Iêda Marques' tender look at the culture and people of Chapada Diamantina

Bahian photographer Iêda Marques belongs to that rare quality of people endowed with such sensitivity that they can compose poetry with the lens of their camera.

And the result of his verses woven into images can be seen here the artist's first solo work, the book Iêda Marques – Souvenirs, imaginary and reality (Solisluna Editora).

Chapada Diamantina is the setting revealed through the lens of Iêda in Souvenirs , but not just that Chapada with grotões and exuberant flora for hikers or tourists. It is from the people of the region that the author tells us a story made up of many snapshots, but also of texts that bridge the gap between the different worlds that make up Chapada. The photos, of moving beauty, speak for themselves, but the author's prose, the text follows a rhythm inspired by country prose, allows for a deeper reflection on the environment, customs, culture and people portrayed.


Endowed with a dream-like lyricism and a passionate optimism – I was in a very good mood after reading it –, the book ranges from the vast landscapes to the small details of the daily lives of the region's residents, with their daily toil, their religiosity, their baptisms, funerals, weddings, drumming and festivities. The portraits, especially of older characters, show that expressiveness that concentrates all the innate wisdom of humanity. The intimacy of the humble houses, their kitchens with crocheted cloths covering clay filters, moringas, wild flowers on the tables, trivets and wood stoves provoke a nostalgia for a time when, despite the hard work under the sun, life was simpler and more beautiful.

Iêda Marques, who has been an environmental activist since the 70s, began the project that culminated in the book in 2001 and the care in both the selection of images and the finishing of the work prove that this was not just a work project, but an ideal of life cherished and gestated with all the care and patience. Before this project, his photos – of kitchens in rural communities in Chapada – had been part of the collection Bahias , also published by Solisluna.

The photographer also has photos in the collections of the São Paulo Museum of Art and the Museu da Casa Brasileira. In 1998, he won the Marc Ferrez Photography Prize (Funarte/Minc) and has participated in group and individual exhibitions.

Returning to the book, even a reader without specialized knowledge of photography will realize that a piece of Iêda Marques is in every line of her prose and, mainly, in each of the photos. Not surprisingly, she chose a phrase from Frida Kahlo as an opening for this trip through Chapada: “I will write to you with my eyes”.
And he really writes, also with his soul!

Review published on the literature blog of the portal A Tarde

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1 comment

Fantástico!!! Você não poderia descreve melhor a nossa terra…pra viver temos que ser forte…rapadura e doce mais não e mole! Parabéns!!

Ilde Elisa M.Almeida

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