Tommaso Rada
On Systematic Racism
3 January - 9 January 2023

The Portuguese colonisation and the Atlantic Slave Trade are the historical reasons at the bases of the presence of black African people in Brazil. From the XVI century, African black people — mostly from the Western African region — where captured and deported to Brazil to work as slaves in the plantations and the mines.

Finally in 1888, Princess Isabel signed the “Lei Aurea”, law that abolished the slavery in the country, Brazil was the last country in the World abolishing slavery. The number of slaves gaining freedom with the Lei Aurea was around 700 thousand but the total number of people of color deported as slaves to Brazil from the beginning of the Atlantic Slave Trade to 1888, the year of the Lei Aurea, has been around 4.8 millions.

The abolishment of slavery didn’t solve the racism; in a country ruled by a white social class first and by a white military dictatorship it becomes today a systemic racism.

Today the ancestor of the people of color that created the Quilombos in the XIX century are still racial discriminated. The racism is so systemic that the even the life style of the Quilomboas Communities is threaten. In this scenario of systemic, environmental and interpersonal racism the Quilombola’s activist fight to have their rights recognised.

“On Systemic Racism” document the daily life of several Quilombo’s Communities around Brazil struggling because and fighting against the discrimination and racism they are suffering; the project create a link between the Brazilian past of slavery an the nowadays status of a country, Brazil, still deeply affected by systemic racism.

Tommaso Rada is an Italian photographer currently living in São Paulo, Brasil. Tommaso Rada is a documentary photographer working on socio-economic issues.

His projects describing the surrounding society are aims more to create questions than to looking for answers. His works has been published in several magazines and newspapers such as Financial Time, Der Spiegel, Monocle, Popoli, Popoli e Missioni, Private online edition, Expresso, Helsingin Sanomat, Courrier International, Le Pelerin, Washington Post and Forbes Brazil. He collaborated with Unicef Mozambique, Comunità di Sant’Egidio and Habitat for Humanity Portugal.