Solidarity Gallery
Levi Bianco. Fátima, Portugal, 2015. Photo: Publicity.

“At the beginning of the pandemic, I realized that there were many colleagues whose jobs were simply zero”, says photographer Mônica Zarattini, one of the organizers of the project. 20 X 20 Solidarity Photo Gallery. Based on this question, Zarattini proposed to the collective Photographers for Democracy a project that could bring these professionals together and help whoever needed it. ARFOC-SP (Association of Photographic and Cinematographic Reporters of the State of São Paulo) was added to the collective to be the director of the campaign, as an entity and responsible for the project's accounting.

Taking this into account, three models of participation were conceived: those that donate the sale value of the photo in 100%; those who give 50% and receive 40%; and those who donate 50% and receive 40% and still sign up to receive aid that comes precisely from the division of all collected. “'Nobody lets go of anyone's hand', that's our motto,” says Zarattini.

The photographs selected by Zarattini and Toni Pires are displayed in the Project Instagram, which already has more than 230 photos submitted. Among the participants are both new talents and renowned photographers such as: Nair Benedicto, Gal Oppido, Cristiano Mascaro, Bob Wolfenson, Rogério Reis, Claudio Edinger, Elza Lima, Cássio Vasconcelos, Rogério Assis, Rosa Gauditano, João Roberto Ripper and Araquém Alcântara.

The single value of the photo is R$ 220,00; in its first month of campaign, the solidarity gallery sold 94 photographs and raised R$ 20.680,00. Thus, each of the 737,00 photographers registered to receive the aid benefited from R$ 16 due to the stoppage of their activities due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It also allocated more than R$ 3.557,00 to the 18 participants who had 49 photos sold and participate with a donation of 50% of the sale value.

“The situation of health crisis and political crisis in which Brazilians find themselves has made many professionals discouraged. Fear, apprehension are already symptoms that arise in any pandemic”, says Zarattini about the emotional barriers imposed on these professionals who would usually be at the forefront of the news. She complements, when lamenting the Brazilian reaction to the crisis: “In the case of Brazil, we suffer even more because the president does not believe in science, he mocks the pain of the relatives who have passed away and at all times puts this 'financial crisis' as the ghost that will defeat you”. For her, this sum of factors causes many professionals to become destabilized: “Being together, in a gallery, makes us stronger.”

According to the organizer, it is still too early to define the future of the gallery. If it continues after the campaign deadline, October 20, it will follow new molds through other campaigns. Despite this, she says that the organization would like to hold a large exhibition with the participating works, as soon as meetings are possible again.

“Photographers have taken risks to bring information to those at home. We have to thank the health professionals and also those photojournalists who take risks. It's practically a cover of war, those on the front are very much at risk.”

The call to participate in the 20 X 20 Galeria Solidária began on May 20 and ends on October 20, “the sooner the photographer joins, the more chances he has of selling”, emphasizes Mônica.

Also read: the work of photographers who strive to provide depth to the documentation of the Covid-19 crisis around the world, arte!brasileiros presents a selection of notable works carried out during the pandemic. In this link.


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