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ESSAY CONTAINS EXPLICIT CONTENT
This work is a witness about a place that no longer exists.
I lived there almost everything that one can live.
I learned there the dark secrets of the human condition through which our survival and I also learned there that love can exist in ashes and chaos.
I learned there what a family is.
Eight years ago sixty families occupied the “Galpao da Araujo Barreto”, an abandoned chocolate factory in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil. Before that, these families lived in the dangerous streets of the city until they decided to come together and occupy this factory in ruins and turn it in a home.
Every human being needs a space to feel safe and build their identity. After all this years of convivence and resistence these families have created strong comunitarian feelings to make possible the survival in this environment. In this community, the people helps each other keeping safe the shacks, babysitting the kids or sharing the food.
In spite of the strong relationships between the families, the social discrimination continues marginalizing these people. After eight years of occupation, despite having left the street, the living conditions are similar; the problems that they suffered in the streets, drugs, prostitution, and violence, are now present in the factory.
I have been working in this project since 2009, living with the families and their daily dramas. Documenting the daily life inside of this community, where the life moves between the universal bipolarity of harmony and chaos, hope and despair.
In March 2011 the goverment moved all the families to a new buildings placed in a dangerous neighborhood 30 km from the city. Now I want to come back to the new place to document how the community will manage their relationships to build their dignity, to build a new world around their and just live.
The aim of this project is to create a document of a place where the tragic decomposition of human life combined perfectly with the magic realism of Latin America.
Sebastian Liste (1985, Spain) graduated in Sociology and MA in Photojournalism. Since 2005 Sebastian has concentrated to mixed his sociological knowledges with his visual skills to explore personal and intimate stories, as well as the roots of social structure issues now facing many countries around the world when they want enter a new economic system. He is also interested in the profound cultural and identity changes that occur in our contemporary world.
Recently, Sebastian was selected to participate at the 2011 Joop Swart Masterclass. His work have been also recognized worlwide at Sony WPO, Lucie Awards, Antropographia, CENTER Awards, Fotovisura Grant, Onward, Reinassance Prize, Terry O’Neill Award, Ian Parry Scholarship, among others.
His photographs have appeared at TIME, The Sunday Times Magazine, PDN, British Journal of Photography, FotoVisura, and other publications.
His projects have been exhibited in London, New York, Paris, Geneva, Barcelona, San Francisco and Tokio.