Carnival kicks off tomorrow in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and in honor of this most festive of festivities (and to help ease the dread of the snowstorm headed our way this weekend), we present Children of the Rainbow, a short film by Kwaku Alston. Shot on location in Rio, it captures the vibrancy of carnival and the spirit of the people who embrace it. Is it too late to book a flight and join in…?
Kwaku Alston on Children of the Rainbow:
For my 40th birthday, I treated myself to a week-long street photography workshop held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, led by Peter Turnley. The focus of the workshop was based on documenting carnival, the annual cultural festival complete with imaginative floats, elaborate costumes, and hordes of people singing and dancing in the streets. I felt this was the perfect opportunity to get out of my comfort zone, challenge myself creatively, and leave with a new body of work.
After spending mere hours in Rio, I was exhilarated by the energy and joy surrounding me from the festivities. I arrived on a hot, sticky, humid day, well rested for the long nights ahead of me. Carnival festivities begin late at night and carry on throughout the evening, ending when the sun rises. I was spellbound walking through the rainy streets smelling of acaraje (the favored street food fare) and beer, with my finger looming over the shutter. The vibrant spirit in the streets was palpable. You could feel the energy coursing throughout people of all ages, from children to grandparents, as they celebrated on the streets of the favelas to the main stage at the Sambadrome.
Children of the Rainbow is my homage to the beautiful culture and people of Brazil. I attempted to capture the essence of carnival to share with others and hopefully broaden other people’s horizons. Enjoy the journey.