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Eduardo Simões : Gastronomy for a Hard Days’ Work

In 2004. I visited a number of buildings under construction in Sao Paulo  and requested permission from workers to photograph their lunch boxes.  It was lunch time and even if they were famished most of them agreed.  As is the custom in Brazil each one had left his house while it was still night carrying his own meal, generally prepared by his wife or another family member. It is apparent that there is a "hierarchy of contents",since in effect each lunchbox contains a base of rice and beans, so the presence of meat indicates a  worker who has done well.  If it also contains chicken giblets or pork, that means he is even better off. But on the other hand if the lunch box doesn't have anything but an egg besides the rice and beans, the popular fried egg, it constitutes a declaration of poverty.  The arrangement of each lunch holds the hope that the little container can satisfy  its owner's hunger. The contents hold the certainty of a new day of hard labor.

Eduardo Simões