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Photographer's Showcase: On The Fringe at Carnaval

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Peter Turnley, a frequent contributor at NCN, returns this week with his most recent work from the recent Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro.  The Rio Carnaval is one of the largest annual public festivals in the world, and it is not hard to find  photo slide shows that feature the colors and the “flair, charisma, spontaneity, sensuality and joy” of the event so emblematic of life in Brazil.  In this photo essay Peter turns the attention of his lenses away from the main event—the parades and dance competitions that take place in the  Sambodromo, the stadium of Samba—to the fringes of the celebration that include everything from preparation to aftermath.

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To view the photo essay click here.

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Photographer's Showcase: On The Fringe at Carnaval

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2 Responses

  1. JessGhilani says

    The spirit captured in second photograph, depicting the aftermath of Carnival, was precisely what captivated me in my own (amateur, personal) photographs of a recent conference trip to New Orleans. The conference (International Studies Association) corresponded with the week of Mardi Gras. When I returned home, and revisited my own (far less crisp and beautiful) photographs, the pictures of elaborate parade floats, landmarks, or oversized po boy sandwiches didn’t especially move or transport me. It was the haphazard photos of parade aftermath that seized moments both memorable and unique from the genre of stock. I was reminded of post-celebratory detritus lining street after street: the stuff that I would have never seen or considered without having been there.

    By Wednesday morning, it was magically gone. But in defiance of the extremely efficient city workers tasked with cleanup there remained a few recalcitrant symbols of the celebration: beads thrown inconveniently onto powerlines, errant feathers from boas stuck in tree branches, and an unmistakably red hue (like Koolaid but from alcoholic “Hurricanes”) staining alleyway asphalt. I don’t know that I would remember it all so vividly without the photos of things less appealing and less sunny. Pictures that pull back the glossy curtain of a public event, like the photojournalism above, offer visual frameworks for understanding that could be otherwise lost/missed.

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