In June, 2014 I left my hometown, Rio de Janeiro, to embark on a long journey abroad to take pictures. A dream trip, they call it. Dream trips may have multiple meanings depending on the traveler’s intentions. The one I had wished for was both photographic and personal. No hedonistic escape, rather a meaningful photo exploration, and a self-discovery, transformative experience. One in which you lose yourself in deeper ways than initially presumed or even imagined. Be careful what to wish for, I’ve been told.
My plans were to start in New York city, where I had lived between 1999 and 2002; and from there on to wander through Europe, where I visited once, in 1993; then a flee from Winter to some place in Asia; in Spring, possibly Europe again, or maybe somewhere else; Summer once more. I’d stop by California, where I studied Photography at the City College of San Francisco in 1991/1992; finally, New York again, on my way back home. A full circle urban pilgrimage, meant also as celebratory. Having returned to Photography in 2010 with a reborn passion after a 7 year hiatus; with family money available since my parents’ death; at 45 years old, single, no kids – I figured it was the right time to do it. A question of now-or-never.
Inevitably, expectations arose, and I blamed them for getting hurt at the very beginning. In New York – a silly hand injury while packing my bag. Not as serious as initially thought - I found out in the hospital that I’d have to wear a splint at all times for the next two months. Beyond the physical trauma, I believe the accident led me to a way of seeing and feeling (or, who knows, the other way around). Early impressions set the tone – a tangle of emotions that had been recovered and others that emerged as I moved on. I took pictures with a splint, until able to let go.
More than anything else, it was that ancient desire to “see the world” that put me in motion. Besides cities in Europe and in the U.S, I also visited India and Thailand. I came back home one year later, feeling like a different person, but not able to tell what, exactly, had changed. I still feel a certain turmoil. There is no transformation without it. So I’ve been told.