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Far n’ Remote / Radio 6

 

The bone-dry interior called Sertão, by and large situated in the Northeast of Brazil, while invading the Central West and the Southeast regions, is the hidden country. A mythical area, vast and remote, poor and archaic, and paradoxically immensely beautiful.

The small towns of the interior Brazilian Northeast are reminiscent of a paralyzed time, surrounded by the vast wilderness, under the heavy monotony of the constant sunlight, wonderfully recreated by Brazilian writer João Guimarães Rosa in his masterpiece Grande Sertão: Veredas.

The region is formed by numerous desolate areas, valleys, canyons, rocks, overall covered by a rough vegetation: most of the time dry due to the scarcity of rain, and all of a sudden shiny green, during the rare blessed seasons. But the Sertão goes beyond all the aridity beneath the infinite blue sky. It has a metaphorical meaning.

The region symbolizes infertility, struggle, braveness and monotony. In the oeuvre of Guimarães Rosa, the Sertão is more than a geographic or a social reality: Sertão is everywhere. Sertão is the world. In that sense, the man from the Sertão is not just a man living in an specific era and area, but the universal man, facing the eternal dilemmas of the Humankind: good, evil, love, death, the existence or inexistence of God…

With this project I wanted, from a single viewpoint, to suggest a narrative dimension to a village in Sertão: an overall simple and clear view from the place and its allegorical significance. As a substitute for the calm and castigated rural landscape, its invisible presence through the portraits of its people and the facades of their modest houses.

O sertão está em toda parte. O sertão é o mundo. Guimarães Rosa (Grande Sertão: Veredas)

Work commissioned by the City Council of Macajuba, Bahia, in 1996.

 

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