Alexandre Severo

Winner of SAN JOSE FOTO 2014 International Award

Sertanejeneros: The original meaning of the word “sertão” refers to region that’s distant from the urban centers, not only geographically but also “undercivilized“. This essay’s idea is to make a possible lecture of the identity of the habitants in this region, through an immutable aura, almost always present in the popular imagination though relegated to disappearing or almost extinct traditions. Even so, this same distant regions that used to be held as traditional space for mourners, cowboys, the blessed and priests, now is a space for the contemporary, transvestites, couriers, smugglers and b-boys. The close portraits are expanded in order to add outside the frame the apparent endless background, full of tricks, flashes, tripods and umbrellas, a scenario that opens up to the outside landscape and its features. Thereafter, the shepherd appears with his goats, the rezadeira with the preferred tree, the religious leader, along with the daughters diminish the mystical figure of the father. The apparent neutrality of the poses becomes the stories contained by the vicinity. The improvised studio creates unique scenarios, adds important visual information, through which it constructs an important set where proximity and distance portray each reality.

Alexandre Severo was a Brazilian photographer who died at age 36 in tragic circumstances when the plane he was traveling in crashed. Severo covered the presidential campaign of the candidate Eduardo Campos.