During the last three years I have been attempting to go to Penland School of Arts and Craft to take any of the workshops on historical photographic processes. Finally, in the Spring of 2017, I was awarded a Hellena Huntley Tidwell and Isaiah Tidwell Scholarship for people of color living in USA. During the Summer of 2017, I took a workshop instructed by Dan Estabrook and Monty McCutchen entitled Picnic Wet-plate. I would learn how to make tintypes and ambrotypes! I was so grateful, so deeply honored that I immediately started to ask myself what a person of color living in USA has to contribute to the world right now, and how the syntax of the wet-plate collodion would support and ultimately translate that contribution.
I let those questions cook for a while in my mind, without pushing myself for an answer. Living in a time of very radicalized opinions, I wanted to reach out to something other than macro politics. I retracted inside of my personal experiences and memories, first acknowledging where I came from: Brazil. So now, I self-identified as a person of color from Brazil living in USA. I narrowed things down. My following search was to achieve a certain kind of connection, having myself as a bridge.
I have participated, worked for and documented African Brazilian religion in sporadic, but deep opportunities. I have had a solid education about this topic from home, even though my family didn't practice it. Some of my friends in Brazil are entirely dedicated to African Brazilian religion that was imported through the Trans Atlantic Slave Traffic. I felt I could put all of this in a series of self portraits, but still I needed a connection to USA. My departure point was to depict the offering of specific foods to deities of African Brazilian religion; knowing that both in the US and Brazil, the same deities were and still are worshiped, as well the same food offered. A connection was then established. Now I could offer food to the same old souls who had been guardians not only to individuals, but to the roots of all African Trans American people, and so to the story of people of color living in USA.