Sometimes an exhibition just blows you away. Marcus Lyon’s Somos Brazil at the Brazilian Embassy in London is one of those. At first glance, it appears a photography exhibition, and it would be worth visiting for that alone as Marcus’ photographs are stunning, but it is far more than that.
For six months, Marcus Lyons toured Brazil with a producer and sound recordist, together capturing the identity and diversity of modern Brazil through its people recorded in portraits, sound recordings and descriptions that are brought to life through an app with a link to each photograph.
It is difficult to pick out one story among so many, but that of Anderson Dias Da Fonseca is inspirational. Born with a degenerative disease of the retina, his eyesight had gone by the time be was three years old. Sadly, over 6 million Brazilians are in this situation. The young Anderson Dias, however had a burning desire to a footballer and being blind didn’t put him off, in a country where football is almost a religion and where the national team has been the most successful in the FIFA World Cup, having won five times and being the only National Team to have played in every World Cup.
Impossible as it might seem, with the help of friends, Anderson Dias, perfected the art of blind football and, such as his talent, that he could outplay boys with perfect vision to become an inspiration to all.
Today he is Football’s Paralympic World Champion and has established the Urece Esporte e Cultura para Cegos dedicated to sports training and inclusion for people of all ages with visual impairment ‘for those which see no obstacles’.
Just one of Marcus Lyon’s many portraits, defining the modern culture of Brazil through the people that make the county, their lives, their traditions, difficulties, achievements and optimism for the future. You could spend all day here, exploring their different stories.