Amazonian legends in Thiago Azevedo’s. photos

Alysson Camargo
3 min readSep 25, 2020

Amazonia is defined by what Paes Loureiro called “Amazonian poetics”, an ecosystem of legends about forest and river spirits. These characters are part of an oral culture that bridges. the concrete and abstract world.

The shaman serves as a mediator between these worlds. His ecstatic trip offers him an insight into the attitudes, behaviors, and activities that will ensure the survival of the community.

Thiago Azevedo represents in his photos some of the creatures of these legends, such as Iara, a mermaid with long black hair and a fishtail, who uses her beauty to lure curious men to discover the beauties of the bottom of the river, from where they will never return.

Curupira is another character from Amazonian legends who uses a series of stratagems, such as his turned feet, whistles, and his deep knowledge of his abode, to frighten hunters and protect the forest.

The artist’s photographs serve as a potential index of Amazonian visuality and witness a living culture in constant transmutation. These legends, transmitted over generations, form part of the daily life of regional communities.

Though the question remains open. How to represent a forest spirit? Through Thiago Azevedo’s photos, these myths gain visual representation. In this case, photography uses its power to represent “truth” as a tool to create fiction, playing a game with our eyes.

Written by Alysson Camargo, edited by Yannis Papadopoulos.



Alysson Camargo

Latin American Photography through a socio-anthropological approach 📸