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Brasil 11
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Brasil 11

Joao Luiz Bulcao

Brasil brazil Brésil football

Un mot sur l'oeuvre

Le témoignage de Joao Luiz Bulcao

It was in Brazil in the early 1970s. I was seven years old and we lived under the dictatorship of General Medici.

My first visual emotion is related to a childhood memory. A legendary match of futebol pitted against Brazil and Italy for the World Cup final at the Aztecs stadium in Mexico. These images broadcast on television, live and in black and white, contrasted with those of the crowd dressed in the colors of my country: yellow, green and blue which have invaded the streets and the fireworks that exploded at the end of the match in the squares of my neighborhood. The "Seleção" had won his third title of World Champion.

The military junta has appropriated this victory which has boosted national pride. She used it as an element of propaganda to instill the idea that thanks to her everything was possible. That's how the ball was taken hostage.

Twenty-four years later I participated as a photographer in this same ritual as our national team brought back for the fourth time this trophy. I remember the moments of madness that surrounded their victorious return. I remember seeing these heroes walking with open arms in the avenues of Rio de Janeiro. Political power had changed and we were consolidating the use of democracy.

Whether the ball is made of plastic, rubber, leather, cardboard, rag, no matter. The point is that, whatever the terrain, it can roll. For us, Brazilians, the ball is synonymous with breathing.

Establishing teams is an invitation to fraternity. Around a balloon there is neither rich nor poor. We mistrust all genres and all ages. We play from north to south and from east to west in this continental-sized country.

I photographed players on the beaches, in the favelas, in the streets, in the prisons and even on oil platforms. Next to the players, in the stadiums, I met passionated supporters about their clubs, their teams, their idols.

Victories and defeats are times with sadness, joy and faith are expressed in an instinctive and spontaneous choreography. Each step, each dribble, each missed or successful goal, reminds me of the talent of one of my idols as they fill the imagination of millions of anonymous players.

Wearing the yellow t-shirt of the national team... wherever they live, kids survive through the same goal : helping the collective victory by forgetting their personal defeats. How many people have seen their lives changed ? One in a million, say the most realistic. Pelé, Zico, Romario, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Raï, Neymar... most of them grew up in miserable ghettos and their talent opened the doors of the world to them !

Dreams of ordinary kids, football is a reflection of the enthusiasm that Brazilians have for life. Even after the humiliating defeat against Germany (7-1) at the last World Cup in his own house, the dream goes on.

Le choix de Jean-Denis