In Rio de Janeiro, sports are life and life is not a spectator sport. Little playing fields steal back space from the asphalt and traffic circles, defying cars and buildings alike. They creep in amongst the steep and winding streets and are sketched into the golden sands that have made this city immortal. Rain forests and granitic cliffs are a testing ground, where distinctions of gender, race or religion cease to exist. The differences between high and low are made level. Kids from the favelas that cling to the hillsides come down into the city, losing themselves among the upper-crust bourgeoisie well-heeled from Ipanema and Leblon. A surfboard, a soccer ball or a skateboard is all it takes to make them indistinguishable. Social background doesn’t matter for the players of the Flamengo basketball team portrayed in one of these pictures; difference sit sinks while when the girls from the Brazil national synchronized swimming team, Brazil national champions, float over the twirl in the water. Sports blend favela boys in love with football, bikers rolling down the seaside and surfers resting on the beach, as those shown in these images. Call it the miracle of motion – motion that changes perspectives and revolutionizes viewpoints, as in these photos, which provide a portrait of a city and its inhabitants as they have never been seen before.
Edoardo Delille and Gabriele Galimberti were both born in Tuscany (Italy) and have studied photography at Fondazione Studio Marangoni. They pursue personal carriers in documentary photography but regularly collaborate on communal projects within the collective Riverboom.