Sampa Buzz

SAMPA BUZZ featured in L’ Espresso Magazine | September, 2014

“Sampa Buzz”, shot in São Paulo, Brazil, is the second chapter of the ongoing “The Buzz Project”.

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By Gaia Light and Alessandro Cosmelli

“The Buzz Project” represents a temporal and symbolic portrait of the contemporary metropolis and its inhabitants, yet as seen from the window of public transport – in this case, the ubiquitous city bus. Caught in passing, each image is a chance arrangement of figures that appeared for a brief moment in front of the camera before the bus moved on, gleaning people’s hidden or transitory states of being and extracting timeless moments from the swirling tides of the contemporary city.

The overall “documentary” project, comprised of portraits of cities from around the world, is a metaphor by which to address contemporary issues such as urbanization and its consequences (last year the number of people living in a city surpassed the number of those living in the countryside), social inequality, and the environmental condition of urban environments generally. It represents a look into the at-times-dark heart of the contemporary metropolis, but from a very specific and paradoxically unconventional point of view – that is, from the point of view of the tutelary citizen – or, the solitary or singular soul who provides the grain for the overall texture of urban society. The project documents the way we, “the people”, live and prosper in a fast-changing world, and challenges others to appreciate the visual poetry hidden in routine, everyday-life experience.

The present stage of the project includes three episodes: “Brooklyn Buzz”, “Milano Buzz”, and “Sampa Buzz”. They were shot respectively in Brooklyn, New York, USA, Milan, Italy, and São Paulo, Brazil – the New, the Old, and the Future World so to speak. As such, these three iterations represent three worlds – or, three metropolises and three different phases in contemporary socio-economic or socio-political geography, phases that are also indicative of vast shifts underway through processes of globalization. It is this sense of being on the verge of a major, perhaps epochal change in the human condition that serves as the anchor or keel for the entire current and proposed project.

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