Pedro Lobo- Architecture of Survival: Images of a favela
Over the years, along with the many winners of the International Fund for Documentary Photography, FiftyCrows has also honored other exceptional photo-essays. One such person that we recognized in 2003 was Brazilian photographer Pedro Lobo whose look at the favelas (shantytowns) of Rio de Janeiro offered a regal sense of home in contrast to the impoverished environment. Lobo achieved this through his use of photography in reference to architectural art history documents. He singled out individual homes from the thousands and documented them as if they were important monuments.
Lobo states: “I photograph these buildings in the same way that I would photograph monuments or privileged mansions. I construct these images with geometry, composition and a carefully planned structure, searching for a contemporary result that includes historical references to art and, in particular, to photography.”
Be aware that the intention of Lobo’s images is not to depict poverty, violence or misery, but to honor the human beings that struggle for survival with respect to their environment and livelihood. These are the homes of families, single mothers and widows- as well as drug lords, religious bosses and public authorities. His images glorify the rich colors which are traditional to Brazil and remind us of vibrancy of life that exists within the favelas.