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Make Yourself at Home

2013 - 2016


What does daily life really look like in households all over the world? Different cultures, different routines, different habits. How does a household in Germany run? What makes up day-to-day life in New York City? What's the first thing a Brazilian does in the morning? For one week, Renata does exactly what her hosts do: she eats the same food, sleeps and wakes up at the same time, and follows their daily lives and activities. The series, entitled Make yourself at home began in a humble abode in Bayreuth, Germany, in December of 2013, has traversed New York, has being in Brazil and is now taking place in the Netherlands. Her dream? To have homes all over the world.

Silver Lining

Rio de Janeiro, 2014

The Mangueira Community, located in the suburb of Rio de Janeiro, has suffered from a long-lived tradition of intense violence, being over-run by criminal factions who terrorized the local inhabitants, ruling through fear and terror. This community has been consistently left behind, never receiving sufficient access to basic needs, primarily health and education.

Many youth were lost to traffickers, have died young or have gone to prison. In reality, most of the boys only had the hope of a future in crime, because they only have known poverty and violence. The girls enchanted by the glamour of "easy money” boys, leave school early, end up getting pregnant and losing the chance to have a bright future.

Fortunately, this scene has begun to change when the Pacification Police Unit - UPP took a place in November of 2011. Since then, basic services have been offered to the local low-income population, as infrastructure, electrical services, health and education assistance. The locals have experienced more security to take their children to school, to seek health assistance and run other daily tasks, which before were inhibited by the local climate of violence.

In of Abril of 2012, Mangueira was awarded with project Estrela da Favela, The Star of the Slum. With hard work and dedication the involved ones gained respect and trust of children and their families. From then on, about 70 children have improved, thanks to the schooling support and sport classes. Now kids have better performance at school, better behavior and the most important: a vision of a better future.

Thereby, portraits were taken and given to the children, providing a register of these time. So in the future, they can look back and they can remember of the opportunities and caring that were given to them, reaffirming what is the future they choose for themselves.
Empowering kids is investing in a more prosperous and egalitarian society, breaking negative cycles that affect the development of humanity.

I am Nature

Western Australia, 2015

Who are you? I am nature.
I am nature stems from the studies of a photographer and a journalist into the connection between man and nature. More specifically, it is a photographic study that intends to understand the organic relationship between wild nature and the Australian man; it is in the middle of the forest, in the desert and in the ocean that Australian men recognize and relate to what it means to be human. In a discussion that brings together intuition, the forces of nature and the essence of being human, I am nature addresses the question that science is unable to: why are Australians so strongly shaped by their relationship with nature?

Through mixing portraits with Australian landscape, I am nature seeks to find each subject’s identity in nature. With each individual personality in mind, the pair sought to understand the place that each one has amongst the vast diversity of wild Australia.

The project began in Perth, Australia where eight Australian men with varying characteristics were photographed. After studying each man and deconstructing their individual personalities, the pair embarked on a 5000km journey throughout Western Australia. On the way, the landscape shifts from ocean to desert to vast forest. The journey was made with one aim: to be immersed in the same natural environment that these eight Australian men live in and understand the way they relate to nature. “You become what you feel”, says Buddha. And for these men, they are nature.

Duo Marina Beltrame & Renata Chede

Inside 4 Walls

Sri Lanka, 2016

The setting is a city called Gale in southern Sri Lanka. The story is about 24 students varying from 5 to 17 years of age, each with different physical and mental deficiencies. The only visible connecting bridge between them? The 4 walls of the classroom.

Inside those walls autism, down syndrome, schizophrenia, deafness and various other ailments live side by side. The classroom is made up of teachers, student’s mothers and other volunteers from different parts of the globe. I am one of them and I bring both my love and my criticism.

I watch with resignation as teachers give learning materials only to those students who are capable of completing tasks, while others roam the classroom restlessly. Likewise, I feel twisted when children are physically punished for behaviour that is not as was expected. The stifling heat chokes and saps and, as I look around the room and see children with so many different nuances, yet so little variation in the way that their needs are catered for, it makes me feel desperate.  ︎ 
I boil inside when I see a child without the ability to speak having food forcefully shoved down her throat.

Indignation and lack of conformity to the way things are come from those who do not belong to that place. Those who compare the worlds, and do not accept. Those who have the arrogance to think they can do better, who were not there before and do not know the path travelled until today.

When I had finally deconstructed the scenes unfolding inside those 4 walls, I began to see the reality of the classroom anew. Rather than fear the clash between the 2 worlds, the 2 ways, I thanked them for their co-existence. I understood that the hardness of one provides the structure for the weakness in another.

That order, punishment and rigid conditions, when done with heart, can bring out the highest quality in individuals. And in a magical and beautiful way, these 24 special children show how capable they are when they are given the circumstances to do so.

Temporary Middle East

Middle East, 2015

The exhibition is made up of personal travel images from Renata Chede taken throughout the Middle East. Working with her partner Marina, they observed that time has changed espacial meaning in that region.

How do we see space? How do we perceive time? While walking and observing fences, piles of stones as traces of destruction and empty landscapes waiting to be owned, the Middle East showed them that time and space are, indeed, related.
By looking at that specific frame within space, their subject of study focuses on a number of basic issues, including whether or not time and space exist independently of the mind, whether they exist independently of one another, whether time exists other than the present moment, and questions about the nature of identity.

Thinking particularly about the nature of identity over time, they have proposed to the public to interact, over a week,

with 2 of their art pieces. They have left the pieces in the streets in Amsterdam so people can touch, rip, draw, paint or do whatever they might like.

Through those pieces of art and the other ones exhibited here, the duo open a space to talk about SPACE + TIME. Derived meaning is not unambiguous in their work, and they give us no defined information value. What they do instead is give us some tools and invite us to discuss the theme with them.

Duo Marina Beltrame
& Renata Chede