Revista ZUM 20

My people

Lita Cerqueira & Maria Hirszman Publicado em: 3 de August de 2021

Jovem marceneiro de Cachoeira, Bahia, 1999

It is not uncommom for photographs to take on a life of their own, becoming better known than the photographer who took them. This is a recurrent theme in Lita Cerqueira’s work. There is a deep sense of familiarity surrounding many of the images she has taken over the last forty years, stemming from both the capillarity of her work, which can be found in exhibitions, books, and postcards, and in the affection with which she treats her models and themes.

Born in Salvador in 1952, the seventh daughter of a poor family, Joselita Almeida Cerqueira discovered photography for herself, recording what was around her. She photographed the kids who hung out with her young son, and their parents became her first clients. She photographed artists – above all musicians such as Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Cazuza, and Ney Matogrosso – with whom she had a close relationship in Salvador in the 1970s. She also documented the traditional festivals, habits, and customs of the people of Bahia, as can be seen in the image of a young carpenter with a mask on his head.

She started as an actress in the theater. She then went on to movie cinematography, and was able to reinvent herself when it was necessary, for example, when she produced postcards of landscape images of Brazil. Cerqueira’s transition to digital photography was not without a certain trauma as, whenever possible, she tried to remain faithful to black and white and to analog photography. Using her camera as a means of both subsistence and artistic expression, she has accumulated one of the richest and most eclectic photographic collections of the last decades of the 20th century and the start of this century, as well as a fascinating collection of observations, stories and memories.

Carla na ladeira do Carmo, diante da escadaria da igreja do Paço, Salvador, Bahia, 1975

How did it all start?

I had always been a bit of an artist in our family. I am the daughter of a mother who had eleven children. She raised us very well, looked after us, cooked. She taught both the boys and the girls to carry out domestic tasks – and to study. Because she had been brought up on a farm, poor thing, where only the boys studied. She moved to Salvador and married my father, who was also the son of a farmer. They had eleven children and raised them well. Life was not easy, but they raised them well. We lived in the historic center of the city, where Anselmo Duarte’s movie The Given Word (O pagador de promessas) was filmed. I would stay by the window. I started to take photographs because a friend gave me a camera, saying I had the style for that. I started photographing the roofs in the street I could see from the first floor of our house.

I was a kind of the family’s black sheep, because I went to live on my own, worked in a theater in Bahia from the age of seventeen, also worked in the press, and sold advertising for a newspaper called O Verbo. I hung out with the people in the Bahian art scene, studying theater. I lived for a while in Arembepe. That’s where it all started, I met everyone. I’m still friendly with the people that lived in that house. I did spend a few months in São Paulo, but I thought it was cold and ended up coming back to Bahia.

O pintor Reginaldo Bonfim, Salvador, Bahia, 1994

It was a very effervescent time.

I didn’t know anything about anything, to tell you the truth. I came from a Catholic family, we weren’t involved in politics. After I got pregnant, I returned to São Paulo and finally came to Rio, where my son Pedro was born in 1972. I’ve been living in this city for almost fifty years. I’ve been a professional photographer since my son turned two. I started to photograph him. I had already taken pictures of some roofs, had been a photographer’s assistant, and then I took some photos of Pedro crawling in the Nossa Senhora da Paz square. There were some kids from upper class families there – attractive, well-dressed – and I photographed them. One day I showed my photos to a nanny, who showed them to her employer, and he wanted to purchase them. I found that I could make a little money from this work. I returned to Bahia for a while and a friend with a studio called Lambe-Lambe [a street box camera] asked me to work with him. I wasn’t doing anything in Bahia, and had my son with me. I took photos for documents and photographed weddings, and he started asking me to help him photograph the traditional festivals. I started photographing people, ordinary people, which was what I liked doing. I started to struggle to get money, to survive. I had a very strong connection to photography, because when I came to my senses, I had a six-month old infant to care for and no help from the father. My parents hadn’t left me anything, I was uncultured, untrained. I knew how to act, but you have to train to be an actress, you have to wait for the parts to come, you have to study. There was no way I could do that.

