Meninas da Vila
Vila Mimosa - Rio de Janeiro - Brasil
by Marcelo Carrera & Pedro Farina
About the Book
Vila Mimosa is the oldest and most famous district of prostitution in Rio de Janeiro, it shelters in its houses around 1000 women that charge US$ 12 for a 15-minute service and it has been like that in the last 105 years.
The project called "Meninas da Vila" (Girls of Vila Mimosa, the secret postcard of Rio de Janeiro) began from the curiosity about this centennial district and from the need to know a little bit bother who these women are, what they feel, how they deal with the feeling of 'guilt', 'shame', 'fear ' and how they interact with their families and the predominant Christian morality.
After two years and a lot of visits, we found out that we have much more similarities with those women than we imagined at first. Our goal wasn't to judge them, but to portray these women. The look in their eyes, the emptiness, their fear, the abuse, the marks, the values and the local code of ethics. So it's a documentary work that will continue to, where we enter in the intimate life of these women, such as in the life of the pimps and of the customers.
We worked with "Environmental Portraits". In technical terms, only natural light, that means we used almost no light, because the rooms are tiny, just having most of times, a dim lamp, a window or a crack in the roof as a light source. With this, we noticed that this condition of the dim light gave us the possibility to highlight the colors and textures on the walls, as well as in many cases it contributed to hide faces, leveraging shadows, or even offering aggressive frameworks, translating unquestionably the reality we saw in in each session.
Lots of people asked us about the purpose of our project, others inquire what's the new thing we were bringing this time with it. They even asked about what would be the kind of the perversions that motivate us. We believe that the answer goes beyond the Photograph experience, because what really interests us are the people there and the documentation about that acid environment