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Photography by Ernesto Bazan
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Tira a Foto Tia

My eyes fill up with joy when I see my beloved driver Israel at the airport. His smiling face puts me immediately in the right mood. This year, I can finally talk properly to him and understand what he says. As my Portuguese keeps getting better so does my devotion to this incredible city. Being back to Salvador is the equivalent of being in Havana in the early 90’s.

Long before arriving, I knew deep inside that it was going to be a good workshop. The reason being that all four students were all repeat students. At the end of this fantastic ten days the group “Tira a foto Tia!” (Take a picture of me aunt!) was a reality. The expression constantly used by the many children we photographed has been adopted as the name for the group: another way to remember those days intense and full of life.

Many were the unforgettable moments that we shared and captured, but that afternoon with Mestre Indio, the great Capoeira master, teaching for free to the street kids of the favela he lives in, will always stay with me. Seeing all these little boys and girls learning the skills of this seductive martial art brought tears to my eyes. The great generosity with which we were welcome was paid back with the same generosity of our group. I think the images reflect this moving exchange of good energy and karma. Many other wonderful encounters were bestowed upon us in the ex-chocolate factory, in the boxing gym, in the remote fishing village where we will be spending 5 full days in next year’s workshop.

Brazil, Brazil, I’m so happy to have found you. You, your people, your sea, your beaches, your sun, your culture feed my soul. I simply can’t wait to return.

Ernesto Bazan

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