When it comes to being self-taught, it seems that you absorb the sensibility of this photographic language intuitively, even though you did not learn it formally. Do you learn by looking?

I had no idea what it was to cut a photo afterwards. That is for the people in the developing lab. As I sent them to other people to develop, I learned to improve. It was Neville d’Almeida who gave me a brilliant tip, when I was taking stills for a movie of his, calling my attention to things which were in the photo and that I hadn’t seen. I learned through these little details. Even now, I don’t really know how to take photographs. I photograph because I love it.

I learned through my mistakes. Once I photographed someone who had a disability, a physical disability, and I felt really sorry, because her eyes were pleading with me not to take the photo. Just like that, without speaking, asking me to make sure she didn’t stand out in the crowd. She was really pretty, all made-up, very tiny, with a hunchback. I was so sorry that I ran into the sea – camera and all, and got the film wet. When I developed the film later, I noticed that her disability was not visible. A photo came out on top of another and she became huge. I swore never to photograph people with disabilities again. It’s like taking photographs of street kids. There was a time that I would do it, but then I thought it was a sad thing to do.

Gilberto Gil e Sandra Gadelha grávida, Itapoã, Bahia, 1976

When I hear this story, I recall that you usually ask the person you are photographing if you can take their photo. You are always looking for a close and trusting relationship with your model. This can be seen in your photographs. Is it a rule of yours to establish this intimacy with your model?

It’s not a rule, as such, but a habit. A way of getting closer to someone. You can’t just plonk yourself in front of them with an enormous camera. I photographed people in Diamantina, on one of those big boulders there, and a lady had never seen a camera before. It is aggressive to arrive click, click, clicking away. In a situation like this, you even need to explain what you’ve got in your hand, so that they don’t think it is a gun.

Reginaldo Bonfim, a wonderful painter, who used to stay in front of a church’s door in Bahia, would swear at me because he was schizophrenic. When he saw me, he would say: “Don’t come here to photograph!” I would reply: “Oh, all right then, bye!” One day he changed his mind. “Look! Today is Good Friday, you can photograph.” I went to Reginaldo’s home. I have a panel painted by him in the kitchen of my house in Bahia. We became great friends. He was really smart, had a college degree. Once a guy rang me to ask: “What did you think of this man? He was my classmate here at the School of Fine Art.” I hadn’t known that. I tried to find out more about his story, and it was true. I had that type of relationship with my models.

Another case is the photograph I took of a street photographer who used to work in the same place. I would hide myself, sitting down, like someone who didn’t want anything, just to tease him. When he put the cloth over his head, I photographed him. He used to swear at me too. It’s one of the best photographs I have, of the square photographer taking a picture of a boy all dressed up in a suit.

You have an intimate relationship with Brazilian popular music, above all that of Bahia, and you have works published in out- standing albums such as Cores, nomes [colors, names] (1982) by Caetano Veloso.

Nowadays, I’m not intimate with anyone. I was young, very young, quite a groupie, I wanted to date the musicians, and that’s how I photographed them. I took advantage of this and sold the photographs to the press, too. I knew Gilberto Gil. He had a fiancé, Belina, who would become his first wife, who used to live in the neighborhood where I lived as a child. I got closer to him as a fan, a groupie, and then became really friendly with Sandra, who would marry Gil later, and Dedé, Caetano’s first wife and the mother of Moreno, who baptized my child. They were sisters. The boys were more or less the same age and were really good friends for a time. As for the photograph which was used on the back of the album, I was at his birthday party and photographed him when his father gave him a kiss, which was on the mouth. It was when we were singing “Happy Birthday”, his 41st birthday, if I’m not mistaken. I showed the contact prints and Caetano said: “I’m going to use this photo on my album.”

Hélène Rocha (neta de Glauber), Rio de Janeiro, 1989

How was it to be backstage and make choices to photograph these icons? In the photos of Ney Matogrosso, for instance, it is possible to notice that a camera was close to him, deeply intimate.

