This project was contemplated as the twelfth Funarte Marc Ferrez Photography Prize 2012
“Reinado” Celebration in Araújos-MG
For a number of years Almir Israel, a friend and member of the group of photographers Ladrões de Alma (Soul Thieves), would invite friends and member of the group to travel to his birthplace of Araújos-MG to photograph the “Reinado” Celebration. Which takes place from August to September every year.
In 2001 we accepted his invitation, we returned on 2002, 2003 and 2005. Each year the celebration was captured by a different group of photographers, from which only I and photographer Usha Velasco were present every aforementioned year.
The celebration has its origins from African kings that came to Brazil and after have been granted their freedom became devotees of Our Lady of the Rosary. They then promoted this Celebration as a symbol of thankfulness for the grace received.
The Celebration is composed of different moments, which are all somehow contemplated in the images, but the desire was to capture the visual impression created by the colorful garments, the expression of faith, the choreography and also the emotion created by the music.
Summing it superficially, just to contextualize the photos, we allude to the arrival of the “Cortes” (the groups participating in the celebration) coming from surrounding towns, led by one or two captains, and their peculiar garments and rhythms. The flag-bearers announce the name, town, and origin of each “Corte”, aw well as collect donations for Our Lady of the Rosary. There is the ritual of reverence towards the crown and Our Lady of the Rosary. All “Cortes” must complete this stage, always being propelled by a lot of faith, singing, and movement. The families which held the crown in the preceding year are “Festeiros” the following year. “Festeiros” welcome into their houses the “Cortes”, offering them lunch and taking the crown to the altar on the central square. All “Cortes” gather in the central square for the main celebration. The families in possession of the crowns bring them to the altar and hand them to the “Festeiros” of the following year. At this moment, those taking the role of the African kings, which are the origin of the Celebration, are also present.