Working with travel photography over the past few years, I have been able to experience tourism in its many dimensions. One of the aspects that fascinates me most is its democratization.
In the last decade, the Brazilian middle-class increased its expenditure on tourism by 277%. Leisure travel, besides becoming more frequent, is now more accessible to a wider public. In the past, such travel was a privilege reserved for the economic elite, but today the picture has changed. According to one recent survey, around 50 million people from the Brazilian middle class now have the desire to travel.
Tourism is a two-way street, and its effect can go way beyond the iconic spots. When observed from the outside, it is easy to point at (and critique) the enormous impact caused by tourists on the communities they visit. However, when we are ourselves the travelers, we are easily overwhelmed by the temptation of puerile pleasures.
Traveling for pleasure is like a celebration, and tourists often vibrate in this frequency of pleasure and joy. My photo-essay “Amazon B-Side” is a portrait of the elusive feeling sought during a middle-class journey on an all-inclusive cruise ship sailing along the Black River in the Brazilian rainforest.
This project was chosen by juror and Magnum photographer Jacob Aue Sobol as his Juror’s Pick during the Street Photography Awards 2017. See all of the inspiring work by the 37 winners, finalists and jurors’ picks!