Notícias de João Silva
“I’ve seen so many people get hurt, I don’t exclude the fact that it might be my turn one day.”
How did you become a photographer?
I became a photographer in the late ’80s by pure accident. A friend of mine was studying graphic design. One of his subjects was photography. I accompanied him when he went to shoot pictures. From that moment, I realized I wanted to be a photographer.
You knew it immediately.
I knew it immediately. And I also knew that I didn’t want to do fashion photography or architectural photography. I knew that I wanted to be on the edge of history. So from that point onwards, it was easy because, at the time, South Africa was going through a transition. The apartheid government was coming to an end and there was all this political activity going on — political violence — and that was the perfect starting point. That was my training ground. It was all very up-close and personal.
“Do I run if stuff is blowing up around me? Yeah. I run as fast as I can! I might try to take pictures while I’m running, but I’m still going to be running.”
© João Silva
He is a humanist, with a quiet, understated empathy for everyone he meets, photographs, has a passing exchange with. Generous and funny, he makes photographs that are elegiac, graceful and important documents of lives ventured, lives cherished and lives lost.
My son Luc, aged 5, closely followed by Madeline, aged 4, came in as I was writing this. They think Joao is the best. Note: all kids and animals think Joao is the best.