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Tiradentes Brasil, Os Amigos Velhos

March 1st, 2011

Another one from Brasil shot on the Hasselblad XPan.  This time from a small town in Inland Brasil called Tiradentes, literally “pulling teeth”… can’t say i know why the town is called that, seems like an odd name for a beautiful place.  Perhaps it describes the difficulty in building it, its all built on hills of stone, and of course the whole town is made of stone, including the window lintels and the door frames.

Os Amigos Velhos, Tiradentes in the state of Minas Gereis,  Brasil

Os Amigos Velhos, Tiradentes, Minas Gereis Brasil

The title of the image is Os Amigos Velhos, the old friends, and thats exactly as they appeared to me.  I had seen these two wander across to this spot and sit watching the sunset the night before, they hardly said a word to each other just sat in that comfortable silence that you only see with people who really know each other well.  It seemed like a regular ritual, so the next night i was there  photographing the street when they arrived.

This is not a posed shot, i’m afraid i didn’t ask permission, i just went about shooting the paving stones of the street as i had been doing when they arrived.  The thing i find profound about this image  is perhaps not immediately obvious.  We have two old men of very different heritage, one being European probably Portuguese and the other obviously African, living in a 15th Century Slave built town where one man’s ancestors would have been wielding the whip and the others would have been the back it was striking.  Now, 500 years later they are friends watching the sunset together.  I wonder if they ever talk about these very different yet entwined beginnings?

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