For Não é sobre sapatos [It Is Not About Shoes] Gabriel Mascaro has conducted a study of images filmed during the recent protests in several Brazilian cities. As in other countries, in order to provide an alternative to the official press, protestors created their own way of communicating their actions in the public realm, announcing actions via social networks and registering the presence of their collective body on the streets with their own cameras. This documentation on the internet, introduces a rupture in the production of discourse and denounces the violence exerted by the police against protestors.
But instead of using his own registers or those captured by protestors, Mascaro focusses on the images recorded by the police, inverting the narration of the protest and at the same time asking: ‘How should we think about the aesthetic, political and authorial premise of images produced by the state via its agents, filming with the goal of policing, keeping public order and recording faces for prosecution?’ The interplay established by the two elements – state and citizen – which confront one another with the same instrument or weapon – the camera – reveals a different manner of seizing power and domination, manifested in the realm of visibility and the exercise of representing the other.
Included in the footage used by Gabriel Mascaro are many images of shoes – new elements of legal evidence, being that protestors are known to change their tops during their actions, but not their shoes. The footage constitutes a curious tool for considering the strong and weak points of anonymity (or the anonymous) in current political protests, leading Mascaro to another question: ‘In an age of anonymous faces, what shall we do with our feet?’ – LP