May 8, 2018

Boi Bumba – Festival de Parintins

Every year the wildest and biggest party of the Amazon takes place in Brazil’s small town of Parintins. More than 200.000 people gather here, mostly traveling by boat, to cheer again and again on the same spectacle. The teams of Garantido and Caprichioso are competing against each other for three nights in a row in a stadium like ring called Bumbodromo. Every night for three hours they perform the exact same play. Again and again, they smash the same hymns causing the emotions of the inflamed audience to boil over. The only things exchanged are the enormous szenery and the elaborate costumes that the dancers wear. Approximately 800 team members tinker with this material throughout the whole year in their “cities” called headquarters. Located in the eastern and western outskirts, when seen from the outside these “cities” look like huge industrial ruins. Parintins is split into two halves of color, the areas surrounding the headquarters are all flagged with the color of the nearby team, as is everyone in the street. In Parintins your heart belongs to a color, either red for Garantido or blue for Caprichioso.
I shot the story for swiss Annabelle magazine in 2012.