I am nothing. I'll never be anything. I couldn't want to be something. Apart from that, I have in me all the dreams in the world. - Fernando Pessoa
All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them. - Walt Disney
It's the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting. - Paulo Coelho
Do not let yourself be carried away by the distance between your dreams and reality. If you are able to dream, you can also make them come true. -William Shakespeare
December 20th 1991. A child was born full of dreams, however, lived without knowing if those dreams would ever come true.
This same child faced rivers, ferryboats trips in the north of Brazil, ocean waves in Salvador. Passed through the amazon forest, walked up the Pelourinho (Pillory) and took the Elevador Lacerda down towards the Central Plateau in the Capital of Brazil. In the West faced snow and loneliness, in the East, the heat from the desert and saw the human diversity centered in one same spot, in Mount Carmel, Israel. In Brazil ended one of his chapters in his life and started a new one in the foot of the Andes in Santiago, Chile. Always thinking that his dreams were somewhere unreachable, without knowing that in fact, that dream was in his hands, in front of him. However he was constantly lacking two important things, courage and the audacity to trust in his instincts, and the conviction that his dreams could come true.
The dream: of taking everything and everyone closer to those that couldn’t see from afar. The dream, to show the worlds realities through photography. The dream that somehow, he could contribute to the betterment of the world around him, with each photo taken as he walked in this endless path, called life.
Susan Sontag, writer and art reviewer, in her book “On Photography”, writes: To collect photos is to collect the world”.
Without knowing it, that child’s dreams were coming true. He collected everything that crossed his path: the simplicity of a place and the luxury of a culture, deep looks brown and blue eyes, straight and curly hair, the black and the white, men and women, children, youth, adults and the elderly, walked through places collecting various religious cultures, collected a bit of the east and of the west, south and north, happiness and sadness.
With these collections, now an adult, he noticed that we live in a very rich world, rich in diversity.
Something that he learned from observing the world and his own mistakes is that, from afar we find everything beautiful and diverse. However when we draw near, everything becomes different, at times, we think it is dangerous. From afar we feel sorry, closer we get afraid. From afar we are curious, closer we want distance.
Unfortunately, all of these things occur because many times we are afraid of getting out of our comfort zone. Missing opportunities of meeting new people, cultures and realities. Missing opportunities of learning about people that can change the world. And even though these people might be different from each of us, in the end, they can have the same purpose of life as yours. Life constantly gives us opportunities of breaking these barriers, however we end up building stronger ones.
In this path towards this dream, I don’t want these photographs just to be beautiful, impacting or different from what we see in our daily lives. I ask each one of you, as you encounter with each portrait, detail, look, culture, and each soul, not only to stare, but also to reflect on what you see. Try to observe profoundly each photo taken.
Unconcerned where you hide your prejudices, try to put them aside and appreciate each photo and its details and try to see the inner reality of each human being, try to see the soul, a divine essence, and other attributes that our material and limited eyes have trouble contemplating.
As in this world we are never alone, to make a dream come true, we need more than willpower.
Throughout this path whenever I thought it wasn’t bright enough, I faced many lights to guide me, lights that will never fade away; I am thankful for God’s enlightenment, my parents for their spiritual and material education, my brother that even from afar, is present. My friends that saw me growing up and believed in me, some that are close to me, and some special ones that are far away, living their own dreams. I can thank my journalist colleagues, and my former teachers that taught me to give voice to those that can’t speak, to tell stories of people that the world has never met, taught me how to write and speak what the world needs to read and listen, I thank my teachers who have taught me how to become an opinion-former, a journalist, a photojournalist.
The truth is, that in the end of each day, I am especially thankful for each human being that I crossed paths with, some I saw only for milliseconds; long enough not only to illumine this endless journey, but to illumine my life. These were people that I never met, that I won’t meet, and will probably never cross path with again. But thankful to each one of them, thankful for the diversity in humanity, that child’s dream starts to come true.
It doesn’t matter if a girl is from Thailand or from the United States of America, if a youth came from China or from Brazil. It doesn’t matter if the person standing next to you is from the North or from the South. Or if someone came from Africa or Europe. What really matters is that we share one world, one home.
Bahá’u’lláh, founder of the Bahá’í Faith states: “The World is but one country and mankind its citizens”.
Roland Barther, French writer in “Camara Lucida”, writes
“I observed that a photograph can be the object of three practices (or of three emotions, or of three intentions): to do, to undergo, to look. The Operator is the Photographer. The Spectator is ourselves, all of us who glance through collections of photographs - in magazines and newspapers, in books, albums, archives... And the person or thing photographed is the target, the referent, a kind of little simulacrum.”
Today the target, the referent, a kind of little simulacrum, it’s a small portion of the diversity that represent the human family. Today the target, the referent, a kind of little simulacrum, it’s the set of portraits that makes the impossible to become possible, the existence of “The World’s Physiognomy”, a collection of portraits showing the worlds different features. An heterogeneous world of which you and I have the privilege of been part of.