I was a very good friend of everyone I photographed. Such as when I photographed Dorival Caymmi in Rome in 1983, when he was filming Bahia de todos os sambas [Bahia of all sambas] (a documentary by Paulo César Saraceni and Leon Hirszman). Not long before that, we had talked a lot about Orixás, about Bahia, we became friends. As for the one of Ney on the beach, I love Ney. He’s still a good friend. At the time, I used to go to the beach at Posto 9, where a bunch of us would hang out. So, this you are saying that people were relaxed is because we were at their place, chatting… I think the only musician I photographed who I have the feeling I didn’t really know was Peter Tosh. Scarlet Moon asked me to do a story with her, a journalistic double-act – she was the reporter, me the photographer.

That’s about it, it’s the intimacy of love that I had and would have at the time. That’s my reply. The one of Caetano with the flower, for example, I was in his house, about February 2nd. You could see the Iemanjá festival from his house. I went there with Dedé and when the flower fell on his head, he picked it up and put it behind his ear. See? So there are these lucky moments, these coincidences.

Perhaps there was this question of luck, as you say, but there’s also a lot of focus, isn’t there?

The fact that I’d been an actor, performed, had a theater group – I had a theater group at school, high school from when I was fourteen, then I had a semi-professional group – that helps us to relax. We actually put on a play, Nosso céu tem mais estrelas [our sky has more stars] at the Castro Alves Theater. For example, the other day I returned to doing films. Taking still photographs is a job that becomes a bit laborious after a certain age, but I love doing it, I really identify with it. I photographed the TV series Ó paí, ó [look at this]. All of a sudden, I was in the middle of them and felt like I belonged to the group. I became a good friend of Lázaro Ramos. He’s actually got some of my photos – the capoeira series – in his house.

There are stories behind my photos, about which I say: “One day I’m going to photograph this girl.” Like the girl on the steps. Every day she would ask me to photograph her, but I was always in a hurry, because I was going to work at Lambe-Lambe, and I thought: “One day, I’m going to photograph this girl!” So, all of a sudden, at Christmas day, I photographed the girl and all her siblings on the steps of Ladeira do Carmo. The fact that I was an actress opens doors. I saw this when I was photographing the series Ó paí, ó. One day I even worked as an actress, playing an extra, it was a laugh. They said they needed someone, and I said: “I’ll do it!”

Do you plan your photographs?

To be honest, no. I would like to, but no. Sometimes I’m going by somewhere and say something like “I want to photograph this,” if by any chance I have my camera with me. I feel like photographing the old houses near my house in Salvador. Because I still have a house in Santo Antônio in the historic center of the city, in front of the Pelourinho, where there are a lot of abandoned buildings.

Photographs of children are also essential in your career, aren’t they?

I started by photographing my son. There was a time when I would photograph the children of famous people on their birthdays, to sell to their parents. I’ve actually got a project on the go that I’m going to do, it’s called As meninas [the girls]. I like Lygia Fagundes Telles, who wrote a book with this title. The girls are my son’s playmates, the daughters of my friends, people like Manuela Dias, Preta Gil… They’re all strong women, really famous and my buddies until today. I’ve already spoken to them and they’ve said OK, and I would like to do an exhibition.

Are you still taking photographs? How are you dealing with the difficult times we are going through? You told me that you’ve never worked so hard in your life, but I imagine that you are doing a more intimate thing, organizing your files.

