John Berger, in his book About Looking, wrote that for Heidegger “the path may lead to the Lichtung, the clearing whose very space, open to light and vision, is the most surprising thing about existence, and is the very condition of Being”. Heidegger was born in the south of Germany, most probably grew up surrounded by nature. As him, I’ve lived the first 20 years of my life in Rio de Janeiro. This stunning place where the Rani Forest once took over the entire land. For me the Forest is, or should be, this untouchable place where wild animals live and from which our entire eco-system can live off.
This series of four photographs were taken from inside the Botanical Garden, in Rio. I’ve been plenty of times there and it always strikes me the possibility of finding different ways of looking at something through the lens of my camera. I live in Germany since almost ten years so therefore to me going back to my home town every year forces me to look at things from another perspective. For me to look is to take care of something, to cherish something, in such a form that I want to capture it.
In all photographs there is a kind of clearing, an space cleared, illuminated. According to Heidegger, the enlightenment space is the one that shelters. In this sense Rio is my shelter, part of my memories. And this shelter is unfortunately have been so much influenced by us humans. In order to bring progress, we clear fields, we cut down trees. The clearing in my photos is a symbol of what we have done to nature and what the viewer can see in the end of the open space is Rio’s most famous human’s triumph over nature.
For this series I used black and white 35mm film on my Leica M6 / 50mm.

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