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Interview by Shinji Shiozaki for the Digital Brazil Project


|DES|CENTRAL brings together a contemporary panorama of photographers from various parts of Brazil. The exhibition resignifies the anthropological approach of foreign, Eurocentric observation by turning to the artist's everyday environment, intimately revealing each place that they propose to photograph, carefully exploring a poetic reality. It is a close look at action in space imbued with their personal cultures.


The photographs in the exhibition contemplate Belém in the humid, dense, dirty Amazon region, almost as if the photograph were sweating, as if it had pores. Slimy and musty from a lifetime of heat and storms as portrayed in the work of Caique de Deus. 


In Recife Maíra Erlich composes the image in increasingly complex layers. On each corner there is complex life where everything happens, where everything moves, where everything breathes. As if Akira Kurosawa’s Ran was synthesized there in each photograph.


Dark skin contrasts the Sword-of-Iansã, which with its poison brings the necessary protection for the wounds of his people. Hugo Martins explores Black culture in Bahia de Todos os Santos and transmits the same rhetorical power to the daily life of the municipal market and in studio rehearsals with all the cultural symbolism ingrained in his photographs.


A fascination with tanlines from a beach vacation and the distance from the sea marks the landlocked culture in the capital of Minas Gerais as observed by Dalila Coelho. Her aesthetics are protected and reflected in the care and beauty cultivated in the periphery. 

|DES|CENTRAL shows the points in relation to which the central point of observation is equidistant, a peripheral look that comes from the edges and floods the center of spaces, people, and interests of each photographer. A look from the outside in and not the other way around, a self-discovery in search of meaning of things in the other.

Featured Artists

Maíra Erlich

Brazilian documentary photographer focusing on social matters, human rights, family and culture. For eight years she was dedicated to wedding photography, having won more than 50 awards. In 2018, Maíra won the second season of the photography competition Arte Na Fotografia, on Brazilian TV channel Arte1. She currently works as an independent photographer, collaborating with international media outlets and organizations such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, AirBnb, VICE, Habitat for Humanity, Red Bull Media House. She is a member of Women Photograph, Diversify Photo, Everyday Brasil and Mulheres Luz.

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Caíque de Deus

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Caíque de Deus was born in May 1994 in Belém, Pará. He’s the son of Rosa Carmen, a professor and educator. He was raised in the streets of the neighborhood of São Brás, Canudos and Terra Firme, places which were decisive in his visual and artistic education where he constructed his repertoires of photographic imagery. He began as a photographer in 2013 and works with themes related to urban Brazilian symbols, like the corner, malandros, faith, good and evil, and its minutiae.

Dalila Coelho

Dalila Coelho (1995) is a young artist from Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais. She is dedicated to documenting cultures and aesthetics of the peripheries of the capital city as a way to increase visibility for the customs of the place she lives. In 2020 she was awarded the First Décio Noviello Prize in Photography. Her 2021 photobook, Beleza, brings together the series “It’s Summer All Year” and “Aesthetic Rituals in the Periphery” and in 2022 she was a Pampulha Fellow, during which she focused on audiovisual, textual, and installation experiments.

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Hugo Martins

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My name Is Hugo Martins, I was born in São Paulo, Brazil 1978 and currently live in Salvador, Bahia in Brazil. I have a bachelor's degree in graphic design. While in school I also learned photography. Today I am an independent photographer. My sensibility is informed by both my experiences with photography and also as a graphic designer. I started to photograph in 2004, and I found in photography and visual arts a way to express what I live daily in the environments that surround me. I believe that photography is the perfect way to store slices of the world’s realities, or realities that are created by the photographer's point of view. It is also a way to express what the eyes cannot see physically, although the brain is processing all the time. My work moves between street and documentary photography in Brazil, especially in Bahia (both the city and countryside) which is today my hometown and my base for visual art creation using photography as my primary medium.

About the Curator

Shinji Shiozaki (1982) was born and raised in the Amazon region in Belém, Pará.

He started skating at the age of 14, when he discovered photography and video.

He lived in Japan because his family moved there in the early 90s. There he worked in several Japanese factories until he moved to São Paulo in 2007. He produced and directed his first feature film, Imaterial (2019), participating in several festivals, winning the Tokyo Lift-off Global Network award. Shiozaki launched the photobook Áspera, the result of research by Imaterial, addressing the expansion of the artistic field in independent production.

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