+BEHIND THE SCENES – Stories
We scheduled a meeting with Roberto Rackin in Vila Madalena, west of Sao Paulo, in the place known as “Beco do Batman” (Batman’s Alley). Beco do Batman is a kind of open-graffiti exhibit, plastically an excellent setting for photos. That’s why the place became a tourist attraction, with buses pouring tourists every 30 minutes. This forced us to look for alternatives, which was not so difficult: Vila Madalena is lavish in staircases and photogenic scenarios. In the last portrait of Roberto we asked permission to use the lounge of this nice bar. The owner, a lady as nice as he, nodded with a smile. Roberto is the youngest character in the book – he had just turned 18 when we interviewed him. So that’s why he is in the chapter on generations. His story is impressive: he was born with a defect in his feet that theoretically would prevent him from walking normally. He overcame the deficiency and in 2017, he won a contemporary dance competition in Germany. Side note: the trip was paid by his parents – a teacher and a military police (in the photo the father is holding the cloth that serves as background for the portrait made by Fernando Martinho). Roberto’s story is the type of story that makes us proud and happy to create our book, ‘Diversos’.
“Are you on Instagram?” It’s the first question Ariel Goldenberg asks us. The 37-year-old actor, who is profiled in the chapter “We Are All Like This”, gained national prominence by starring in the movie “Colleagues”, along with his ex-wife Rita Pokk and Breno Viola, all with Down syndrome. In the large apartment where he lives with his mother in the Sumaré neighborhood, a drum set rests in the middle of the living room. He says he’s a fan of Roger Taylor and has actually studied the instrument a bit. Today he does not play anymore. His life is now dedicated to the theater and the cinema and to participating in actions that help to include people with Down – the most recent one was during the Child Hope campaign in July. At the end of the meeting we swapped our Instagram’s IDs.
– Ariel Goldenberg
We met Duke when we went to find Marina Guimaraes in the studio where she rehearses in Vila Mariana, a neighborhood in the south of Sao Paulo. Marina is a dancer and became nationally known when she danced at the opening of the London Paralympic Games in 2012. Duke was born five years ago in Palm Springs, California, in a litter of nine puppies. When they were one year old, Duke and his brothers and sisters took a vocational test – some went to the police department, some went to the fire department. Duke and Spirit, one of his brothers, had another destination: they went “to study” in Guide Dog of The Desert, a guide-dog school in Whitewater, near Palm Springs. Three years ago Duke became Marina’s mate. Seeing the two together, we can notice that Duke is not just the guide dog of the dancer. He watches every movement Marina makes with a reverent and attentive look. She says her life has completely changed when Duke arrived – he became her eyes, her security, and especially her most faithful and always present friend. Truly friend. A few months ago Marina learned that Spirit was living in Rio and arranged a reunion between the two brothers. To everyone’s surprise, Duke and Spirit remembered each other and played the whole afternoon. “Isn’t that right, Duke?” She asks softly. And, as a happy “child”, Duke comes running into her arms.