Africa came about when we pulled out our mobile phones and photographed without any limitations.

We freed ourselves from our narratives and shot pictures of everything around us. About a year later we started to see other Everyday projects popping up around the world.

What image of Africa do you aim to present through your work?

Two women stroll past a motorbike - Inhambane, Mozambique
Two women stroll past a motorbike – Inhambane, Mozambique © thesestreetsza

The keyword that we go back to very often is context. Obviously, a lot of the imagery on Everyday Africa is a lot more positive than we are used to seeing – at least in mainstream media. Instead of war, poverty and famine, a lot of our images are either more basic (people going to work, doing their laundry, cooking, and eating) or more positive (fashion shows, sporting events and so on).

I would like to stress that we don’t see this as a sort of PR project for the continent, in terms of us only presenting the positive. The idea is to experiment with a new idea of reporting in which one’s daily experience of walking down the street captures so many aspects of life mixed together, in a broader, contextualized way, as opposed to a news story.

A shopkeeper reading a newspaper - Mauritania
A shopkeeper reading a newspaper – Mauritania © dcoreraphotography

Are the images displayed by Everyday Africa all taken on mobile phones?

Our imagery extends to other forms of photography. We encourage mobile phone photography but there are certainly a lot of photographers who capture moments that they feel they want to share on other cameras, so we don’t discourage this.

Women riding in a horse carriage - Cairo, Egypt
Women riding in a horse carriage – Cairo, Egypt © laurael_tantawy

What, in your own words, is the impact of mobile phones on the African continent?

We’re seeing a major disruption of traditional media because people anywhere, Africa included, can now share photos and harness an enormous audience. To me, it’s amazing that so many African photographers can essentially become heroes for the continent in the art and photography world because of all the creative things that they are doing.

National Geographic wasn’t going to find these photographers and hire them so in a way it provides a continent-wide sense of people being able to look up to others in artistic practice. Mobile phone photography has done amazing things for the confidence of the African photography world.

Identically dressed women in rural Liberia on their way to their group's weekly meeting
Identically dressed women in rural Liberia on their way to their group’s weekly meeting © ricci_s

Are there any places in Africa from your travels that you can recommend?

Africa is such a diverse continent! There are so many incredibly rich cultures. I loved my time in northern Ghana, where I immersed myself in the cultural traditions of the region – drumming, festivals and so on. I also loved my time in Kenya, waking up to seeing wildlife on our doorstep.

I am a sucker for Zanzibar as well – in some ways it feels like you’ve wandered into another century. You can drive for an hour and find some of the best beaches you’ve ever seen. I love having this sort of varied experience at one’s fingertips. The next place on my list is Dakar – which I’ve heard wonderful things about.

A passenger boat slides across the calm waters of The Nile in the Adjumani district, Uganda
A passenger boat slides across the calm waters of The Nile in the Adjumani district, Uganda © edward_echwalu

What is the story behind the recently published Everyday Africa book?

The book came up as a way of us celebrating how far the project has come. It was made to celebrate and encapsulate the first few years of Everyday Africa’s existence. Everyday Africa may be an Instagram project but I think people are still very excited about physical objects and about holding the book in their hands or pulling it off  their shelves. The book includes a lot of Instagram commentary that is very caustic, uplifting and even paternalistic.

There’s a lot of ‘I want to save Africa’ and other comments of that sort that are contrasted with others saying things like ‘this is my home, so thank you for showing it.’ It’s a push and pull contest of a very outdated opinion of Africa contrasted with a modern and connected view of the continent. The successful Kickstarter campaign (that funded the book’s publication) was a sign of just how dedicated and enthusiastic our audience is.

A boxer from Katanga, Kampala, Uganda
A boxer from Katanga, Kampala, Uganda © edward_echwalu

Where does Everyday Africa go from here?

We are experimenting with what happens when you animate the things that people post online, in the same way that we experimented with how such comments change when you put them in a book. We are now trying to put the comments off feeds and experiment with actors using them in a dialogue. We had a small performance as part of the book launch in Nairobi and we are now in the next steps of figuring out the next steps for a full theatre production.

We also recently became a non-profit – Everyday Africa is now an umbrella organization for some of the other everyday projects. Our mission as far as this goes is twofold – continuing to grow out of Everyday Africa while finding ways to creatively display work from It and lift the profile of African photographers.

