Chacara 51

The city of Palmas was founded in 1989 as the capital of the state of Tocantins, the most recent of the twenty-six Brazilian states. The city was planed from its roots following the same urban model as the country’s capital Brasilia hopping to become one of largest and well-planed urban centers in the country. As a newborn city it attracted people from all over the country in the search of job opportunities at construction sites and local factories. Between 1996 and 2008 Palmas possessed one of the largest demographic growth rates in the country increasing its population in 110%. Nonetheless, the rapid growth created severe unemployment among the lower classes. Newly arrived families got stranded and forced to live in precarious conditions in the outskirts of the city.

I began working on this project in 2005 after a two-month stay in the city of Palmas working on assignment for a local non profit "Casa das Sementinhas". The majority of the newly arrived families were occupying abandoned fields along the southern end of the city in an occupied property know as Chacara 51. This body of work focuses on the life of the lower class immigrants in their search of a better quality of life.

The project helped to create awareness on the existence newly formed slum in the eastern part of town.