On October 17, 2008, while walking in and around the Pelourinho neighborhood in the city of Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, I asked random passersby for a short statement about the then-Democratic candidate for President, Senator Barack Obama. I also asked permission to take their portraits. In exchange for their portraits and statements, I gave each person an Obama button.
I had no idea the amount of electricity an Obama button could generate on the streets of Salvador. Everyone knew about Obama and many were certain of his victory. While talking with one person, others would overhear "Obama", see the buttons, and want to join the discussion. Most enthusiastically asked for extra buttons for their families and friends. I regret having brought only a few dozen with me from New York. All were gone within an hour.
This is a collection of their portraits and handwritten statements about and, at times, directly to Barack Obama.
I would like to thank Kathy Sloane for the use of her photograph, support and friendship; Mossa Bildner, my Portuguese teacher, for improving my Portuguese and correcting my translations; Lauri Lyons, whose project, Flag: An American Story, was my inspiration for this project; and the wonderful people of Brazil with whom I had the pleasure of talking politics and now share this celebration of President Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States of America.
Brooklyn, New York
View more of my Brazil photos here: