Mapping Garapa

Garapa is a collective of photographers and multimedia artists founded in São Paulo, Brazil in 2007. Initially integrated by Leo Caobelli, Paulo Fehlauer and Rodrigo Marcondes, nowadays the group has 8 members on and off.

The collective is concerned with conceiving and producing critical and independent documentary content, integrating alternative narratives and storytelling. Members are keen to explore various trends of contemporary audiovisual creation, developing independent production in Brazil and abroad.

In the last years, Garapa’s work has been featured in international exhibitions, and awarded with several prizes, such as Descubrimientos Photo Espana, Labrinto de Miradas, E.CO São Paulo and Madrid, and Prêmio Mark Ferrez de fotografia 2010.

Garapa’s most recent free project is ‘Mulheres Centrais‘ (Central Women), a reflection on the megacity and its inhabitants. It is an attempt to identify some of those who live in São Paulo, one of the biggest cities in the world, and to draw these inhabitants’ individual identities out of the urban mess of concrete and smoke. All the stories in the series take place within a 3 mile radius of the very heart of São Paulo. The characters come from different backgrounds, but share two things in common: they are all women, and they all live downtown – “o Centro” in Portuguese.

This project’s intention is to explore questions about domestic life, but also discuss the role the center plays in this still unknown dynamic of the metropolis. What binds such different natures of identities in the same space? What are the symbolic dimensions of an identity-less city?

During the process of making ‘Mulheres Centrais‘, it was first thought that the center of the characters’ existences would be strongly linked to the physical center of São Paulo. But through the women’s interviews, interpreted in texts by writer Sabrina Duran, different feelings about the city were discovered: love, hate, life and work. The physical space (the city) was no longer a central character in the story; instead, it has added symbolic dimensions to the very particular stories of the women inhabiting it.

All images from Mulheres Centrais’, © Garapa

* Garapa is taking part in ’Mapping the Flâneur’ by ASA Collective and Wideyed at FORMAT11

All images © Garapa

All images © Garapa

All images © Garapa

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