Corcoran photojournalism alumna Tracy Eustaquio, B.F.A. ’14, won the Silver Award at the annual College Photographer of the Year Competition
for her interpretive project, “Saudade.” More than 600 students from 130 colleges participate in the contest, which is administered by the University of Missouri with support from Nikon Inc.
Ms. Eustaquio’s parents immigrated to the United States from Brazil in 1981. She and her brother were born in the United States in the following decade. The rest of her family, including her cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents, still live in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil, she said.
After her parents divorced in 1997, her visits to relatives in Brazil have become scarcer. The language barrier between the family members has grown.
“Every year that flies by grows a wedge between who I am and who I was meant to be. I am a tourist in my family,” she said.
That’s what inspired her to put “Saudade” together.
“In Brazil there is this word, saudade. We say this word when we long for someone who is gone, we say it when a piece of us is missing, and my family said this word to me when, after eight long years since my last visit, we reunited,” she said.
Ms. Eustaquio shared five images from “Saudade” with George Washington Today reporter Julyssa Lopez
, explaining, “This word is untranslatable, but these photographs are my visual manifestation of it.”
"Three sisters – Jussara, Juliana and June, my mother—are pictured here. This reunion is marred by the recent death of Juliana's son, Hugo."
"Mother and Grandmother—June and Avó Iaia—reunite after eight years. They talk on the phone every Sunday when my mom is in the United States. When they finally reunited, Avo Iaia's Alzheimer's disease left her unable to recognize her own daughter, but she would repeatedly tell her that she misses June who she believed to still be in the United States."
"My brother and mother, Chris and June, stand on the roof of what used to be the apartment building where my aunt Juliana and her children lived. They moved out of that house a year previous when her oldest son, Hugo, was shot and killed. We learned of his death on Facebook Messenger. They still own their apartment and visit it regularly."
"My favorite place in the world as a child was my family’s chicken farm in Belo Horizonte. This might have been my chair. I don’t remember."
"A self-portrait. This is the house where my grandmother grew up, followed by my mother. This is where I would have grown up. The shadow is bigger than I am."