The Ken Fac troupe from Kensington, Cape Town, march at a street carnival in South Africa
The Ken Fac troupe from Kensington, Cape Town, march at a street carnival in South Africa @ Charlie Shoemaker

Education is our second focus – we use our work to confront the views of Africa that kids may have, predominantly in the US. We discuss the stereotypes that they may have and the relationship between themselves and the media and then teach practical photography using Everyday Africa photos as examples.

The goal is that by the end of the project, the kids have their own everyday project. We will be expanding on this idea quite a bit but we feel that now is a good time to be doing this sort of thing. There is a need for more empathy in the world, better cross-cultural communication and, as the media landscape continues to fragment, there is also a need for more localized storytelling and self-representation. We are very excited to play a role in these processes.

Looking for more inspiration? See more imagery from Everyday Africa on their Instagram account or check out our interview with the founders of the Everyday Iran Instagram movement

Everyday Brasil: An Interview

Original article written for momondo, available here.

momondo caught up with Everyday Brasil for a chat about the work of the Instagram movement and its efforts in presenting an authentic image of a vast, diverse nation

In a country as vast and as varied as Brazil, depicting a narrative that paints an accurate portrait of everyday life can be a challenging task. Following in the footsteps of other Everyday Projects, the viral Instagram photography movement Everyday Brasil hopes to disseminate knowledge of Brazil and its social realities.

And rather than aiming specifically at a global audience, the imagery of Everyday Brasil is just as much about portraying the country to its own citizens, exemplified amongst other things by their image captions, displayed in both English and Brazilian Portuguese.

momondo interviewed Ivana Debértolis, the founder of Everyday Brasil, to gain a better understanding of the work of the movement. We’ve also made a playlist to help get you into the groove as you scroll through the imagery of Everyday Brasil.

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How did Everyday Brasil come to life?

Everyday Brasil was born in 2015, as word of other Everyday projects such as Everyday Africa and Everyday Iran got out. As a photographer myself, I quickly realised the potential of the Everyday Everywhere projects and reached out to the people behind Everyday Africa. From there, things have grown very quickly.

Read more: 

São Paulo by night is a fiery, colourful affair

What are the main objectives of Everyday Brasil?

As part of the Everyday projects, we aim to enrich others with knowledge of our country in a way that avoids presenting a stereotypical image of Brazil. We want to spread knowledge about the real Brazil and about the reality of life here, abroad but also locally. For instance, even though I was born in Brazil and live here now, there are so many things about my country that I have yet to learn.

We can all learn a lot more about our own country. As such, each photo on our feed brings us closer to the reality of life in different parts of the country.

The area of Marrocos is an illegal occupation in downtown São Paulo

What is your role in Everyday Brasil?

I’m a curator, broadly responsible for managing the Everyday Brasil project. I delegate some of this responsibility as we have almost 50 photographers and fixed collaborators scattered across the country. Our nation is large and very diverse, so even though 50 photographers may seem like a lot, it is a necessary number as we need to document our many regions and places in a natural manner.

For this reason, I often have to do a bit of research to come up with a creative and relevant caption. This is a learning process for me as I have become increasingly acquainted with Brazil. There is still so much to be learned though and more knowledge to be shared.

A fisherman and his net, Ponta do Leal, Florianópolis, Santa Catarina

How is the diversity of Brazil depicted in the image selection process?

We focus on documenting events that are of relevance in the country such as some political demonstrations, national days and so on. All images are taken by our photographers, as this is a photography project that we take seriously.

Seeing how similar events are depicted differently across the country is always interesting. We vary the location of our content – for instance, if we publish a picture from Rio de Janeiro, the next one will be from another city and state.

By the same token, we also try to alternate between photographers as much as possible. If you look at our gallery, the subjects in it are all very different.

A glimpse into the small town of Joanes in the remote northern state of Pará

What is the role of photography in a country as large and diverse as Brazil?

Photography is a way of taking in information quickly. You can look at an image and very quickly decipher the story that it is trying to tell. Photography is accessible and in this case is for everyone. In today’s’ day and age, platforms such as Instagram have made this a reality.

The northeastern state of Bahia takes to the streets to celebrate the region's independence day

We always think carefully about the role that photography can play when it comes to telling a story – the captions explaining the photos are important but we should not force them on our audience too much. In the end, it is all about people drawing their own conclusions about our images and asking themselves critical questions. Our photography is a vehicle for this process.

Revellers making merry during the carnival season, São Paulo

In your opinion, why should people travel to Brazil?

