The photographer from Bahia documents the daily lives of black children in the community of Santa Luzia do Lobato, in Salvador
Text by Everyday Brasil
Photos by Renan Benedito
Simplicity is an enormous sophistication. It is with this phrase that the young photographer Renan Benedito presents himself on his Instagram page. This affirmation is undoubtedly very present in his work.
Renan says that photographing the children in the community where he lives happened in a natural way, since he has always been close to them even as an adult, whether playing in the street or as a futsal teacher. The beginning of his photography as a career also took place through a child. At the age of 16, at a church event he attended, when he made some photos with his cell phone, the pastor's daughter told that her father had a professional camera, suggesting Renan to use it to photograph the activities of the church.
The photographer explains that, at first, he did not intend to document only black children, but, as a black man and having been born and raised in that particular scenario and context, he felt it was his duty to bring up this subject. For Renan, the portraits work as a powerful instrument to encourage the self-esteem of children who, when represented in photography, have the possibility to deconstruct bad ideas that usually follow the growth of a black child. "I think the feeling is what comes first in art, and the children were the ones who best welcomed me, today they are the main point of my work", Renan reports.
Renan often uses the word 'hope' to talk about his work. He believes that making these images is a way to give a voice and visibility to those children who live and struggle in the midst of difficulties and adversities in a phase as important and delicate as childhood.
All the words the photographer uses to tell us about this work are a statement of what we see clearly in his sensitive images. Power, beauty and hope are elements that jump out of every child's face, every smile, gesture or play that Renan's talent and consistency can capture.
To see more about Renan Benedito's work: https://www.instagram.com/renanbenedit/