Photographer Hudson Rodrigues makes an essay about the fears and desires of teenagers from a public school in a low-income neighborhood on the outskirts of São Paulo.
Photos: Hudson Rodrigues
Text: Everyday Brasil e Matheus Lima
In 2019, photographer Hudson Rodrigues returned to the neighborhood of Americanópolis, in the south zone of São Paulo, where he lived for many years, to revisit his adolescence through the eyes of the young people who live there today.
His experience as a teenager, with fears, dreams, and attempts to escape from what was not good, drove him to return and think about this period of life from the point of view of these young people. "I wanted to draw a parallel between my dreams at the time and the current dreams of these teenagers, most of them are from modest families with financial and social difficulties," says Hudson.
For the photographer, one of the things that impressed him most when he lived there was the local public schools with a precarious structure. Hudson chose one of the schools, made contact with some students, and gave them a piece of paper where he asked them to write about their fears and dreams.
The outcome is a work both powerful and delicate, which leads us to reflect on our hopes and dreams in face of a Brazil that collapses every day in the hands of a government explicitly disinterested in human beings and their evolution.
In Hudson's opinion, even after so many years away, the aspirations and fears of the adolescents have not changed much in that region, they are still waiting for dignity and conditions to dream, and the greatest dream is not to be afraid anymore.
THE DREAM OF the PUBLIC EDUCATION system IN BRAZIL
by Matheus Lima
The public school is a fundamental institution and its situation is a good image of the society in which it is inserted. Or in other words, the idea of public education, to a large extent, is a direct reflection of society and how that society is thought of.
If on one hand, popular struggles throughout history have conquered such achievements as universal and free public education - not forgetting that until recently there were no vacancies for all children - on the other hand, these advances have always been fought and conditioned by opposing interests of sectors that benefit from inequalities in their multiple forms.
The precarious structure of the school that photographer Hudson Rodrigues visited for his photographic essay is the representation of this fact. For the poor, a poor school.
The time we live with political obscurantism in the Palace in Brasilia, with the pandemic and the worsening economic crisis, deepen the precariousness of education and increase the inequalities. It is the project of destruction of a structure that has never been concluded.
If it is true that it is necessary to change society to change education, it is also true that the main agents of transformation that will come are the girls and boys who are in public school, which despite everything, resists.
There is no way out of the hole we have been put in without confronting the fears and the search for the accomplishment of these young people's dreams. May we find that path.
Matheus Lima is a history teacher in the public school system
To learn more about Hudson Rodrigues' work: