Thursday, April 14, 2016

Nando Dias - Professional Photographer, Surfer and Activist.

I remember meeting Nando years ago walking through Rocinha and after many times through his work at SBR Rocinha. He was the coordinator of this Skate Bike Roller program for the children and youth of Rocinha at the Sports Complex.

Nando has always had an interest in community projects. SBR is a NGO and helps to keep youth of the favela involved in activities like Skateboarding, Rollerblading and BMX. Because of the warm weather and beach community, these activities are very popular and about 2 times a year they hold mini competitions in each discipline. They also have a Blog which talks about all their activities. I enjoy writing about people who are proactive, making things happen, Nando is one of those guys!

Nando was born in Rocinha. When his dad was a sucessful store owner, they moved out of Rocinha. Nando ended up moving back to Rocinha when he was 20 years old after his father passed away.

My knowledge of Nando was from around 2001. I always knew he was into photography but didn't know how much. After talking with me yesterday, he gave me his history and trajectory as to where he is today. From 1999 until 2001 he studied photography at Atelie da Imagem in Urca. I remember seeing much of Nando's work when we was with Viva Favela from 2001 until 2006. Viva Favela is a NGO sub group of Viva Rio.  Viva Favela specifically gives positive visibility to the favelas in Rio. The organization's members are majority those from favela communities that work through journalism and photography. I remember seeing many of Nando's pictures online when Rocinha was in the news. He eventually moved on to working with a newspaper called JB (Jornal do Brasil) from 2006-2008. Since 2008 he has been independant.

For the past few years he has been affiliated and one of the founders of ASR. He works closely with his friend Marcio Pereira. ASR or Association Surf Rocinha is a NGO, a surfing school which offers surfing opportunities for both youth and adults.

Some of ASR champions receiving their awards after a competition in Rio.

Nando is also connected with a social activist project to clean up the beach and water of Sao Conrado called Salvemos Sao Conrado. Unfortunately, Rio has this bad reputation of problems with pollution in the water. Salvemos Sao Conrado is trying to change this and get the city government to help them clean up the water for the safety of bathers and surfers.

Nando (last one on the right)  with fellow activists and the city mayor Eduardo Paes (middle holding the crutch).

He now works freelance as a photographer. I have suggested that he develop a Facebook page where he can show off and sell his work. He is also available for Photography tours in Rocinha. Unfortunately he only speaks Portuguese but is currently studying English. He also can sell large photos of Rocinha measuring aprox 50cm X 40cm. When he has his Photography Facebook page up and running, I will post it here.

If you are interested in Nando's photography skills he can be reached at: