I have been telling stories since I can remember. My mother says that since I started to speak, I would invent tales about domestic objects, people, nature. I would explain them to anyone – and if there was no one to listen, I would explain those tails out loud to myself, dolls, pets. I do remember telling those stories, but I don’t remember the feeling of creating them. Maybe making those notes on reality were as natural as playing, eating and sleeping, with no rational thinking related to it. But it was like that probably because of me being born in a female-only family, where oral tradition was very present. I was raised in a matriarchal family, with no father around, a former amateur actress as grandmother and seven aunts (plus my mother) that loved to converse. There was a LOT of talking going on.
Stories about countryside traditions, human nature, urban legends, natural disasters, death, love, miracles and other grandiose things were common on the dinner table, family gatherings etc. One also has to consider that, growing up in 80’s as I did, during the hangover of Brazilian military dictatorship, language was used in a tricky way and things were rather mentioned than clearly, openly said. Fiction was everywhere, even when the story that was being told was supposed to be based in true facts. This was not only for entertainment purposes, but also to guarantee one’s own distance from any political involvement and therefore avoid trouble.
But even though I was expert in inventing stories, it was only as I started to read that I could understand the magic of storytelling. I started to write short stories about all sort of things, which would always help me increase my notes in school – since my abilities in Math and Science were very poor, Languages and Writing were the talents I could count on. It didn’t last long until my mom presented me with a Kodak Instamatic Camera, when I was around 9 years old.
I went on to study Journalism and Photography but, still, my work exists because of how I grew up. To this day I try to apprehend “real” stories, interpret and recreate them as my imagination tells me they happened, the same way the women in my family used to do on the diner table, 30 years ago.