Thursday, 27 September 2007

Julio Bittencourt

Image copyright Julio Bittencourt

OK, so we may as well make this "Domestic week" here at Manchester photography. Today I give you the winner of this years Leica Oskar Barnack Award Julio Bittencourt. Hailing from Brazil, the 26 year old made portraits of the residents of a Squatted apartment block in Sao Paulo.

"The residents of 911 Prestes Maia Avenue, a twenty-two-story ramshackle apartment tower located in the center of sprawling São Paulo, Brazil, were surprised to learn in March 2006 that they were to be evicted within twenty-eight days. After all, the building had loomed conspicuously empty for over a decade, neglected by its tax-delinquent landlord; in 2003, a coalition of housing activists calling themselves Movement of the Homeless from Downtown had organized hundreds of homeless families who moved into the capacious tower. After the new residents successfully drove out the vermin and the drug dealers, and cleaned up the place, the building became home for 1,630 people, including some 468 families with 315 children. Prestes Maia was more than likely the largest squat in South America, complete with a library and a site for workshops and other educational activities. As of May 2007, only a quarter of the original residents are still living in Prestes Maia, most having moved to public housing complexes far from downtown. For those who remain, the future is uncertain" Read more here:

And see more of his work here:

Back to sunny Manchester on the morrow!

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