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Courtesy of 

Ian Cheibub

Unity and Diversity

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.

So Far, So Close

Rio de Janeiro - Brazil, Salvador de Bahia - Brazil


In Brazil, Evangelicals and members of Afro-Brazilian religions have had many conflicts in recents years. The country, long home to a diverse collection of Afro-Brazilian religions, is also now the center of neo-Pentecostalism, a zealous strain of evangelicalism more frequently linked to intolerance. For many neo-Pentecostals, any polytheistic religion that does not embrace Jesus is the work of the devil, and therefore, must be destroyed.

In Rio de Janeiro and Salvador, the culture of samba and black afoxés is strongly present. For neo-Pentecostals, these rhythms are the worst sins one could commit. However, new Pentecostals have brought along with them many of the symbols, rituals and instruments from afro religions into their churches. Incorporations, screams, white clothes, afro drums and other Candomblé features can be seen in Pentecostal churches and it is hard to differentiate them.

This project proposes a dialogue into the visual similarities of two religions that have much more in common than they think. By mixing church pictures with Afro-Brazilian rituals, my goal is to confuse the audience. I’m interested in their close similarities. By highlighting it, my goal is to fight religious intolerance. Appropriation and cultural mixing shapes Brazilian society. When it comes to popular culture, the notion of purity is lost. Suddenly, one that is claimed to be sacred turns into the profane, and vice versa.

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