Dulce Sudor Amargo: Bittersweet Brazil • Miguel Rio Branco • Magnum Photos

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Dulce Sudor Amargo: Bittersweet Brazil

Miguel Rio Branco's series of vibrant photographs reveal scenes of beauty and flux in the everyday life of Brazil's coastal city of Salvador

Miguel Rio Branco

Miguel Rio Branco | Dulce Sudor Amargo A Jangadeiro goes fishing at Piata Beach. Salvador de Bahia, Brazil. 1984. © Miguel Rio Branco | Magnum Photos
Miguel Rio Branco | Dulce Sudor Amargo Salvador de Bahia, Brazil. 1984. © Miguel Rio Branco | Magnum Photos
Miguel Rio Branco | Dulce Sudor Amargo Salvador de Bahia, Brazil. 1984. © Miguel Rio Branco | Magnum Photos
Miguel Rio Branco | Dulce Sudor Amargo Boy dancing Capoeira, a martial art with dance like acrobatic movements that are combined with music and song. It originates from the slaves arriving in Brazil from Africa during the Portuguese col (...)
Miguel Rio Branco | Dulce Sudor Amargo Prostitute. Salvador de Bahia, Brazil. 1979. © Miguel Rio Branco | Magnum Photos
Miguel Rio Branco | Dulce Sudor Amargo Prostitute lays on wooden floor. Salvador de Bahia, Brazil. 1979. © Miguel Rio Branco | Magnum Photos
Miguel Rio Branco | Dulce Sudor Amargo Salvador de Bahia, Brazil. 1984. © Miguel Rio Branco | Magnum Photos
Miguel Rio Branco | Dulce Sudor Amargo Painted mural on wall. Salvador de Bahia, Brazil. 1984. © Miguel Rio Branco | Magnum Photos
Miguel Rio Branco | Dulce Sudor Amargo Salvador de Bahia, Brazil. 1979. © Miguel Rio Branco | Magnum Photos
Miguel Rio Branco | Dulce Sudor Amargo Salvador de Bahia, Brazil. 1984. © Miguel Rio Branco | Magnum Photos
Miguel Rio Branco | Dulce Sudor Amargo Salvador de Bahia, Brazil. 1979. © Miguel Rio Branco | Magnum Photos
Miguel Rio Branco | Dulce Sudor Amargo Salvador de Bahia, Brazil. 1979. © Miguel Rio Branco | Magnum Photos
Miguel Rio Branco | Dulce Sudor Amargo Salvador de Bahia, Brazil. 1979. © Miguel Rio Branco | Magnum Photos
Miguel Rio Branco | Dulce Sudor Amargo Streets of Pelourinho district. Salvador de Bahia, Brazil. 1979. © Miguel Rio Branco | Magnum Photos
Miguel Rio Branco | Dulce Sudor Amargo Salvador de Bahia, Brazil. 1984. © Miguel Rio Branco | Magnum Photos

In 1985, Miguel Rio Branco published Dulce Sudor Amargo, a book in which he drew a parallel between the sensual, vital side of Salvador da Bahia and the historical side of the city, which, at the time (1979) was inhabited by prostitutes and the fringe elements of society. It is an essay on life and death, on the scars left behind by time and by living. The photographer’s fascination for these places of strong contrast essentially resides in the power of the tropical colors and light, which he conveys by means of his pictorial sensibility.