Retratistas do Morro*

*The portraitists of the hill

07 May 06 July 2024
Offside Exhibition
Théâtre du Nord

For the duration of its closure for renovation work, the Institut pour la Photographie is invited to occupy the reception areas of the Théâtre du Nord where it will be presenting its exhibitions. After showcasing six pilot exhibition programmes at its premises in Vieux-Lille, the Institut pour la Photographie is now continuing all its activities off-site until its scheduled reopening in the second half of 2026. 

This inaugural exhibition mirrors the concerns and commitments shared by both the Théâtre du Nord and the Institut, with the first European presentation of the Brazilian project Retratistas do Morro.  

Since 2015, this project has devoted itself to adopting a critical approach to Brazil’s collective visual heritage and enhancing it by seeking out, conserving, and disseminating the archives of photographers who have worked in places or with communities that are overlooked or completely forgotten in this cultural legacy.

The collection of more than 250,000 negatives by the photographers Joao Mendes and Alfonso Pimenta, from Aglomerado da Serra, the second largest favela in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, offers an insight spanning more than five decades of everyday life and key events in this community.

The photos presented, based on the exhibition by Guilherme da Cunha, creator of Retratistas do Morro, focuses on generations from the 1970s-1990s. The project’s particular attention to the question of individual representation is also reflected in the collection of oral accounts of those who were photographed.

As part of the Institut pour la photographie’s commitment to CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility), all the picture rails and frames used in this exhibition are being reused.

General information

↘︎ Open access

↘︎ Tuesday-Friday: 12.30 pm → 7 pm,
Saturday: 2pm → 7pm,
Closed on Sundays and public holidays

↘︎ Exhibition accessible to people with reduced mobility


Anne Lacoste, Director of the Institut pour la photographie

The photographers’ playlist for the Retratistas do Morro