I’m working pretty hard, for the following reason: I met a guy by accident recently. He’s called Lucas Figueiredo Gomes and he’s a researcher from São Paulo. He was in Bahia and ran into a friend of mine who had just been at my place. And this friend of mine asked him: “What are you doing here in Bahia?” He answered: “I’m looking for a photographer called Lita Cerqueira!” Then she said: “What a coincidence, I’ve just left her house!” The young man interviewed me, and we became friends – I was impressed by how he knew everything about my work. This was in March 2020. Three or four months later, he suggested that we apply for a grant from the Aldir Blanc Fund in Bahia [a Federal fund to sup- port artists during the Covid-19 pandemic] to build a website and scan my photographs. We got the funding about three months ago, but I had already been reviewing all my work, starting from 1974, when I started to take this work seriously. My first exhibition was in 1976. I’m going through my whole collection, throwing a lot out, lots and lots. Because I learned photography by making mistakes. Sometimes, photographing the same thing many times. So, I throw out three of the images, leaving just two. And, of course, I carry on taking photographs. When I travel to Europe, I take digital photographs. I’ve taken photographs of Germany, Paris, Belgium, and Venice. I’ve returned to some of my work. I re-took one I had taken of a woman holding a skillet twenty years before. I photographed her when she was fifty and then when she was seventy, if I remember right.

Dona Maria de Lurdes cried when the poster-sized print of her photograph arrived at her home in Coqueiros. I sent it through the post. If I had the time and lived in Bahia, I would do a more in-depth project about these people I have photographed. There are subjects who were accused of crimes, a girl who became hooked on crack, others who say that they would take me to court. I used to give Cebola, the guy in the capoeira photos, some cash every so often. He was my friend, and I thought I should give him some cash. The other day I was also going to do something else, and the girl said: “I know you. There was a photo of yours on the back page of Libération [the French newspaper].” “Me?,” I replied. She had the newspaper, which was good, actually, as the paper ended up paying me a fee, 100 euros at the time. The newspaper had purchased a postcard of mine here and thought that no one would ask them to pay for the right to use the photo, which I took in 1976. One day I went to France and sorted it out.

What’s the story behind this photo of the black guy with a mask on his forehead, which has become something of an icon during the pandemic and is included in a display of photographs in the Paris metro?

He was a carpenter, about fifteen years old. I’d already taken a photo of him working with that thing which cleans wood. When I was already leaving, I saw an amazing light falling on him. I said: “Hey! Look at me!” And he looked. This guy, from Cachoeira, is really, really expressive. I wanted to find him again, like I did with Maria de Lurdes, the skillet lady. I want to do this project, but it’s not easy. I’ve already re-shot the lacemaking girls. I met one of them again in 2009, when she was 43. She was thirteen when I took her photo for the first time. It was an emotional moment, we cried. And she even made a moqueca [a fish or seafood stew] for me!

Is the image of the carpenter guy part of the series of photographs of traditional professions that you took to mark the celebrations of the 500 years since Brazil was dis- covered by the Portuguese?

Yes, it was one of the photos I took for that project. I divide my career like this: before and after Emanoel Araujo. Because he invited me to do the 500 Years of Brazil project and a lot of people came to know me as a result. I myself didn’t know him at the time. It was a surprise. I was staying at Diógenes Moura’s house, a curator and Emanoel’s secretary at the time, and every day I would ask Diógenes to introduce me to him. Then, one day, he turned up and said: “Lita, the curators of the Brazil celebrations and for the opening of the Afro Museum want you.” They said I could do pretty well anything I liked, so I decided to travel through the interior of Bahia, meeting people again, photographing the pots, the women making the skillets, and some of the professions that were becoming extinct, such as tailors, barbers, the people who gather wild beans. It was a continuation of a project I had already started, photographing the Brazilian people. This boy was one of the first photos I took for this project. The carpenter, my favorite.

What is your relationship with color? Do you prefer more classical photography, in black and white, analog, or are you open to all kinds of experiences?

I don’t like color photos. I only like color photos of sunsets and fruit. First, I’ve never photographed like this with slides. I’ve been throwing out some of the color photos I did in the VIP box in Carnival, but I took them for Flora Gil. Color photography was quicker. There are people who actually like it. I never had the privilege of just using color film, which was good. My son gave me a digital camera in 2008. If you already know how to take analog photographs, which is very difficult, you can do digital, but you don’t become an expert. Because I’m going to be 69 soon, so I don’t really know how to turn on a computer, take the memory card, put it in, edit, and send things, I don’t know how to do this. I’ve got people who help out with this technology stuff. I was concerned at first, but I’m not anymore, as everyone does what they know.

