The 22 hour journey home from Belo Horizonte always offers ample time for reflection. After 2 and a half weeks of 18 hour working days I am exhausted and in equal measure exhilerated and troubled by everything that has happened and may happen in the future. Saying goodbye to Landia, Licaõ, Haidé, Patricia et al gives me an extraordinary feeling. They know I will go back to another life and they so genuinely wish me, my family and kids well - it's extremely touching and humbling. I ask them to take good care of themselves and each other. Licaõ asks me to throw him a message from the aeroplane as I fly overhead....
They have asked to have cameras for christmas and Patricia A and Murilo will organise this, as well as making sure Licaõ has a camera for the birth of his and Patricia's baby in January. Otherwise, contact will be only occasional for the next few months. Patricia A and Murilo will do what they can re Elisangela's situation and will help Celia visit Piriquito and can be contacted by phone for help if necessary. Our experience though, is that when the project is not 'live' they very rarely contact us. Also, there seems to be an invisible line on both sides of this relationship which isn't crossed. From our side, we never press them about what 'crimes' they have committed, 'why' they have been in prison, about the bad things they must inevitably have done. From their side, they have a clear understanding of a boundary that is our home lives. Not one of the many people involved has ever even asked which area of the city Patricia and Murilo live in.
So as I leave Belo Horizonte the objective of the next 12 months is to finally publish this book. We all want this to happen, everyone who has been involved. We have agreed to try and self-publish it and to raise the money to do so by selling full sets of enprints from entire rolls of film. Any roll of film in the archive (from 1995 - 2010) containing a photograph classed as 'A' (which means it's in the 1st edit) may be printed only 3 times. One set is with the photographer, one set is with the archive, and only one set will be available for sale. When viewing all the images from a roll of film - not just the good one - you are seeing a broader vision, what came before and after, sometimes ideas or actions evolve, time moves on. Some pictures are destroyed by fingers, camera straps or faulty wind-on mechanisms. There will be approximately 200 sets of prints available, most with approximately 24 enprints, each 10 x 15cm. We just feel that this approach offers a real insight into the process of the project and avoids celebrating only great images.
In order to set this in motion we agreed a 'contract' with the participants:
It is agreed that the authors of the project "No Olho da Rua" will respect the integrity of the archive and credit individual participants wherever appropriate. Royalties and profits from possible sales, publications or exhibitions shall be distributed to projects, organisations or activities that bring pleasure or practical assistance to people who live on the streets of Belo Horizonte. If the book of the "No Olho da Rua" project is finally realised, all participants will receive a copy.
It is interesting that they aren't interested in money. They freely acknowledge they can't keep it or use it wisely. Neither are we, nor have we ever been, interested in receiving fees from this project. We all want the book so initially all revenue will go to producing the book and subsequently to other projects which fulfill the above criteria.