CAIRO: In collaboration with Agence France-Presse, The Cairo Post and Youm7 were given exclusive access to a photography project that captures the youthful innocence of Brazilian children as they are given cameras to showcase daily life and their passion for football in their homeland.
On June 12, football fans from around the world will look to Brazil as the country prepares to host the 20th FIFA World Cup. In a project titled “Rio 2014: Football as seen by young fans in the Cidade de Deus favela,” AFP photographer Christophe Simon gave cameras to underprivileged children in Brazil’s Cidade de Deus (City of God.)
Working with 18 boys and girls between the ages of 10 and 15, Simon and Tony Barros, who runs Rio de Janeiro’s Lente Dos Sonhos photography school, taught them the basics of photography before they were allowed to experiment and explore their world through a new pair of eyes.
“We gave these kids the opportunity to show us where they live and how their passion for football began,” Simon told AFP. “The result could not be more authentic.”
Simon says that he came up with the project idea after witnessing the fascination of Brazil’s children in the favelas, known as the slums of Brazil, when he would carry around his camera. During his free time, he would sit with some children and teach them the basics of camera use. That is when the idea came to him.
“I thought I should tell the story of Brazil, of where this passion for soccer comes from among Brazilians and Brazil in general,” said Simon. “And I thought the best people to tell that story would be the children.”
While football was the main muse for the budding photographers, their photographs depict an assortment of passions, usually accompanied by bare feet, smiling faces, sand and sea.
Over the next few weeks, The Cairo Post will publish pictures from the project at 12 p.m. daily as anticipation of the World Cup escalates before the start of the games.
The AFP offered exclusive access to the project’s material to one publication per country. The Cairo Post and Youm7 were glad to partner with AFP on this project.