Two weeks ago I went to “Prêmio Trip Transfomradores 2016” ceremony in São Paulo. It happens in Ibirapuera park amazing theater and I left the place inspired and almost in tears.
But it will take sometime to explain the whole thing. Here we go.
Trip is a publishing company that helds a few magazines, radio, web TV etc. It exists for 30 years and is the first Brazilian publishing company to launch a magazine in Germany – why Germany? I don’t really know. Their journalism team produces in a creative way content that debates politcs, sex, drugs, beach culture, social security etc. It is like Vice – ish.
From 10 years they hold Trip Transformadores (Transformers) – not like the movie! The prize was created to recognize Brazilians who redefines the notion of human development transforming reality, promoting changes and advances in favor of others. And each year they pick 10 restless characters that throught their work, changed reality for good. An academy of 300 people indicates those who shall get the prize.
It really made me wonder. Why humanity is still stumbling along while we go along. It is 2016 and we are still talking hunger, poverty, nuclear bombs, democracy, prejudice, racism, State violence, inequality, if global warming isa hoax or not, war…
Why haven’t we yet tackeld those issues yet? Why can’t we treat one another as a fellow human being and thereso deserves my respect? It bothers me, really. Why can’t we be a brotherhood of men? Living and sharing the persuit of happyness?
But I am an optimist. Really, I still believe in the good in people. And those people below and so many others shows that to me. And it gets me wondering when will I leave my ‘loop’? (tks WestWorld).
Below, I’m listing this years’ honored and their stories (the portraits were taken by Trip staff and you can check it in Portuguese here)
Adriana Melo is the one responsible for linking the relation between Zika virus and microcephaly. Living in Campina Grande, Paraíbas state countryside, she wasn’t heard for the first time by Brazilian Desease Control Government Organ. Her testemony during the ceremony was teardroping since she is the one who faces the mothers and says that her baby isn’t forming as he/she should be. But she is tuff and turned her pain into hardwork, attending poor people and researching a cure for this desease.
Daniel Izzo and Antonio Moraes founded Vox Capital driven by a dream of work with a cause and not only to get rich (or die trying).
Izzo was product manager at a big company, “working several hours a day to get a shareholder richer, every night when my shift ended, in the walk from the office to my car, I saw many kids slipping in the streets. That didn’t seem right”. Or we understand that we need to evolve to a business model that get inequality right or we won’t even have consumers”, they defend.
So Vox Capital drives investment in enterprises which acts in health, educations and economic inclusion, working with the lower classes – with the same standars as it were with higher ones.
Berna Reale also has a really amazing story. She lives in Pará’s capital, Belém and she is a performer artist who also happens to work on the police force forensics (!) She afirms that she does art because of her necessity to open people’s eyes towards violence, “every artist works with what bothers her. What bothers me the most is the violence, the question of a human being not seing the other”. By the way, she joined the force after she was 40 years old.
Estela Renner is a filmmaker who did “Muito Além do Peso (2012)/Really Beyond the Weight in free translation. The flick portraits child overweight. The movie was watched by almost 3 million people the movie was a kickstarter for Maria Farinha Filmes studio where she produces pieces that promote social and environmental transformations throught the world.
Fernando Fernandes was a model, Big Brother Brasil participant and a celebrity. But seven years ago suffered a car crash that got him in a wheel chair. Contradicting the self-pity status quo, he began to para-canoing, won 4 times the World Championship and founded a NGO that encourages people with disabilities on re-building their lives helping more than 2,000 people.
German Lorca is a 94 year old photographer. During the year 1929 his family suffered and he had to be apart from his other six brothers. Due to the lack of money, each one had to live with a different relative. He strugled, started working early and became an accountant. But that wasn’t where his talent and passion were. By the age of 28, already a familyman with three children he had the courage to became a photographer.
Luiz Mendes was 19 years when he robbed a gas station in São Paulo. They had a private security that shot at him and his partners. The security died. He got arrested for 78 years. A after a couple of years, a prisionmate tried to rape him, he stabed the man. Got a few more years added to his penalty.
Believe me, if you knew how Brazilian prision are – and were even worse back in the day.
Abandoned by society and living among other heavy criminals.
In the 1980’s, HIV epidemic broke and the convicts infected were marginalized in the prison building he was. Medical staff and nurses refused to work there. The only thing the convicts could do was help each other out and take care of themselves. Helping others, he begin finding his redemption. A prison mate introduced him to books and he became addicted in reading. The next step, after studying really hard was teaching the other convicts.
His recovery didn’t stoped there. Mendes became a writer. His first was book “Memórias de um Sobrevivente”/ Memories of a Survivor, published in 2001. Today Mendes is free and works in a project of criminal convicts recovering.
Marinalva Dantas is workforce auditor from Natal city, Rio Grande do Norte state. She was honored by the prize due to her work battling child slave-labor in Brazil. She personally saved 1,500 people. “Today, you can still find people working in farms just like animals”, she said to the magazine. “We still have 3 million children working ilegally in Brazil.
Her battle is against powerful people that slaves men, women and children seeking easy profit.
Taís Araújo is a famous, talented and beautiful Brazilian actress. She was the first black women to have a leading role in Rede Globo soap opera.
But Brazil is still a country of prejudice. Shocking, right? A country, people and culture so mixed is stiil a place of prejudice? Yes. But here, those things are understated, hidden down a shell of “politacly right”.
She got some racists atacks in social media and decided not to bow down and wnet to fight in her own name and in name of every black men and women in Brazil who got similar attacks.
Those people show me there are reasons to believe.