We photojournalists and documentary photographers are surrounded by solitude. To circumvent this problem, mentoring courses propose an approximation between photographers and the formation of a community capable of promoting exchanges and deepening the debate on ethical, aesthetic and psychological issues that cross the profession.
How to find your inner voice? How can the intimate and personal aspects unfold in an authorial work?
With this set of values in mind, I offer an individual mentoring program thinking about project development focusing on emerging photographers from underrepresented communities in the industry. Open to all photographers.
Bellow the extraordinary body of work of some mentored photographers in Brazil:
Antes de Ir (2018 - ongoing) is an essay about the “Vale dos Pinheiros'', a housing complex that I grew up and lived in for 21 years. Over the years I realized that documenting the condominium had much less to do with a "photographic catalog" of the people and the place (as I did in the beginning, trying to photograph a good part of the almost 7 thousand residents), and more to do with myself, with my relationship with the place and the transition to adult life. Throughout the development of the work, a deeper interest in children, teenagers, and young people grew, especially my neighbors.
Looking more closely at them and their universe, I realized the obvious: we carry throughout our adult lives issues intrinsic to this time, and the construction of our identity is deeply rooted in the place and environment where we grow up. I am interested in this transition between childhood, youth and adulthood, the loss of a certain innocence and allowance for enchantment, and these movements over time; a yearning, an energy and a restlessness, a bit of what dwells in me that I find in them and through them persists in me.
"Mentoring with Victor was great and very important for me to become more mature as a professional, and to expand my vision about it. He genuinely cares about the work, sharing his experiences with thoughtful guidance, always encouraging me to continue".
"Escombros" is a series resulting from a research developed by the artist that addresses the theme of globalization, deterritorialization and the violation of human rights. The photographic series, developed between the years 2017 and 2019, addresses the expropriation of family farmers from their lands in the Açu region, V District of the Municipality of São João da Barra-RJ. The construction project for the Porto do Açu Industrial Complex, which is linked to Minas-Rio (the largest mining port project in the world), brought drastic social and environmental consequences to the region. The present work proposes a reflection on our current world. Where are we going? Is it possible to build a new conscience, a new moral philosophy, which is not that of market values, but solidarity and citizenship? Would a new, more humane globalization be possible?
"Mentoring with Victor was of great importance for my maturity as a photographer. The exchanges and conversations made it possible for me to see far beyond my vision of the development of copyright projects in photography, as well as to learn about image editing."
The photographic project on the delivery of menstrual collectors in Nigeria, carried out in 2019, involves all taboos on menstruation in the country.
The word "menstruation" itself already works as a synonym for prohibition. Most women cannot cook for their husbands or sleep in the same place when they are menstruating. Most of them, in a situation of vulnerability, bleed in buckets of sand, leaves of trees, dirty cloths or other materials already used and unhealthy. The same works for girls, who often drop out of school because they are ashamed of their menstrual period.
For this reason, a Nigerian doctor, alone, promotes classes on the menstrual cycle and donates menstrual cups, silicone cups for absorption for internal use for up to 10 years.
The reality of different cultures and, mainly, of women living in villages and camps for internally displaced persons, that is, victims of terrorist attacks by the Boko Haram group, were portrayed.
In addition to articles in some vehicles, the material also yielded a documentary called “Sacred Blood”, received some laurels and raised more than R $ 26,000 in donations to support the health and recognition of female power of Nigerian women.
Filho Santo is a documentary project that began in 2019 and demonstrates the beginning of religious development in childhood. This work investigates how ideologies and traditions are transferred to future generations, and what responses young people are giving to contemporary society. Rafael, 15, and Gabriel Drumond, 12, are two brothers who live in a community in Duque de Caxias, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Religious culture has a direct impact on the life of the whole family, and, according to their mother Daniela Drumond, the church was the only form of assistance that brought security and stability to them and their other three brothers.
"Mentoring was of great importance because it encouraged me to think of new ways to build visual narratives and to produce my projects with a much clearer understanding of documentary practice. Receiving the necessary guidance during the documentation of a story made all the difference in completing the project. I highly recommend it!"