Published On: October 1, 2009

Curitiba Hosts the Exhibition “Vida das Torres”

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Curitiba hosts the exhibition “Vida das Torres”, by the photographer Michele Zambon. The show is composed of twelve images that portray the daily routine of the collection of recyclable materials, the activity to which around three thousand of the eight thousand residents of Vila das Torres dedicate themselves. Vila das Torres, “The town under the pylons”, is one of the oldest shanty-towns in Curitiba.

In this documentarial essay, taken on black and white film, the photographer takes a look at the lesser-known side of these men, women, elderly and children who dedicate themselves to recycling.  They are entire families who view this work as their only option for survival and whose efforts, despite the importance of the activity they carry out, go unrecognised. According to the photographer João Urban, who wrote the prologue to the exhibition, the pictures reveal “the provisory/definitive backstage, refuges from whence these characters depart for the dangerous routine of their harvest, to where they return for their scarce repose and where they hide from the pitiless eyes of the metropolis”.

In the prologue, Urban draws a parallel between the city’s cardboard collectors and the coffee and cotton harvesters who lost their jobs during the rural exodus of the 60’s and 70’s. “Great human contingents left their tradition of farmers, of men and women of the fields, behind. […] In the cruel urban plantation they reinvented their professions of cotton and coffee harvesters, rescuing from the rubbish sown by the city-folk the precious paper, glass and plastic that guarantees them their scant fare. […] Survivors of the silent war that expelled them from their homelands are three of those portrayed by the photographer; the mother whose gaze is lost outside the picture, a young child staring into the camera’s lens and another, with arms raised, in a gesture that that takes on multiple significance once frozen in the grains of silver”.

The photographer
Graduated in Journalism from PUC-PR in 2005, Michele discovered her taste for photography whilst still at university, when she received two awards in the Photographic Reporting category of the New-blood Journalism Award, offered by the Journalists’ Union of Paraná – she was awarded first place with the essay “Vida das Torres” in 2004. She is a Specialist in Photography from UEL (2006), and currently is taking a post graduate course in Photography and Moving Images at the ESEEI e IDD Institute colleges.

“Vida das Torres” ExhibitionLocation: Sesc da Esquina – 4th floor (R. Visconde do Rio Branco, 969)
Dates: 27/08 to 26/11
Opening times: Monday to Friday from 8a.m. to 10p.m. and Saturday from 9a.m. to 8p.m.
Information: (41) 3304-2222

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