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Photography: Ludovic Careme's other Brazil

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"Deforestation", in Seringal Curralinho, in the State of Acre, in Brazil (2016), photo of Ludovic Careme. Ludovic Careme

Who are these people waiting, serious and straight like "I", dressed carefully, in front of this desolate wall of Sao Paulo? Residents of the favela Agua Branca, waiting for the bus to go to work. Some wear a uniform, others a badge. The sober and sensitive portraits of Ludovic Carème, black and white classics presented in a vast exhibition at the Belle de Mai waste ground in Marseille, break with the images expected on the Brazilian slums, known for the misery. re and traffic.

The photographer took the subject of the ordinary inhabitants, in search of a normal life, and the original screenplay spread them all around a round room darling. To enter the favela, you have to enter the circle, where you discover other inhabitants, their words written by hand on papers and all that remains from their homes: ruins and mountains of rubble, once the police came to break whole lives with bulldozers. But the images are less violent than sad and distressing.

Photography: Ludovic Careme's other Brazil
Suelen in front of her house, Favela Agua Branca, in Sà £ o Paulo (2009), photo of Ludovic Carème. Ludovic Careme

Ludovic Carème, whose images we have seen in the past, comes back from a ten-year stay in Brazil. The photos he reports on, edited in two volumes by the Xavier-Barral editions, reveal photojournalism and the event in order to prefer timelessness: sensual landscapes and full of shadows, portraits sensitive to the penetrating gaze in large draws treated with deep black. In the Amazon, in the state of Acre, all over the country, he has captured the dampness of the forest, the gloomy lights, the huts on stilts lost in the trees, the bodies humans emerge plants or bend over the water. The photographer plays mostly on the matter and the shadows, the curves and the lines, the reflection of the sky in a sunken boat.

An impressive fresco

But these contemplative photos reveal, in the background, terrible living conditions and a past. The inhabitants are seringueros, rubber collectors whose ancestors massacred the Indians to settle on the spot. The tree stumps, here and there, testify to the attacks of these workers, indebted to the Amazonian forest, who are trying to improve their living conditions by turning to the farm, while urban dwellers are alarmed by deforestationâ € |

On the side of the city, Ludovic Carème immersed himself in the lives of other people, even more to be pitied than the inhabitants of the favelas. To photograph the homeless, the symptom of the social inequities and poor housing of Sao Paulo, a patchwork area where so many office buildings are empty, he found a modest distance and just. In his images, these homeless people who occupy the city center are almost invisible ghosts: strange shapes, recognizable only by a plastic bumper, a blanket left on the sidewalk or a tiny cardboard from which sometimes comes a hand or a sandal.

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