Guest photographer Bruno Fujii: “Minas Gerais: In the backlands paths”
I’m Bruno Fujii, art director and photographer from Brazil. This november I went to both a personal journey and photography project on a 15 days script into Minas Gerais highlands, cerrado; several cities, towns and villages, some of them bordering São Francisco — the longest river that runs entirely in Brazilian territory.
“Minas Gerais: In the backlands paths” is a project based in Guimarães Rosa journey with 8 native cowboys along 150 miles in 1952 and his most acclaimed book “Devil to Pay in the Backlands” (Grande Sertão: Veredas) published in 1956. The idea was not artificially recreating the universe of Sertão (hinterland of Brazil's northeast, especially northern Minas Gerais state), and neither portrait their people in traditional costumes to make a misleading impression on contemporaneity.
Unfortunately the environment was deeply degraded, destructing not only its ecosystem, but extinguishing wildlife and impacting locals communities causing almost irreversible damage in society and nature. The irresponsibly exploitation of natural resources is also extinguishing local biodiversity leading to pastures for cattle, agribusiness, eucalyptus plantation, hydroelectric and tailings dam. The native society is loosing its identity and pride, trying to find new perspectives in big cities or larger near cities causing rural exodus.
All these problems I really wasn’t aware awakened a feeling of extreme sadness inside me, yet I couldn’t help to feel happy to meet these people and hear their histories. I feel I’m in a road of understanding myself better as a person after this journey, and I hope these pictures can evoke the warmth and kindness of all the people I happily met in Minas Gerais, Brazil.
Thanks Bruno | Visit his website for more inspiration brunofujii.com