Photos Reveal Harsh Detail Of Brazil's History With Slavery : Parallels : NPR: Brazil was the last place in the Americas to abolish slavery — it didn't happen until 1888 — and that meant that the final years of the practice were photographed.
This has given Brazil what may be the world's largest archive of photography of slavery, and a new exhibition in Sao Paulo is offering some new insights into the country's brutal past.
One image at the exhibition, for example, has been blown up to the size of a wall. "Things that you could never see, suddenly you see," says anthropologist Lilia Schwarcz, one of the curators of the new exhibition called Emancipation Inclusion and Exclusion.
In its original size and composition, the image from photographer Marc Ferrez, one of the most impressive photographers from 19th century Brazil, shows a wide shot of a group of slaves drying coffee in a field. Their faces are indistinct but the overall impression is one of order and calm. But once the picture is blown up, the expressions become distinct and details emerge. A female slave is breastfeeding a child in the field; clothes that look neat are seen to be tattered.