You haven’t said anything yet about your postcards, a strategy of reinventing photography that brought back a tradition which existed in Brazil for a long time.

I created the postcards to have an independent job, outside the movies, the albums, the press. I thought of doing it because when I went to Europe, I used to go crazy about the black and white postcards they have there. A lot of people hated them, but others loved them. Collectors loved them. I started taking landscapes in black and white. I photographed the Municipal Theater in São Paulo, Bahia and Rio de Janeiro in black and white. I actually took some pictures in color, such as Morro de São Paulo. I took some photos of Paraty, as I’d already worked for the town’s city hall as a photographer. But I was never employed by anyone, and that was my mistake. There are people who think it is good. Nowadays I think it is bad, as I don’t have a pension. But the postcards were a handful. I was my own employee. I started by getting them into newspaper stands, look for the Pinacoteca, the movie halls, booksellers. I haven’t worked with postcards over the last year because of the pandemic, as we couldn’t leave our homes.

You said that when you sell postcards a lot of people think you are an employee.

People criticized the cards. “Why is this photographer so fond of photographing black?,” the guy in the magazine stand on Avenida Paulista asked me. So I played a little with him: “You’ve no idea. She’s getting deeper and deeper. Now she’s off to Maranhão. There’s only black there, you know…” I keep giving history lessons. I didn’t have many history lessons, but I understand it a bit. I say: “This is our people,” “It is her people,” “You’ve got to show them.”

Fotógrafo lambe-lambe, Salvador, Bahia, 1976

Why do you think it curious to be regarded as a role model nowadays? Who do you look to for inspiration?

It’s funny being a role model to others. I photograph what is normal. If I’m a role model, it’s because I photograph simple things, the normal, the day-to-day. A girl selling bananas in a street market stall, and so on. See how things are: I started off helping a guy photographing traditional festivals. My family is poor. When I started photographing these people on the street, I started looking around me. And I thought photography was beautiful, we didn’t have the money for it. When I see people saying they were given a Leica, such as Bruno Barreto when he was twelve, or Walter Firmo… I still have no idea why I’m considered a role model, perhaps because I’m black, perhaps because the girls who see me as a role model aren’t rich girls. I was given a camera when I was in Bahia in the 1970s, a German one, and then I bought my first Pentax, a second-hand one, with great difficulty. I had friends who helped me out.

My role model is life itself. The people who I see making clay pots and telling me stories. These women whose husbands’ drink. The women potters in Coqueiros, to where I travel sometimes, tell stories about their men and all of them, potters’ husbands, are alcoholics. They laugh about it because they are used to it.

But I’ve got my snobbier role models too [laughing]. No, not snobs, they’re great people and they are not just role models for me. They are people I admire, like Cartier- Bresson. I’m mad about his simplicity, with that 50 mm lens, amazing. He was a rich man but he didn’t go all posh because of the wealth. On the contrary. I saw a documentary about him, those stories he told about India are a rare thing. I’d like to be like him, get on with people, become their friend and then photograph them.

And this anthropological side you have?

Yes, I would do that without ever having studied it. Afterwards, I was told that my work was strongly anthropological. That’s great, but it’s difficult now. For example, Sebastião Salgado. I could never be a Sebastião Salgado because I would never have the guts to see the things he saw. I’m another kind of photographer. I like the story of Pierre Verger – I met Verger, but he’s a millionaire. The two Frenchmen had a lot of money.

I’m not competing with anyone. I idolize my friends, who do things like I do. Cafi was a great friend, he would pass by in front of my house and shout my name, he wouldn’t stop, just carry on. He’d just shout. I met him about thirty years ago. The other day they made a documentary about him. The documentary only looked at his record covers. Where’s Cafi’s Bumba Meu Boi [a traditional Brazilian folklore dance]? His Pernambuco? Because Cafi comes from Pernambuco, he’s loyal to Pernambuco, to the people of Pernambuco.

