Image: Brighton Photo Biennial
NO OLHO DA RUA
The No Olho da Rua (‘In the Eye of the Street’) project is a long-term collaboration between young people living on the streets of Belo Horizonte (the capital city of the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil), photographers Julian Germain and Patricia Azevedo, and graphic designer Murilo Godoy. Begun in 1995 by these three artists working independently of any organisation, the project demonstrates how photography can intervene in the urban landscape, offering a platform to express the ideas, thoughts and feelings of the most socially and economically excluded.
Our relationship with the ‘street kids’ (as they call themselves) was not and never has been educational, nor has it ever been our intention to offer them some kind of social assistance. Our ‘contract’ with the kids is direct and uncomplicated. We just told them that we believed they could take great pictures and that people would be interested in their lives. We had no clear idea of what would happen, simply a conviction that they would grasp this opportunity and make beautiful photographs; that their vision of their own lives might be of importance to us all.
Julian Germain, Patricia Azevedo and Murilo Godoy
The exhibition includes a selection of photographs from the extensive archive that the project has amassed over the past seventeen years, plus street posters and other ephemeral material that capture the energy, chaos and creativity of these Brazilian street dwellers.