OBSERVATORIO DE FAVELAS


Observatorio de Favelas

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I learned about the Escola de Fotografos Populares Imagens do Povo of the Obserservatorio de Favelas while visiting the exhibit Esportes na Favela in the prestigious Centro Culural do Banco do Brasil, in Rio de Janeiro this past August. There I met Davi Marcos, a young photographer, explaining the exhibition to a friend. He informed me that the Observatorio was a school in the "favela") of A Mare, Rio de Janeiro, founded by a distinguished Brazilian photojournalist, Joao Roberto Ripper. He invited me to visit the school to learn more.

The school's stated purpose is to graduate young people as professional photographers, to obtain in paying positions, to document low income areas, particularly in Rio, and to furnish new ways of looking at these places and their inhabitants.. The school aims to salvage the history of daily existence in these communities by helping groups of young residents to acquire more self-esteem and a source of income. It opened in May of 2004, with four months of intensive daily classes including photographic documentation, editing, digital scanning and management of digital files. The first class of 22 students received assistance form FURNAS Centrais Eletricas and a spaced loaned by neighborhood agency.

Ripper's agency, Imagens do Povo also teaches the use of documentary photojournalism as a tool for social and political change. Graduates of the school are able to market their images as professionals and receive standard payment and copyright protection. Earnings are reinvested in further graduate training and to maintain their image bank: www.imagensdopovo.org.br.

Prof. Dante Gastaldoni, Coordinator, guided me on a tour of the school including a visit to a class of 9 to 12 year olds, in pinhole photography. The level of instruction, the concentration and production, were all equally impressive. Graduate photojournalists showed evolving artistic styles. The Observatorio deserves attention as a school for professionals and as a path to a more fulfilling life.

Links
Bira Carvalho
Joao Roberto Ripper
Dante Gastaldoni.
Bira Carvalho
Ratao Diniz
Jacueline Felix
Davi Marcos
Francisco Valdean
Unicef

Author: Martha Tepper Takayama

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In the 10th issue of ANTILIPSEIS magazine it is presented with text and a photograph by one of its students

     
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