A practice I have developed over the last decade or so, is to take some time at end of the Gregorian year to look back at the photos I took.
It reminds me of what’s happened over the period, the places I’ve been, who I’ve been around, and how I used my time.
In these last few days I noticed that 2022 was a year that I never thought it would end the way it did. I would say that 2022 was full of surprises. Unexpected events, important decisions were made, a year of growth, and courage.
I tried documenting a bit of everything, with the focus in documenting life. Photos of people with and without masks, people hugging, streets full again, and this time I didn't want to add any screenshots of zoom meetings, because this year, it was a year we lived the way we always liked. Telling stories of connection, unity, joy, and accomplishments.
I realized that it was a year to celebrate, celebrate the places I visited and some of the work I accomplished. This year, different than others, it was a year to go to the streets, to meet up people again and to live life. I learned to enjoy more these moments that we can share with one another.
In Israel many of the photos were taken in the Bahá'í gardens where we won't find anywhere else, places with an unique architecture to be found in the Middle East. A place I will always call home.
Every opportunity to visit, often only for brief moments, drew me in much closer. My eyes, and by extension my camera, captured greener greens of the grass, the olive covered fields and the cypress trees, whiter pebbled paths, deeper reds of rooftop tiles, and of course a more royal gold crowning the Queen of Carmel.
In 2022 a chapter of my life came to an end, a chapter I thought it wouldn't come anytime soon. I might have not finished to write the chapter the way I planned, but it was an exciting closure, and from Brazil I will keep on writing.
This chapter in Israel, surrounded by majestic paths, where now visitor are back to walking on it. The fountains, the lampposts, the marble and bronze eagles and the other ornaments that adorn the gardens in Haifa and Bahjí. Gates with golden details, blue and green windows, the balcony that surrounds the Mansion in Bahji with its view to the Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh, and its surrounding gardens. The perfect dimensions of each detail in the gardens we gaze.
With the closure of this chapter I immediately began to write another one, with the same eyes using the same extension knows as my camera and lenses. I started to observe a different Brazil that I left behind long time ago and now an opportunity was raised to keep telling this story, a story to remind, reunite, and celebrate, and to embrace this culture I was raised in.
I opened the same suitcase and I placed the most important item, the courage to return home the same way I was courageous to hop on a plane discover this vast and diverse world we live in. I noticed that despite the chaos we currently live in, there is a lot of joy, friends, family, memories and blank pages to be filled and photos to be taken.
I came back to this Brazilian life, and found the sunset of the "Wonderful City" (Rio de Janeiro) and the palm trees in the city of Bahia that I once lived in. I came back to celebrate the goals in the World Cup, that even though we didn't win; the games brought a lot of memories, joy, sadness and sometimes frustration. It was a time of the year that for a country that is so divided the nation came to cheer together.
2022 wasn't planned, it was a year I lived. And it will forever be remembered. A year with one closure, a year with new beginnings, and most important, 2022 it was nothing like other years. But nevertheless it was a year full of photos. A year of documentation, a year that I hope that with these photos showed what I live and see–and what I feel. Photos that I also hope you to connect not only with the sacred but to realities you might never see. With beautiful scenarios, I try to show that the world is not only about hate, prejudice or envy. There is much more out there.
The beauty of being a photographer is that the photo I take, isn't just mine, it is also yours, a photo that becomes our. Photos that are to be seen, observed and lived. What is mine is yours. And now looking forward, I hope that 2023 will be filled with painting, painting with light that illumines the world. Painting with lights that is photography.
This selection of photos is just a glimpse, not even getting to 1% of what I lived or photographed, but it demonstrates the beauty I was exposed to, and decided to share with you. I hope you like, having a chance of living with me what I lived in these past 365 days.