The sudden arrival of new technologies, like the internet and mobile networks, to the rural countryside of Brazil has enabled a profound cultural transformation. The current generation, now instantly connected to new references, has begun to migrate in search of opportunities away from the isolation and hard work in the agricultural fields. More and more young people, even those from humble backgrounds living at the edge of the cities, want to be included in contemporary, urban “consumer” society.

Conceição dos Santos and her daughter left the agricultural lands of the interior to live on the outskirts of the small town called Xique-xique, Bahia. The migration has generated structural and social problems with the expansion of precarious and marginalized neighborhoods. © Felipe Fittipaldi, Winner, LensCulture Emerging Talent Awards 2017

Amidst this strange, shifting landscape, many choose to remain in their places of origin, perpetuating a connection with their physical and symbolic universes. Thus, the older generation that remains may be the last representative of a traditional culture. Meanwhile, the twinned processes of youth exodus and slow but inevitable modernization in the rural areas themselves are made glaringly evident by the isolation of these still tradition-bound individuals. While everything around them changes, they are unable to incorporate new, contemporary practices into their daily lives.

—Felipe Fittipaldi

Editors’ note: This project was singled out by the jury of the Emerging Talent Awards 2017. See all of the inspiring projects from this year’s 50 talents!