In 2016, I travelled to the Brazilian province of Bahia, to view and photograph the celebrations surrounding “Yemanja”. Shortly upon arriving, I had a subtle premonition that I would also discover many other areas to experience, which would reinforce the magic that was beginning to slowly surround me.
Salvador (The capitol) is situated on the Atlantic coast. It is where the “Yemanja” ceremonies, which coincide with Carnival occur every year. But inland—200km inland is a different world; a world of small, isolated villages, originally settled by escaped slaves in the 18th century. Along the Paraguaçu River, fishermen earn their living off the small shrimp and fish, which they catch from their small skiffs. Other villages lie deep in the jungle—the inhabitants earning a modest income through farming.
This was where I discovered the real Bahia, a place inhabited by a wonderful, spiritual people, unused to outsiders, and daily life slowly drifts on, as it has for generations.
Florida, on first impression is a color photograph—sunny beaches, and happy vacationers, but that is a false impression. It's the endless sunshine that fools you at first, but once you live there for a while, a different color slowly emerges. The sky is darker, and the shadows are more severe. Individuals, isolated, alone and unconnected blend into their surroundings, as if in a soft sweet timeless dream. It’s wrapped in the tint of breezy palms swaying back and forth in the soft tropic wind.
It's still color, but it's in Black and White.
This past December, I spent about a week in the remote “Magic City” of Cuetzalan, Mexico, which is located in the tropical rain forest of the Sierra Norte, about 120 KM from Mexico City. It was a million light years from everywhere.
As a casual observer, nothing much really seemed to happen here. Village life drifts at its slow timeless pace—and just as it has for centuries, people go about their business—celebrating events, falling in love, getting married, and passing on, just so the next generation can do it all over again