Passion. It is all about the passion. But the sensuality on the surface often masks a political undercurrent and a reckoning with history. A microcosm of Spanish and Portuguese colonialism, abandoned or overthrown, remains - but modified, altered and skewed. A 'New World' 'discovered' and exploited. And the consequence is hybrid people with an independent spirit, without independent means. So the music takes over. Insignificant moments become treasures. Sky, music and time blend, creating an acceptance - a peace. The influences of the Iberian peninsula are eventually modified or nullified by indigenous spiritualism and the African tribal drum.
With camera and all-too-white skin I slip into this kaleidoscope of smells, sounds, light and sweat. The armies advanced and the Church preached: conquer and convert. A 'divided soul' with human nature at its heart. I, of course, am an outsider. Another invader, but going in both directions, from continent to continent. I am an observer who is intensely curious, but not an equal. I too can feel the beat, taste the colour and shiver with the intensity. The rhythm is so strong it sucks in all who are near or want to be near. Dancing listening and feeling - all the senses are sharp. How can I feel so at home in a foreign land? I will never know. But I am drawn to return again and again - through nights humid and intimidating, I am both lost and found in a simultaneous rush of primal feelings and needs. I pick up the camera and shoot. It doesn't ever seem quite good enough. I can't really capture it. I feel it, but I cannot touch it. The sensuality of the moment is always beyond my grasp.