The Afrotometria Collective, created in 2018, has photography as a tool for strengthening and raising awareness for the black people
Text: Everyday Brasil
Composed by Fernando Solidade, Iná Henrique Dias, Isabela Alves, Sergio Fernandes and Tiago Santana, the Afrotometria photography collective was born from the need to establish its own place and highlight what has been produced by black and black professionals and artists. "Since the well known places in the photography environment tend to keep the commonly racist bias, we will create our own places", says Sergio, one of the collective's representatives.
The collective, located in São Paulo, even with a short time of existence, already has many accomplishments and has gained visibility in photography with their approach in urgent issues for society.
In 2018, the first year of the collective, they created the Foto Preta project, an exhibition with 30 black photographers, many of whom had never exposed their work before. The first edition took place at Casa Elefante, in downtown São Paulo.
In its second edition, the project takes place at the Santa Cruz, Eucalyptus and Brooklin subway stations between the months of July and September of this year. Among the invited photographers are: Bruno Pompeu, Daisy Serena, Nego Junior, Hudson Rodrigues and Georgia Niara.
In both situations, the exhibition was held independently, without sponsorship. "We are paying to exhibit our work. The society, in general, does not give us much value. But if you look, most of the award-winning images are of a black body portrayed by a white photographer," says Sergio, who also mentions examples in other areas such as the white film director José Padilha being quoted to direct the film about councilwoman Marielle Franco and journalist William Waack, who was marked by a racist commentary, talking about racist actions on CNN. These actions ignore the existence of black professionals, even when the subject to be dealt with concerns themselves.
The project has also grown outside Brazil. Last year the members of Afrotometry were in Spain, in the cities of Salamanca and Madrid, where they were invited to hold an exhibition and photography workshop.
In Sergio's opinion, a black person with a camera in his hand can tell his own story without the intervention of others and thus fight structural racism and its consequences, since the photos play an important role in building the imaginary of a society. "Racism teaches us that, as black people, we only have real progress when we act collectively, creating our own spaces, agendas and structure", he points out.
Currently the collective has been working on a website where they intend to map black photographers in Brazil and make it a gallery, where each photographer can submit their work and tell their story.
To find out more about the work of the Afrotometry Collective: