International Festival of Photography
Leandro Viana de Paula
Bolivia in São Paulo
Every day, thousands of Bolivians arrive in the city of São Paulo. They come from many Bolivian cities as well as from other countries like Peru and Argentina. They are economic migrants seeking better opportunities and the hopes of a new life.
Along with this hope, these immigrants also bring a willingness to do any kind of work in any place. Unfortunately this attitude makes them completely vulnerable to exploitation by employers in the city. Most find themselves working in sub-human conditions without official permits and this illegal status prevents them fighting against injustices. The immigrants however “accept” this condition, just so that they can be a part of the workforce and probably because their lives were much worse in their native country or whereever they worked before.
Portraying these persons, the attitude they hold and the vague look they bring becomes evident and show in the pictures as if they were attempting to become neutral in the society where they live in. On the other hand, when they dress up in their national clothes and trappings their posture in front of the camera changes to one of pride and satisfaction.