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ONE PHOTO – ONE STORY

23.06.2015

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I met Manuel de Jesus Garrido Melo while photographing the Offside Brazil project, a partnership between Magnum Photos and the Brazilian Instituto Moreira Salles documenting Brazil during the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Manuel was 20 years old, a Baré Indian who lives in Nova Esperança. The community is located on the Negro river – one of the most beautiful in the region – three hours by speed boat from Manaus, the capital of Amazonas in northern Brazil. His mother is the chief of the community, as was her mother before her.

A star football player of the region, Manuel almost turned professional in 2013, after doing very well in trials for one of the major teams in Manaus. However, he decided to return to his community without waiting for the results of the try-outs: when he finally heard that he had been selected it was already too late to go back and join the team, as the registration window for the year’s soccer season was already closed.

Manuel deeply regrets missing that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. His current plan is to go back to Manaus to join the police academy and become a cop, but he's not sure he’ll be able to stand living apart from his family and community in a city so different from the only reality he knows – the tranquil life of planting, fishing, hunting and hanging out with family and friends in one of the most beautiful parts of Brazil.

André Vieira

André Vieira is a freelance documentary and portrait photographer based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He is currently documenting the transformation process Rio is going through in anticipation of hosting the 2016 Olympic Games. As a side project, he is exploring the economic power of the informal economy. His work has been published in
The New York Times, The Guardian, Stern, Geo,among others.

www.andrevieira.com
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