Your work deals directly with the question of representing blackness.

The other day, in an interview in France, someone asked me why all my work was completely black. I answered: “It’s not my work, it’s the people who are black.” I don’t find other people to photograph. It is what is beautiful in Bahia, I get surprised. It’s not like that in Rio, people there are very prejudiced, they think that black people are crooks, thieves. In Bahia, poor people are artists, poor people are doctors. There are various doctors in my family, sociologists, there are designers. Everyone has an inner doctor. If you want to be a doctor, study. I didn’t study because I didn’t want to, not because my mother couldn’t look over my homework because she was semi-literate. It’s just that I didn’t have the gift of studying, I had this artistic side. Another thing I later fixed was the idea that artists don’t study.

Black people are my people. They’re that girl on the steps who shouts: “Heh! Take my photo!” It’s funny, but I’ve never ever been prejudiced myself. There are white folk in my family, really white, amongst the eleven of us. My mother’s father was Portuguese, her grandfather was Portuguese, and it’s the same with my father. In the case of my father, my grandfather, a sugarcane planter, sent the black mother of his son away as soon as he was born. It was my brother who looked into this and found this out, because my father, who left his hometown as soon as he heard the story, never wanted to tell us. We don’t know if it was because he was ashamed, lazy, or something else.

In an introduction to your photographs, the curator Emanoel Araujo speaks of your work being “socially committed to this cauldron in which we live” and reminds us that works like yours are part of a country that has not included them. Writing about your work, Gilberto Gil speaks of an “oppressed, but active and patient people”. How do you deal with this militant movement to rescue black culture?

I understand what Gil is saying, and Emanoel too, there is a certain lack of awareness. My brother has already strongly criticized me because I thought of myself as colorless. I thought this would always exist. A long time ago, when I was living in the home of a rich friend of mine who had become a hippie, the gateman asked if I was the maid, saying that I had to enter via the service elevator. I was her guest. I decided not to say anything so as not to cause any trouble for my friend. I would enter round the back and that was it. There are other attitudes that are difficult to understand. When I went to mount an exhibition in a château in France, the person who had invited me asked me to remove the photos of poor people from the exhibition. So that only the happy, celebratory images remained.

I wanted to do a project in Bahia about this story of people straightening their hair. My sister did it to me, she got a hot iron and straightened my hair. It was agonizing. Nowadays, that is a lot less common. Especially amongst people with a bit more education, such as college girls, who are adopting natural black hair styles. But it’s difficult to understand. I know a gorgeous woman, Olívia, who insists on doing it. She straightens her hair and dyes it blonde. Then I ask her: “What do you want to be?” You won’t understand her answer, because it wasn’t that she wanted to be white. I’ve never seen my oldest sister, who is eighty, with her normal hair. She still straightens it. I was going to do a project which I was going to call Espicha por quê? [why straightening it?]. I would photograph even that, from behind, I wanted to talk to them. I actually spoke to a girl in Pelourinho, and she answered: “Lita, if I don’t do it, I can’t get a job!” I’ve seen a lot of comments that the bosses would ask them to change their afro hair styles. Asking a blond to cut her hair, which is too long, that doesn’t happen.

Mulher do cego no terreiro de Jesus, Salvador, 1976

Your work also looks at the valorization of the female figure.

That was ages ago. Now, we are fine. My mother was a housewife; my father worked for the city hall. Sometimes I get angry with my father, because he didn’t have an ounce of conscience – having eleven kids with a woman who could not defend herself. I don’t think that’s at all normal. Feeding eleven mouths is not easy.

For decades, you’ve shown internationally, in France mainly, but also in Italy, England, and the USA. You have a show on at the moment in a gallery in Paris, and one of your photos is displayed in the metro, which is one of those selected for the big exhibition of black and white photography at the Grand Palais, cancelled because of the pandemic. Is your work more recognized internationally than in Brazil?

