Throughout her career, Ana Carolina Fernandes (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1963) has captured compelling images that combine a critical perspective with a distinctive aesthetic. Let’s explore her journey and notable achievements in the field of photojournalism and documental photography.
The daughter of a teacher and a journalist, she receives her first camera from her mother at the age of 13. After school, she visited the newspaper Tribuna da Imprensa, where her father worked, and became fascinated with the enchantment of the photo lab. In the early 1980s, she began her professional career as a photojournalist as an intern at O Globo newspaper. Over 25 years, she also worked at the newsrooms of Jornal do Brasil, Folha de São Paulo, and Estado de São Paulo. She studied photography at the School of Visual Arts on Parque Lage at Rio de Janeiro. From the 2000s onwards, she distanced herself from daily journalism and worked as a freelancer, focusing on personal projects while still remaining in the field of photojournalism. Her photographs simultaneously express a critical bias and a unique aesthetic, as seen in the images captured during the street protests of 2013, which spread around the world and appeared on international newspaper covers. Her major influences include Cartier-Bresson, the Magnum agency, and photographers Maureen Bisilliat and Claudia Andujar at Brazil, who traveled to remote locations and produced large-scale essays. Her exhibitions include “Ana Carolina Fernandes Repórter” (Rio de Janeiro, 2015) and “Mem de Sá, 100” (São Paulo, 2013), which resulted from a project documented between 2011 and 2013 featuring transvestites living in a mansion at the address with the same name in the neighborhood of Lapa. For the collective Covid Latam, which brings together 18 Latin American photographers, she develops a project on life during the pandemic. The collective’s joint essay is one of the highlights of the 13th FotoRio (2021) and receives the FotoEvidence Book World Press Photo award for best online project covering the pandemic, as well as the Picture of the Year Latam award. Some of her notable individual projects include “Cuba” (ongoing essay), “Na Ponta dos Pés” (2018), and the book “Prainha” (2019). She has been honored with two Folha awards (2000 and 2002), received the 11th edition of the Troféu Mulher Imprensa (2016), and was a finalist in the Magnum Photography Awards (2017).
“I went through all the major newspapers in Brazil, O Globo, then Jornal do Brasil, which was a wonderful place, everyone wanted to go there, and… it was like that, the great newspaper at the time. I had an editor named Alberto Ferreira, who was an incredible guy! Jornal do Brasil was… a newspaper that highly valued photography… they would dedicate a whole page, the entire front page, to a photo. Alberto Ferreira was a […] guy who made a big difference. And he highly valued photographers… his word had enormous importance and power within the newspaper…”
“I didn’t know how the work would develop, or what form it would take. But specifically with transvestites, I wanted to give them a body, because of this fascination I had: in the same body, both masculine and feminine at the same time. With my photos, I really wanted to help, even if just a little, with this acceptance, with tolerance.”
Testimony of Ana Carolina Fernandes to websérie No Olhar TV, 2017.
Yara Schreiber Dines
Translation: Yara Schreiber Dines and Milton Dines
ANA CAROLINA Fernandes/ No Olhar #4/ Fotografia Brasileira. YouTube. 6 no. 2017. 567 segundos. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9Avmo3SXg4&ab_channel=NoOlhar.Tv
CORPOS da Lapa. Piauí, jun. 2013, edição 81.
DINES, Yara Schreiber. The Substance of Images Brazilian Women Photographers. São Paulo: Editora Grifo, 2021.
FOTORIO destaca cobertura fotográfica da pandemia, Diário do Porto, 21 de maio 2021. Disponível em: https://diariodoporto.com.br/cobertura-fotografica-da-pandemia-e-destaque-no- fotorio/