Adelaide, my grandmother, was born in the backlands of the Brazilian northeast, in 1921. She was an actress in an itinerant theater until the early 1940s. After she got married, she gave birth to 16 children. She has raised them as dressmaker and selling cakes on the streets of her city, after a moneylender took the family’s farm and house. My grandfather, may he rest in peace, was a small farmer.
This series started in 2006, when she was 85. At first, I would accompany Adelaide at her day-to-day activities out of her home. After having a stroke in 2011, she couldn’t go out as before, so we started staging the photoshoots at her place – that is actually when she started shining as stage director, giving ideas of settings and costumes! In 2016, with the parliamentary coup against Dilma Rousseff, the first female Brazilian president, we both had the feeling we should be less festive and more political, so we started inserting other types of props in the photos. With the rise of the far right in Brazil, the wish to make a political commentary through our photos made even more sense, and it remained until the last picture we took, in 2021 (with the Lula cap).
The series was an ongoing project until March 04 2022, when Adelaide, the grandmother, died at the age of 100 years, 3 months and 16 days, while sleeping, at her home in Recife, Brazil. She is survived by 12 living daughters and sons, 25 grandkids and 13 great-grandkids.