For the same reasons that I myself ought to travel as much as possible in Brazil – this is a rich and diverse country. It sometimes feels like there are several countries in one – everyday life is very different in the south than it is in the northeast for instance. The same is true of the people, our customs, food and so on – everything varies a great deal depending on where in the nation you find yourself. Brazil has problems like any other nation, but we are a proud and resolute people.

Festa Junina (The June Party ) drapes the streets of Recife in swathes of colour for a few days

What impact has Everyday Brasil had and where do you see the project heading over the next few years?

I didn’t know which direction things would go in when we first started Everyday Brasil. Today, it has evolved into a project that is respected across the country – people write to us on a daily basis, keen on participating. At the same time, our aim of depicting an accurate and diverse social reality through photography seems to have been correctly understood, which wasn’t necessarily the case when we first started out.

A farmer in the state of Pernambuco takes delight at her harvest after rainfall put an end to a prolonged drought

We are growing but there is plenty of work to be done yet! We are of course very active on Instagram, but we’d like to have a stronger online presence and across other platforms. For instance, we would like to create an exhibition of some of our pictures later this year starting in São Paulo and spreading across the country as a national project. The eventual idea is for Everyday Brasil to become a reference point for photographs of Brazil. We would like people to think of Everyday Brasil when they think about travelling here. Similarly, we want to replicate Everyday Brasil in the form of a book or a magazine. We’d like to think outside the box, outside of Instagram.

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Barcelona, Spain – A Visual Essay on Overtourism in the Catalan Capital

Barcelona is a fantastic city with plenty to offer every type of tourist, from palm-fringed beaches, to world-class cuisine and a rich cultural heritage.It is little surprise, therefore, that the Catalan capital is as popular as it is.

However, some would argue that there are too many tourists in Barcelona, so much so, that there have been numerous  protests against the rising tide.

I personally love Barcelona and I understand that tourism drives a big part of the local economy. However, I can certainly comprehend the voices of locals who are tired of unsustainable, mainstream tourism, which is rife throughout the city. Here are some of my images of excessive tourism and its pitfalls in Barcelona.

To quote Banksy, “This is not a photo opportunity”

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Barcelona, Spain – A Visual Essay on Street Art in The Catalan Capital

Barcelona’s street art, for me, is some of the best in Europe. The city’s Raval, Gòtic and Gràcia districts all contain plenty of powerful, sometimes obtrusive street art that reflects the tensions and strugges of the region.

Here are some of my photos of the Barcelona’s street art.

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Camera : Iphone 3

Locations: Parque Guell, Caixa Forum, Barri Raval, Barcelona

Barcelona, Spain. Visual Inspiration from Turó de la Rovira

The next article in my Barcelona series is a throwback to my last trip to the city in 2015 with 2 of my best friends. Barcelona was the first city of our road trip (we went on to Valencia and Ibiza thereafter). Thank you to our Catalan friends, Ares, Aina and Claudia, for hosting us.

The pics are from a lovely afternoon atop Turó de la Rovira (aka Bunkers del Carmel) – quite possibly the best place to get a 360 view of Barcelona.

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Barcelona, Spain: La Sagrada Familia

Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia has to be the epitomy of a work that will never be complete. While some may irk at its tendency to be covered in tarpaulins from time to time owing to the constant work on it, one can argue that it is this feature that makes it such a memorable place.

Work first began on La Sagrada Familia in the late 1800s. Catalan architecht Antoni Gaudí took charge of the design of the church in 1883 and worked on it for the next 43 years,  until his death in 1926. He was buried in the chapel of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in the crypt of the Sagrada Familia. Many more architechts have since taken  charge of the building process, which is estimated to come to an end later this century.

Here are my pictures of La Sagrada famila- a place of introspection, grandeur and bewilderment.

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Barcelona: No Tenim Por (We are not afraid)

While I was in Barcelona with my family, I was also unfortunately caught up in the van attack on Las Ramblas that left 15 people dead and wounded scores of innocent men, women and children. My stance towards this episode is that I am humbled to be alive and grateful for the gift of life that we so often take for granted.

But I am also angry and baffled – how can any one possibly contemplate an attack on the innocent of this nature and justify it in any way, religious or otherwise? The people that did this (most of whom got themselves shot dead) have no place in any culture – African, Spanish, Catalan, European or other. They know no religion, Islamic or other, and their affiliation to darkness paints an unspectacular if not worrying trail of dereliction in today’s society.

Here are the some of my pictures of the day time stood still in Barcelona.

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