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Juliana Viana

New York Institute of Photography

Honorable Mention

Anchell Scholarship for Documentary Photography

Café Brazil

I'm passionate for people history and cultures, I like to connect with people and capture moments of life in naturalness, focusing mainly in social documentary, and show the world around me into photography.

I believe that photography can be a tool for positive social change to bring people together, educating through visual stories to take beyond what we thought, we knew and understood to open new perspectives. As a way to broaden these perspectives the project I propose is to document through photography, the work of coffee pickers in Brazil, located in a small village called Piedade, in the state of Minas Gerais.

I see this project as an opportunity to highlight the importance of workers in coffee plantations in Brazil, especially from their point of view. Brazil is the largest producer and exporter of coffee I have always been curious about the production of coffee, in all the stages from the harvest of the beans until it arrives in our cups. In January of this year I had the opportunity to visit one of the largest coffee production farms in Brazil, in the small town Piedade, in, Minas Gerais. There I became fascinated with the people involved in making it. I accompanied the farmers, for one week following their work in the and listened to the often moving stories of their lives. It struck me, how hard they have to work to make a living. Every workday, which is between 15 and 20 hours long, every harvester must fill at least one full bag of coffee beans, for this he earns 10 US Dollars. On a good day, he will fill 3 bags, but more is virtually impossible. Men and women work together, sometimes a whole family is picking the beans. They get burned from the sun or soaked from the rain, because they are unprotected and the food is bad. Still, for them, this work is a blessing. 50 per cent of the local population are employed in the plantation of coffee and vegetables. Most of them have come from the cities to work on the farm, because in this way they can support their family. And they are very proud of it.

They see it as an opportunity to learn the skills of a farmer and, ultimately, to live a better life. These people, their hope and their generosity despite all their difficulties have inspired me to propose this project. My aim is, to educate the public in the region about the production of coffee, their major source of income, in all its beauty and harshness. I want to show how valuable the work of the pickers is for them, but also to raise awareness that their rights must be strengthened and that their work conditions and safety have to be increased. This way, I hope, to open new perspectives.

Julia Viana – Café Brazil – New York Institute of Photography

Julia Viana – Café Brazil – New York Institute of Photography

Julia Viana – Café Brazil – New York Institute of Photography

Julia Viana – Café Brazil – New York Institute of Photography

Julia Viana – Café Brazil – New York Institute of Photography

Julia Viana – Café Brazil – New York Institute of Photography

Julia Viana – Café Brazil – New York Institute of Photography

Julia Viana – Café Brazil – New York Institute of Photography

Julia Viana – Café Brazil – New York Institute of Photography

Julia Viana – Café Brazil – New York Institute of Photography

Julia Viana – Café Brazil – New York Institute of Photography

Julia Viana – Café Brazil – New York Institute of Photography

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