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The Brazilian Photographs of Genevieve Naylor, 1940-1942

by Robert M. Levine

  • ISBN: 9780822321606
  • ISBN10: 0822321602

The Brazilian Photographs of Genevieve Naylor, 1940-1942

by Robert M. Levine

  • List Price: $104.95
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Duke Univ Pr
  • Publish date: 03/01/1998
  • ISBN: 9780822321606
  • ISBN10: 0822321602
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Description: In the early 1940s as the world's attention had turned toward Germany and Japan, the U.S. State Department was also concerned with the possibility that Brazil would support the Axis cause. As head of the Office of Inter-American Affairs, Nelson Rockefeller was charged with cultivating Latin American support for the Allies while portraying Brazil and its neighbors as dependable wartime partners. Genevieve Naylor, a photojournalist previously employed by the AP and the WPA, was sent to Brazil in 1940 by Rockefeller's agency to provide photographs that would support its need for propaganda. Often balking at her mundane assignments, Naylot produced something far different and far more rich -- a stunning collection of over a thousand photographs that document a rarely seen period in Brazilian history. Accompanied by analysis from Robert M. Levine, this selection of those photographs offers a unique view of the texture and essence of everyday life during one of modern Brazil's least examined decades.

Working within and around the constraints of the Brazilian dictatorship under President Vargas, the instructions of her employers, and a chronic short age of film and photographic equipment, Naylor took advantage of the freedom granted her as an employee of the United States government. Traveling widely and far beyond the fashionable neighborhoods of Rio de Janeiro, she conveys in her work the excitement of a foreign observer for whom all is fresh and new -- along with a sensibility schooled in the depressionera documentary photography of Dorothea Lange and Walker Evans, as well as the work of Cartier-Bresson and filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein. Her subjects include the very rich and the very poor,black Carnival dancers, fishermen, rural peasants, workers crammed into trolleys -- ordinary Brazilians in their own setting -- rather than simple Brazilian symbols of progress as required by the dictatorship.

With Levine's text providing details of Naylor's life, perspectives on her photographs as social documents, and the historical political background of Brazil's wartime relationship with the United States, this volume, illustrated with more than one hundred of Naylor's Brazilian photographs, will interest scholars of Brazilian culture and history, photo-journalists, and students of photography.

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