Description: “My aim is to illuminate the dignity and humanity that shines through regardless of the challenges of poverty and oppression that impact these people and communities.” Tariq Zaidi Nearly 30 percent of Rio de Janeiro’s residents, about two million people, live in “favela” communities, slums that often lack basic services like running water, sanitation, security or education. Life for Brazil’s poorest communities got a lot worse after the country spent billions of dollars on the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics. Award-winning London-based photographer Tariq Zaidi went there to document the struggle – and pride – of people who call Rio’s favelas home. In his series, “Empty Promises: Priced out of Rio’s favelas,” Zaidi documents life in the Favela Manguiera community, just 1km from the Maracanã Stadium. “In their bid to host the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics, Brazilian authorities promised to improve life in the favelas of Rio,” Zaidi writes in his project description. “But the ‘pioneering’ pacification schemes and the promise to splash about billions of dollars remodeling the slums as part of the Morar Carioca (“Rio Living”) program has had an unintended consequence.” In fact, increased rent prices pushed the poorest families into squatting in abandoned buildings. But his documentary work is about more than showing the dark side of Rio. “Despite the difficulties of their living conditions, this community is bound together by a sense of camaraderie, dignity and a pride in the place they call home.” Zaidi’s work in Brazil is part of his ongoing personal project, a long-term effort spanning six countries to produce a visual documentary anthology focused on “capturing the human spirit across some of the poorest communities in the world.” “My aim is to illuminate the dignity and humanity that shines through regardless of the challenges of poverty and oppression that impact these people and communities,” Zaidi says. Eventually, he’d like to show the work, about 50 percent complete, in local communities where it was made, as well as in international exhibitions and in a published book.
Location: Logge del Papa, Siena
Photographer Biography: His work is represented by Zuma Press (USA), Caters News Agency (UK) and Getty Images (UK).
In January 2014, Tariq Zaidi gave up a senior corporate position to pursue his passion of capturing the dignity, purity and soul of people, within their own environments. His work focuses on documenting social issues, inequality, endangered communities and traditions around the world.
In February 2018, Zaidi was awarded one of the top Premier Awards in POY75 (Pictures of the Year International Competition) with “Photographer of the Year,” an award of excellence for his work from North Korea, Congo and Brazil, as well as 2nd place in the “News Division/Feature Category” in the same year.
Since August 2015, Zaidi’s stories, images and videos from Angola, Brazil, Cambodia, Chad, Congo, Ethiopia, Georgia, Indonesia, Mongolia, North Korea & South Sudan have been featured internationally in over 700 magazines/newspapers/websites (in more than 60 countries) including: The Guardian, BBC News, CNN, National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, Der Spiegel Magazine, El Pais, GEO Magazine, The Independent On Sunday Magazine, Marie Claire, Esquire Magazine, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, The Telegraph, El Mundo Spain, Khaleej Times UAE, ITV News, MSN News, LensCulture, L’Oeil De La Photographie, Internazionale Magazine, The Times of London and many more.
He has won many major international photography awards, shown his work in over 45 international exhibitions and completed commissions in Sierra Leone, Cuba, Russia, Cambodia, Uganda, UAE, Japan and Indonesia.
Zaidi works as a freelance photographer based out of London, UK. He is currently working on a long-term personal project developing a visual anthology capturing the dignity of humankind in some of the poorest communities in the world.
His work is represented by Zuma Press (USA), Caters News Agency (UK) and Getty Images (UK).