The religiosity of the interior of Brazil in the photos of Allan Lusttosa
Simplicity is one of the features of the interior of Brazil. It is not necessarily linked to income or financial conditions, but a result of living in a community with closer affective relationships.
Religiosity is influenced by the fact of living in a community that constitutes the backbone of regional culture. Often religious meetings serve as local social gatherings where people create emotional relationships, make friends, and get married. In the interior of Brazil, religiosity permeates every phase of life.
In Allan Lusttosa’s photos, we access the offstage of this religiosity in the interior of houses from various Brazilian states. In these houses, we observe small altars with religious figures, in addition to candles and other statues, that are corners of spiritual simplicity. We have thus the chance to reflect on the relationship between public and private spaces. Religiosity is experienced collectively in public spaces, whereas, privately, people pray and exercise their spirituality in these small altars.
Simplicity also creates a sort of religious intimacy. A house is a place of refuge and rest, where we restore ourselves and spend a good part of our time with family and friends. The artist’s photographic record exposes this intimacy, in addition to showcasing elements that adorn this private space.
We realize that many of these images of saints, religious figures, and statues are repeated in different houses. There is a characteristic aesthetic of these cult figures, that are sold at regional fairs and created by local artists. Allan Lusttosa documents this popular religiosity, one of the constitutive elements of identity in the interior of Brazil.