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Courtesy of 

Ian Cheibub

BaseCamp Photojournalist of the Year

Ian Cheibub

Universidade Federal Fluminense


Ian Cheibub (b.1999) is a visual storyteller based in Brazil. In his work, Ian tries to understand what are the mechanisms that the people from the Global South develop to survive and how they empower their own narratives through cultural, political, and social tools. As such, his areas of interest are related to human rights, religion, and popular culture.

Ian currently works covering stories in Brazil for international media outlets. His photo and video works have also been published in National Geographic, GEO Magazine, Le Monde, Der Spiegel, The Guardian, De Volkskrant, STERN, VICE, NRC, among other outlets.


Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Maraba - Brazil. Montes Altos - Brazil. Sao Gonçalo - Brazil. Niteroi - Brazil

2019 - 2022

In Hebrew, "The Place of the Skull". In the Bible, the hill where Jesus was crucified. In the Roman Empire, the most cruel punishment. In Israel, the main pilgrimage point.

Contemporary Brazil brings this dual meaning of Golgotha: a territory that is a death machine, but also the place of sacrifice, resurrection, and redefinition of meanings.

The project tries to understand the different faces of evangelization in the country, looking how evangelicals appropriate and incorporate symbols, images, instruments and other aspects of ancestral Brazilian religions and popular culture. Many of these appropriations challenge the notion of "purity" and "sacred". What is the genuine Brazilian particularity that shapes this evangelical expansion?

This project tells different layers of the same faith in a very diverse and complex country. It looks at the place where the people put their faith, sometimes their money and many others their anguishes and ambitions. I have covered a range of aspects of the evangelicals in Brazil, juxtaposing the religion, politics and social issues. This project unveils evangelical militias and drug dealers, indigenous conversion, megachurches, evangelical caucus in congress and conflict with AfroBrazilian religions.

Each year 14,000 evangelical churches are opened in Brazil and by 2032 the number of evangelicals in the country will be higher than that of Catholics. This growth reflects in institutional spaces, in the legislative and executive, in schools and in the media. This is one of the most important mass phenomena of the century, very little known by the international community. The impact of this change is great for the Catholic Church. Russia had a revolution and remained orthodox. The United States, even through the Civil War, remained Protestant. Among the large countries, changes like this only occurred as a result of wars and revolutions. In Brazil, the revolution is silent.

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