It is the story I told you about the guy from Libération. There’s a side to it that I think is cool, because they found me. My son says: “Mom, the postcard is the best publicity you’ve ever done. You don’t need a press officer.” It’s true! After the postcards, I went international. My will was stronger than anything, you know? My will to succeed as a woman. I had a very serious medical condition when I was a kid, I don’t know why I didn’t die. I spent four years exploding like this, I was never seen by the top doctors. I got better when I started taking penicillin.

I took my story to France, I wasn’t taken by someone. I produced my first exhibition in Paris, I took the photographs with me. It was mad, because I even took them framed, but that wasn’t a problem at the time, because I traveled with many people. I also took my young son. It all worked out fine, and I sold some of the photos. I have a gallery and curator now, Ricardo Fernandes. My show Preto absoluto [absolute black] opened in January 2021 in his gallery. My shows here in Brazil have also helped make my work known. Things are connected.

How do you see this time, the pandemic?

The situation is unthinkable, but I don’t know what has happened to me – I got better. Because you become more understanding. The vaccine is actually arriving fast, I thought we would die. Especially with this government. If I have the time and health, I will do something I have never imagined: venture to live in another country. I have the means. It’s uncomfortable, because I’ve got a lot of friends here. But the situation is very difficult. I’m eating into my reserves. I had some money set aside to pay for a dental implant, which I got by selling a plot of land I had. But I had to eat during the pandemic. Then the owner of my house reduced my rent for a while, and now I’m hoping my rent doesn’t return to what it was before. I feel like going to sleep and waking up in another country. I like to travel. My whole life I’ve thought about what I should do to get out of here. I knew I wouldn’t marry, have children, like everyone else in my family has. One had to have a husband, a house in Itaparica, and I kept thinking… The only way I had to be able to travel was by being an artist, and being good at it. ///

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Noir & blanc: une esthétique de la photographie [black & white: a photographic aesthetic] (BnF, 2020), catalog for the exhibition at the Grand Palais, Paris, cancelled because of the pandemic.

A fotografia como eu sou [photography as I am], catalog for the exhibition of the work of Lita Cerqueira at the Pinacoteca de São Paulo, 2009.

CAPTIONS p. 127: Young carpenter in Cachoeira, Bahia, 1999. p. 129: Carla at the Ladeira do Carmo, by the steps to the Paço Church, Salvador, Bahia, 1975. p. 131: Painter Reginaldo Bonfim, Salvador, Bahia, 1994. p. 133: Gilberto Gil and a pregnant Sandra Gadelha, Itapoã, Bahia, 1976. p. 137: Hélène Rocha (Glauber Rocha’s granddaughter), Rio de Janeiro, 1989. p. 138: Gal Costa and Dorival Caymmi during filming of the documentary Bahia de todos os sambas [Bahia of all sambas], by Paulo César Saraceni and Leon Hirszman, Rome, Italy, August 1983; Caetano Veloso, Rio de Janeiro, June 1978; Bahian woman at the Iemanjá Festival, Salvador, Bahia, 1998. p. 139: Capoeira dancing (Master Cebolinha), Salvador, Bahia, 1976; Women lace makers from Pelourinho, Salva- dor, Bahia, 2004; Maria de Lurdes, potter, the “skillet lady”, Coqueiros, Bahia, 1989. p. 141: Lambe-lambe photographer [photographer with a street box camera], Salvador, Bahia, 1976. p. 143: Blind man’s wife at the Terreiro de Jesus, Salvador, Bahia, 1976.

Lita Cerqueira (Salvador, 1952) é fotógrafa desde 1969. Tornou-se conhecida por fotografar o povo brasileiro, especialmente na capital baiana, e pelos registros intimistas de estrelas da música. Sua exposição A fotografia como eu sou (Pinacoteca de São Paulo, 2009) também foi apresentada em Paris, em 2012.

Maria Hirszman (Rio de Janeiro, 1966) é jornalista e crítica de arte, com mestrado pela Escola de Comunicações e Artes da Universidade de São Paulo. Contribui em publicações como Jornal da Tarde e O Estado de S. Paulo.

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