Analog photography in Brazil is inaccessible to most of the population
because of the restrictive grip with which companies like Fuji and Kodak hold
over the entire photographic process, from the film its to the developing
agents. This situation is made worse by prohibitive import fees, which tends
to get worse if you live outside of large urban centers like São Paulo, Rio de
Janeiro and Curitiba. With this context in mind, I have been studying and
experimenting with cheap, sustainable and efficient alternatives within film
photography development at home. I started my research with Caffenol -- a
developing agent which uses coffee as its main ingredient –, but soon began
to exchange its components and expand its formula to include a variety of
plants and leaves that are more widely available where I live. During this
research I realized that each different plant impacts the developing agent’s
formula and final aesthetic in a singular way. After some time and
examination, I ended up opting for the use of cassava (mandioca) leaves –
the root of which is a staple food and one of the most important commodities
in Brazilian economy and history – as a basis for my study. My original goal
was to create high contrast, fine grain images, yet, through the
experimentation with cassava leaves, I also became very interested in
different concentrations, ingredients, films, ASA, temperatures, etc. This
contact with the physicality of the medium naturally set in motion a parallel
process of experimentation with the artistic manipulation of film.

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