A Jewish Brazilian Photographer
Madalena Schwartz was another important foreign photographer of São Paulo. She was also a Jewish refugee (from Hungary, via Buenos Aires), and although she did not begin working in photography until late in her middle age, she went on to become Brazil's most important portrait photographer, working extensively in publicity and producing images of some of the country's most prominent citizens. However, Schwartz also developed a personal artistic line to her photography. Working exclusively in black and white and venturing into the outback, she might be said to be Brazil's first eco-photographer. Of interest to this study, however, is her perspective on marginal urban groups; she is famous for her images of often marginalized Afro-Brazilians, such as the singer Clementina de Jesús and the spiritual leader Mãe Menininha do Gantois, as well as the transvestite performance group, Dzi Croquettes, whose creative resistance to the censorship of the 1964 military coup won them an international audience. Despite being an intimate portraitist, Schwartz was able to capture the enormous complexity of urban life.
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