The BRIC series has been nominated for the prestigious Prix Pictet: the world’s leading photography prize in sustainability. The theme for this year’s prize is Power. This prestigious award can only be won though a nomination process that is driven by key curators and opinion formers in the the global art world. The shortlist will be announced in July and the final prize winners are expected to be announced in October.
BRIC I – Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – 2009
Towering behind the iconic golden beaches and 70’s skyscrapers of coastal Rio lie the perilously steep and dense urban expansions Brazilians call favelas. Constructed from all manner of recycled and scavenged materials, the majority use electricity illegally tapped from the public grid. Unlike the ghettos of the US, the favelas exist due to economic forces rather than because of ethnic or cultural separation. Their origins date from the late 19th century but the onset of the era of explosive growth was in the 1940s, when President Getúlio Vargas‘s industrialization drive drew hundreds of thousands of migrants into the city. However, despite extensive social deprivation, the favelas have been and continue to be a hotbed of creative energy and cultural invention. Today, 1 in 4 Cariocas, as inhabitants of Rio are called, live in these road less and unregulated hillside shantytowns. Edition of 10