Sneak preview: Doug Menuez’s “Wisdom of Brazil”

Doug Menuez is working on a new personal project he’s calling “The Wisdom of Brazil,” which pays tribute to the country’s vital culture at a time when Brazil is experiencing remarkable change. “‘The Wisdom of Brazil’ traces my journey through a vast country with a singular mission: to gather the favorite proverbs, idiomatic sayings and stories of diverse people from all walks of life in every region,” explains Doug, who has been photographing the people he meets and places he sees along the way. “It’s a simple idea that yields a fresh way to look at the culture.”

Among the many inspiring experiences he’s had so far is meeting a paraplegic hang glider in Rio. “He had improvised a wheelchair built into the wings of a hang glider,” says Doug. “He jumps off insanely high peaks and flies down to the beach. He’s a tough, determined guy.” To describe the man, recalls Doug, a bystander offered this saying: “O passarinho que come pedra, sabe o cu que tem.” And while you might not find the poetry of the statement in its literal translation, it does mean something uplifting: Only the individual knows his or her true limits.

An ambitious project, “The Wisdom of Brazil” will ultimately take the form of a documentary film, book, and website. Here, Doug presents a preview.

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Photo by Doug Menuez, from his project "The Wisdom of Brazil."

“O pescador não mente; ele aumenta, mas não inventa.” (The fisherman doesn’t lie—he might embellish but doesn’t invent.) Photo by Doug Menuez, from his project "The Wisdom of Brazil."

Photo by Doug Menuez, from his project "The Wisdom of Brazil."

Photo by Doug Menuez, from his project "The Wisdom of Brazil."

Photo by Doug Menuez, from his project "The Wisdom of Brazil."

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For more on “O Sabedoria do Brasil,” read Doug’s post at his blog, Go Fast, Don’t Crash: http://dougmenuez.com/2011/10/06/o-sabedoria-do-brasil-a-work-in-progress/

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