“Postcards to Charles Lynch” is a visual essay on the subject of contemporary lynchings, specifically those which took place in Brazil in 2014. Over the past 60 years, around one million people participated in such events throughout the country, according to José de Souza Martins, an expert on the matter.
The theme is urgent and approaching it within a documentary perspective seemed necessary.
The result of our research is now presented as an artist-book that reflects upon the subject. Each of the 36 images taken from still frames of YouTube films depict the barbarity of lynchings, referring also to the way we deal with images of violence nowadays: Every shot in the book comes from amateur footage, created by people who where either watching or participating in such atrocities. At some level, “Postcards to Charles Lynch” responds to what Susan Sontag claims in “Regarding the Pain of Others”: Let the atrocious images haunt us, she said.
In order to amplify access to this body of work, we’ve published on Issuu a complete facsimile of the book.
— Garapa Collective, Brazil
Grappa also created a video that summarizes their process. (WARNING: some very graphic violent images.):
About Garapa Collective
Founded in 2008 by photojournalists Leo Caobelli, Paulo Fehlauer and Rodrigo Marcondes, Coletivo Garapa is a photographic collective that produces content across various different platforms from the printed image to site-specific video installations. After leaving the newsroom they united efforts and founded a production company that creates both commissioned and self-initiated projects, often dealing with the challenge of telling stories from multiple sources. This research has become increasingly complex and has generated works on the border of reportage, documentary and fiction, with narrative threads constructed from collages of historical documents and testimonials shown alongside the collective’s original photographs. Coletivo Garapa’s works push the boundaries of direct, objective photojournalism mixing factual and emotional, real and imaginary, past and present — they even started creating fictional narrators to tell some of their stories.
— Brazilian curator Eder Chiodetto
In support of this project, last year, Garapa Collective won a grant offered by ZUM Magazine, a publication dedicated to photography, edited by Instituto Moreira Salles.